According to the Polish Press Agency (PAP), Gray assured that restitution of property in the new Member States remains outside the EU jurisdiction.
This reassurance comes as a response to the statement made by Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga, who on Wednesday stated if Poland was to accept the Charter it would threaten those living on land reclaimed after World War II. Fotyga heavily criticized the Civic Platform (PO) for being pro Charter. PO wants to revoke the decision of the current government, who with the British government, signed the restrictive application of the Charter protocol.
The EC spokesman told PAP that EU law does not concern itself with property rights, as it is a matter for each member state. Further the Charter is not retrospective and cannot deal with matters that occurred just after WWII.
Article 51(1) states that the provisions of “this Charter are addressed to institutions and bodies of the EU with due regard for the principle of subsidiary and to the Member States only when they are implementing EU law.” And subsection 2 of the Act assures that “this Charter does not establish any new power or task for the Community or the EU, or modify powers and tasks defined by the Treaties.”
A spokesman for the European Council will assure on Thursday the Charter will not impede on any reclaimed land matters in Poland.
Accepted in December 2000 the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU contains human rights provisions “solemnly proclaimed” by the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission.
A version of the Charter was proposed by the European Constitution in October 2004 that was rejected by France and The Netherlands. It was intended to enable the EU to accede the European Convention on Human Rights. This would allow the European Court of Justice to make rulings based on the Charter
The Charter gains legally binding force along with the Reform Treaty of Lisbon on the 12th of December in Strasburg.