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Regulatory Acts within Article 263(4) TFEU–A Dissonant Extension of Locus Standi for Private Applicants

  • Christoph Werkmeister, Stephan Pötters and Johannes Traut

Abstract

The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an extension of locus standi for private claimants by amending Article 263(4) TFEU. The provision contains a new third variant for actions against ‘regulatory acts which do not entail implementing measures’. However, it is far from clear to what extent the existing framework has actually been reformed. The CJEU has not yet had the opportunity to define the term ‘regulatory act’. In our view, this term has to be interpreted narrowly. It merely encompasses non-legislative acts enacted under Articles 290 and 291 TFEU. Those subordinate legal acts are characterised by a lack of democratic legitimacy, which justifies a lower threshold for judicial review. Hence, the possibilities for an action for annulment remain limited for private applicants. Effective remedies against legal acts of EU law are provided primarily by the courts of the Member States. The tentative reforms brought by the Treaty of Lisbon did not change the decentralised structure of the EU’s judicial system.

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1 According to Art 263(2) TFEU these are Member States, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

2 Every natural or legal person, cf Art 263(4) TFEU.

3 Cf Cremer, W, in Calliess, C and Ruffert, M (eds), EUV/AEUV Kommentar 4th edn (Munich, Verlag CH Beck, 2011) Art 263 AEUV, paras 33 ff; Craig, P and De Burca, G, EU Law 4th edn (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007) ch 14.

4 Case 41/70 International Fruit Company [1971] ECR 411; cf Cremer, ibid, para 36.

5 Case 25/62 Plaumann [1963] ECR 95.

6 Case C-152/88 Sofrimport Sarl [1990] ECR I-2477; Case C-209/94P Buralux and Others v Council [1996] ECR I-615; Case 11/82 Piraiki—Patraiki [1985] ECR 207.

7 Cf Case 26/76 Metro-SB-Grossmärkte GmbH [1977] ECR 1875; Case T-87/92 Kruidvat [1996] ECR II-1931; Case 169/84 COFAZ [1986] ECR 391; Cases 239, 273/82 Allied Corporation [1984] ECR 1005.

8 Case T-177/01 Jégo-Quéré [2002] ECR II-2365.

9 Cf Albors-Llorens, A, ‘The Standing of Private Parties to Challenge Community Measures: Has the European Community Missed the Boat?’ (2003) Cambridge Law Journal 72, 74 ff.

10 AG Jacobs in Case C-50/00 P Unión de Pequeños Agricultores [2002] ECR I-3357.

11 Case C-50/00 P ibid; see for the development up until this point Lock, T, ‘EU Accession to the ECHR: Implications for Judicial Review in Strasbourg’ (2010) European Law Review 777, 788.

12 Case C-50/00 ibid, para 42.

13 Ibid, para 44.

14 Case C-50/00 P above n 10, para 45.

15 Cf Lenaerts, K, ‘The Contribution of the European Court of Justice to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’ (2010) International & Comparative Law Quarterly 255, 265.

16 Cf Lock, above n 11, 777.

17 Cf Balthasar, S, ‘Locus Standi Rules for Challenges to Regulatory Acts by Private Applicants: the New Article 263(4) TFEU’ (2010) EL Rev 542, 542 ff.

18 There are, however, pending cases which involve the definition of ‘regulatory acts’, cf Case T-526/10 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and others v Commission, not yet reported, and Case T-34/11 Canon Europa v Commission, not yet reported.

19 See Case 2 BvL 11/59 BVerfGE 11, 126, 130; see recently Case 2 BvR 1520/01 BVerfGE 110, 226, 248 ff; Larenz, K, Methodenlehre der Rechtswissenschaft 6th edn (Berlin, Springer, 1991), 320 ff; for a comparative view see Vogenauer, S, Die Auslegung von Gesetzen in England und auf dem Kontinent, vol 1 (Tübingen, Verlag Mohr Siebeck, 2001) 29 ; cf Boot, M, Nullum Crimen Sine lege 1st edn (Cambridge, Intersentia, 2001) 103 .

20 Cf Larenz, ibid, 320; cf also Pechstein, M and Drechsler, C, in Riesenhuber, K (ed), Europäische Methodenlehre 1st edn (Berlin/New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2006) § 8, para 18.

21 Cf Waelbroeck, M in Louis, JV et al (eds), Le Droit De La Cour De Justice, Les Actes Des Institutions, vol 10 2nd edn (Brussels, Université de Bruxelles, 1993) Art 164, para 11; Blomeyer, W, ‘Der Einfluß der Rechtsprechung des EuGH auf das deutsche Arbeitsrecht’ (1994) Neue Zeitschrift für Arbeitsrecht 633, 636; Everling, U, in Kruse, and Zölle, (eds), Verbrauchssteuern, europäisches Marktordnungsrecht (Cologne, Verlag Dr Otto Schmidt, 1988) 51, 59.

22 Cf Dederichs, M, ‘Die Methodik des Gerichtshofes der Europäischen Gemeinschaften’ (2004) Europarecht, 345, 346 ff.

23 Cf ibid; cf also Nettesheim, M, in Grabitz, and Hilf, (eds), Das Recht der Europäischen Union 40th edn (Munich, Beck, 2009) Art 1 EGV, paras 64 ff. However, M Nettesheim also points out the importance of teleological arguments concerning the structural dimensions of the EU (paras 76 ff).

24 Many German commentators try to employ these similarities in order to construe a very broad definition of the term ‘regulatory act’ so that every regulation and also directly applicable Directives ought to be covered, cf Everling, U, ‘Lissabon-Vertrag regelt Dauerstreit über Nichtigkeitsklage Privater’ (2010) Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht 572, 575; Kottmann, M, ‘Plaumanns Ende: Ein Vorschlag zu Art. 263 Abs. 4 AEUV’ (2010) Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht 547, 559 ff; Bast, J, in von Bogdandy, A and Bast, J (eds), Europäisches Verfassungsrecht 2nd edn (Heidelberg, Springer Verlag, 2009) 489, 556 ff; Görlitz, N and Kubicki, P, ‘Rechtsakte mit schwierigem Charakter’ (2011) Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht 248 ; Pechstein, M, Europäisches Prozeßrecht 4th edn (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2011) para 429 ff; Frenz, W and Distelrath, A-M, ‘Klagegegenstand und Klagebefugnis von Individualnichtigkeitsklagen nach Art. 263 IV AEUV’ (2010) Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht 162, 165; similarly also H-J Rabe, ‘Zur Metamorphose des Europäischen Verfassungsvertrags’ (2007) Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 3153, 3157 and also E Pache and F Rösch, ‘Der Vertrag von Lissabon’ (2008) Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht 473, 478. For a similar point of view see Balthasar, above n 17, 542 ff.

25 An instructive overview concerning ‘delegated legislation’ according to the English common law is provided by Pünder, H, ‘Democratic Legitimation of Delegated Legislation—A Comparative View on the American, British and German law’ (2009) ICLQ 353, 365; cf for the common law differentiation between delegated legislation and primary legislation McHarg, A, ‘What is Delegated Legislation?’ (2006) Public Law 539, 555.

26 This approach is favoured by the competing opinions within the German academic literature which consider delegated subordinate legislative measures as such with a regulatory character. This opinion is likewise based on similarities in the wording of Art 263(4) TFEU and the German domestic term for the equivalent of an English common law regulation, cf Hatje, A and Kindt, A, ‘Der Vertrag von Lissabon—Europa endlich in guter Verfassung?’ (2008) Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 1761, 1767; M Schröder, ‘Neuerungen im Rechtsschutz der Europäischen Union durch den Vetrag von Lissabon’ (2009) Die Öffentliche Verwaltung 61, 63 ff; A Thiele, ‘Das Rechtsschutzsystem nach dem Vertrag von Lissabon—(K)ein Schritt nach vorn?’ (2010) Europarecht 30, 43 ff; Harrasch, A et al, EuropaR 7th edn (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2010) para 517 ; Streinz, R et al, Der Vertrag von Lissabon zur Reform der EU 2nd edn (Munich, Beck, 2008) 94 ; Wegener, B, in Müller-Graff, P-C and Scheuing, D (eds), Gemeinschaftsgerichtsbarkeit und Rechtsstaatlichkeit Europarecht Beiheft, issue 3 (Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2008) 45 and 51; Oppermann, T and others, Europarecht 4th edn (Munich, Beck, 2009) § 14, para 61, who merely considers measures under Art 290 TFEU to be covered; see for as similar approach Claasen, CD, ‘Effektive und kohärente Justizgewährleistung im europäischen Rechtsschutzverbund’ (2006) Juristen-Zeitung 157, 160. For a marginally different approach cf W Cremer in Calliess and Ruffert n 3 above, Art 263 AEUV, para 68.

27 Confusingly, these acts are called ‘non-legislative acts’ according to the new terminology of the Treaty of Lisbon (see Arts 290(1) and 289(3) TFEU).

28 See generally for the legal characteristics of Acts with Arts 290 or 291 TFEU as a legal basis, Driessen, B, ‘Delegated Legislation after the Treaty of Lisbon: An Analysis of Art 290 TFEU’ (2010) EL Rev 837, 841 ff.

29 See for a similar approach Türk, A, Judicial Review in EU Law 1st edn (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) 168 ff.

30 German: ‘Inhalt, Zweck, Ausmaß’, cf Art 80(1) Grundgesetz.

31 Cf especially Art 290(1), subpara 2 TFEU: ‘The objectives, content, scope and duration of the delegation of power shall be explicitly defined in the legislative acts. The essential elements of an area shall be reserved for the legislative act and accordingly shall not be the subject of a delegation of power.’

32 Other commentators try to find a distinction in contrast to legislative acts in the sense of Art 289(3) TFEU and come to a similar solution which also covers Arts 290 and 291 TFEU, cf Hatje and Kindt, above n 27, 1761, 1767; Cremer, W, ‘Zum Rechtsschutz des Einzelnen gegen abgeleitetes Unionsrecht nach dem Vertrag von Lissabon’ (2010) Die Öffentliche Verwaltung 58 ; Schröder, above n 26, 61, 63; Thiele, above n 26, 30, 43; Streinz, R and others, Der Vertrag von Lissabon zur Reform der EU 2nd edn (Munich, Beck, 2008) 94 .

33 Cf also Barents, R, ‘The Court of Justice after the Treaty of Lisbon’ (2010) Common Market Law Review 708, 726; Lock, above n 11, 777, 789; Hartley, T, The Foundations of European Union Law 7th edn (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010) 387 .

34 Cf Hatje and Kindt, above n 27, 1761, 1767 who consider Arts 290 and 291 TFEU merely to be the main category of regulatory acts. Cf also Thiele, above n 26, 30, 44, who also favours a slightly broader approach.

35 These acts are issued by the government.

36 These acts are issued by a ministry or a central administrative authority.

37 The Slovenian term for secondary legislation would be ‘podzakonski akti’. Legislation in form of an ‘uredba’ can be compared with regulations in the sense of the British common law.

38 Cf for the limits of grammatical interpretation Pötters, S and Christensen, R, ‘Richtlinienkonforme Rechtsfortbildung und Wortlautgrenze’ (2011) JuristenZeitung 387 ; the application of the different methods of interpretation in EU law is illustrated in Case C-292/82, Merck [1983] ECR 3781.

39 Despite the above mentioned facts some German commentators still try to draw historical conclusions in favour of a broader understanding, cf Pechstein, M, EU Prozeßrecht 4th edn (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2011) para 412 ff; Görlitz and Kubicki, above n 24, 248.

40 See Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (CONV 850/03), Brussels, 18 March 2003.

41 Cf Dashwood, A and Johnston, A, ‘The Institutions of the Enlarged EU under the Regime of the Constitutional Treaty’ (2004) CML Rev 1481, 1507 ff; Lock, above n 11, 777, 788; Koch, C, ‘Locus Standi of Private Applicants under the EU Constitution: Preserving Gaps in the Protection of Individuals’ Right to an Effective Remedy’ (2005) EL Rev 511, 520; Türk, A, Judicial Review 1st edn (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2009) 168 ff; Cremer, above n 32, 58, 62.

42 Cf Fredrikson, H, ‘Individualklagemöglichkeiten vor den Gerichten der EU nach dem Vertrag über eine Verfassung von Europa’ (2005) Zeitschrift für europarechtliche Studien 99, 118.

43 See Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (CONV 850/03), Brussels, 18 March 2003, Art 32(1)(1).

44 Cf Fredrikson, above n 42, 99, 118.

45 Cf for a similar approach Lenaerts, K, ‘Le traité de Lisbonne et la protection juridiction nelle des particuliers en droit de l’Union’ (2009) 45 Cahiers de Droit Européen 711, 725–27.

46 Cf Albors-Llorens, A, ‘The Standing of Private Parties to Challenge Community Measures: Has the European Community Missed the Boat?’ (2003) CLJ 72, 74 ff.

47 Cf Craig and de Burca, above n 3, 73; the CJEU seems to be even more restrictive in employing the travaux preparatoire when historical arguments are not included in the recitals of a directive or a regulation, cf Case 38/69 Commission v Italy [1970] ECR 47, para 12.

48 A similar point of view is held by Balthasar, above n 17, 542, 544; cf also Gardiner, , Treaty Interpretation 1st edn (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008) 306 ff.

49 Cf Craig and de Burca, above n 4, 73; cf also Case 2/74 Reyners [1974] ECR 631.

50 Cf Balthasar, above n 17, 542, 546.

51 See Lock, above n 11, 777, 789.

52 Similarly Kaczorowska, A, European Union Law 2nd edn (Abingdon, Routledge-Cavendish, 2011) 439 ; the same result is concluded by Harrasch et al, above n 26, para 517; Streinz, R and others, Der Vertrag von Lissabon zur Reform der EU 2nd edn (Munich, Beck, 2008) 94 .

53 The legislative acts in a formal sense are defined by Art 289(3) TFEU.

54 Weatherill, S, EU Law 9th edn (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010) 222 reaches the conclusion that the existence of the second limb of Art 263(4) TFEU (‘does not entail implementing measures’) also constitutes an argument against an extensive interpretation. This is supposed to be the case because regulations in the sense of Art 288(1) TFEU would never entail an implementation. The meaning of the second limb of Art 263(4) TFEU will be elaborated in s III of this chapter.

55 Moreover Kaczorowska, above n 53, 440 is of the opinion that the distinction between legislative acts (Art 289(3) TFEU) and other acts also points into the direction of a narrow interpretation; a similar argumentation can be seen in Cremer, above n 32, 58, 62.

56 See also Barents, R, ‘The Court of Justice after the Treaty of Lisbon’ (2010) CML Rev 708, 725.

57 E Biernat, Jean Monnet Working Paper 12/03, 52 is of the opinion that the introduction of the new legal term ‘regulatory acts’ reflects the creation of a hierarchical structure according to which legislative acts are positioned at the top and consequently should not be easily challengeable.

58 Craig is also of the opinion that the Treaty of Lisbon created a new hierarchy of norms, cf Craig, P, ‘The ECJ and Ultra Vires Action, A Conceptual Analysis’ (2011) CML Rev 395, 427.

59 The right to an effective remedy had already been recognised as a general principle before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in its decision in Case 222/84 Johnston [1986] ECR 1651; see also Cases 67/85 et al, Van der Kooy et al [1988] ECR 219, para 14; Case C-50/00 P above n 10, para 39; Case C-131/03 Reynolds Tobacco et al [2006] ECR I-7795, paras 121 ff.; Case C-432/05 Unibet [2007] ECR I-2271, para 37.

60 See Everling, above n 24, 572, 574; cf also Balthasar, above n 17, 542, 546; W Frenz and A-M Distelrath, ‘Klagegegenstand und Klagebefugnis von Individualnichtigkeitsklagen nach Art 263 IV AEUV’ (2010) Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht 162, 165; Pechstein, M, EU-Prozessrecht 4th edn (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2011) paras 412 ff, 431 ; Görlitz, N and Kubicki, P, ‘Rechtsakte “mit schwierigem Charakter”’ (2011) Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht 248 ; Kottmann, above n 24, 547, 561 ff; Pernice, I, ‘Die Zukunft der Unionsgerichtsbarkeit’ (2011) Europarecht 151 .

61 Case C-50/00 P, above n 10, para 42; cf M Schröder, ‘Neuerungen im Rechtsschutz der Europäischen Union durch den Vertrag von Lissabon’ (2009) Die Öffentliche Verwaltung 61, 64.

62 See for a critical analysis of this system Dashwood and Johnston, n 41 above, 1481, 1507.

63 Cf Lenaerts, above n 15, 255, 265: ‘The duties of national judges as “juge de l’Union” regarding the interpretation and application of EU law continue to be part and parcel of the “acquis de l’Union”. In fact, new specific Treaty provisions highlight the importance of the role of national judges in ensuring effective judicial protection of EU rights.’

64 See the ‘Final report of the discussion circle on the Court of Justice’ (CONV 636/03), Brussels, 25 March 2003, para 23: ‘a change merely of wording, not changing the scope of the fourth paragraph of Article 230 … These amendments reflect the case-law of the Court’; cf Case C-309/89 Codorniu [1994] ECR I-1853; cf also Cremer, above n 32, 58, 60; Thiele, above n 26, 30, 41 ff; a different opinion is expressed by Kottmann, M, ‘Plaumanns Ende: Ein Vorschlag zu Art. 263 Abs. 4 AEUV’ (2010) Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht 547, 557.

65 See the ‘Explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights’ (2007/C 303/02), OJ C 303/17, Explanation on Art 47. According to Art 52(7) CFREU, those explanations have to be taken into account when interpreting the Charter.

66 Cf also Case C-50/00 P above n 10, para 44; Case C-263/02 Jégo-Quéré [2004] ECR I-3425, para 36; Case C-260/05 Sniace [2007] ECR I-10005, para 64.

67 Cf also the ‘Final report of Working Group IX on Simplification’ (CONV 424/02), Brussels, 29 November 2002, para 205.

68 Similar practical concerns are also raised by Kaczorowska, above n 52, 439.

69 Cf also the ‘Final report of Working Group IX on Simplification’ (CONV 424/02), Brussels, 29 November 2002, para 205.

70 Cf Lenaerts, above n 15, 711, 726.

71 This view is shared by Chalmers, D and others, European Union Law 2nd edn (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010) 415 .

72 The EU Reg 182/2011 lays down the rules that govern comitology and also concerns mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers. This new regulation repeals the former Decision 1999/468/EC and thus abolishes the so-called regulatory procedure with scrutiny (Art 5a Decision 1999/468/EC). The new rules only contain a very limited right of scrutiny for the Parliament and the Council (Art 11 Reg 182/2011).

73 Cf Kaczorowska, above n 52, 440; Lenaerts, above n 45, 711, 725; Schwarze, J, ‘The Legal Protection of the Individual against Regulations in EU Law’ (2004) 10 European Public Law 285, 288 ff.

74 See Lenaerts, ibid, 711, 726.

75 This may either be common legislation enacted by the parliament or the Grundgesetz (ie the German Constitution) itself.

76 See Cremer, above n 32, 58, 62 ff; Thiele, above n 26, 30, 44; Hatje and Kindt, above n 26, 1761, 1767.

77 See Vedder, H, ‘The Treaty of Lisbon and European environmental law and policy’ (2010) Journal of Environmental Law 285, 296: ‘equally gnomic’; for a comprehensive analysis see Mariatte, F, in Simon, D (ed), Contentieux de l’Union européene (Paris, Lamy Wolters Kluwer, 2011) 130 ff.

78 Cf Case 5/88 Wachauf v Bundesamt für Ernährung und Forstwirtschaft [1989] ECR 2609.

79 The CJEU’s wide approach in relation to the scope of Union law is reflected in Case C-555/07 Kücükdeveci [2010] 2 CMLR 33; cf Pötters, S and Traut, J, ‘Eskalation oder Burgfrieden: Mangold vor dem BVerfG’ (2010) ZESAR 267 .

80 Cf Semmelmann, C, ‘The European Union’s economic constitution under the Lisbon Treaty’ (2010) EL Rev 516, 526; N Shuibhne, ‘Margins of Appreciation, National Values, Fundamental Rights and EC Free Movement Law’ (2009) EL Rev 230, 242; H Jarass, Grundrechtecharta, 2010, Art 51, para 19; C Grabenwarter, ‘Auf dem Weg in die Grundrec htsgemeinschaft?’ (2004) Europaische Grundrechte-Zeitschrift 564. The explanations to the Charter (2007/C 303/02) also point in this direction. According to Art 52(7) CFREU, those explanations have to be taken into account when interpreting the Charter. This view is not shared, however, by T Kingreen, in Calliess and Ruffert above n 3, Art 51 CFREU, para 16; W Cremer, ‘Der programmierte Verfassungskonflikt: Zur Bindung der Mitgliedstaaten an die Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union nach dem Konventsentwurf für eine Europäische Verfassung’ (2003) Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht 1455.

81 Similarly, Hartley, above n 33, 388.

82 Case T-16/04, Arcelor SA v Parliament and Council not yet reported.

83 Cf Case T-135/96 UEAPME [1998] ECR II-2335; Cases T-172/98 Salamander and others [2000] ECR II-2487.

84 Cf Case C-41/70, International Fruit Company [1971] ECR 411, paras 23 ff; alos see M Borowski, ‘Die Nichtigkeitsklage gem Art 230 Abs. 4 EGV’ (2004) Europarecht 879, 889; Albors-Llorens, A, ‘The Standing of Private Parties to Challenge Community Measures: Has the European Court Missed the Boat?’ (2003) 62 CLJ 72, 74.

85 Cf Case C-113/77 NTN Toyo Bearing Company Ltd and others [1979] ECR 1185; cf also Cremer, above n 32, 58, 64 ff.

86 Cf also Mariatte, F, in Simon, D (ed), Contentieux de l’Union européene (Paris, Lamy Wolters Kluwer, 2011) 131 : ‘Ce serait donc dans l’hypothèse de l’absence de toute mesure nationale d’exécution qui serait principalement visée.’

87 As to the limited value of historical arguments in EU law see above, s II.B.

88 See H Fredriksen, ‘Individualklagemöglichkeiten vor den Gerichten der EU nach dem Vertrag über eine Verfassung für Europa’ (2005) Zeitschrift für europarechtliche Studien 99, 123.

89 Case T-532/08 Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy et al, not yet reported; Case T-539/08 Etimine und Etiproducts, not yet reported; for a comprehensive analysis see Mariatte, above n 77, 137.

90 Case T-532/08 Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy and others, not yet reported, para 70; Case C-60/72 Campogrande [1973] ECR 489, para 4.

91 Case T-526/10 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and others, not yet reported.

92 See Arts 7(1) and 9(1) of Reg 737/2010.

93 However, the parent measure cannot be classified as a regulatory act. The GC recently confirmed this approach in Case T-18/10 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and others, not yet reported, para 56.

94 Case T-34/11, Canon Europa, not yet reported.

95 See Arts 9 and 12 of this Reg.

96 Although this is expressly demanded by Art 290(3) TFEU or Art 291(4) TFEU.

97 As to the increasing importance of the comitology procedure and Arts 290 and 291 TFEU see Barnard, C, The Substantive Law of the EU—The Four Freedoms 3rd edn (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010) 628 ff; cf also Driessen, B, ‘Delegated Legislation after the Treaty of Lisbon: An Analysis of Article 290 TFEU’ (2010) 35 EL Rev 837 .

* We wish to acknowledge the generous support of Catherine Barnard who made us aware of the legal issues in the first place and who generously proposed publishing this article in the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies; furthermore we want to thank Christopher O’Hara, LLM (Cantab), Niamh Dunne, LLM (NYU) and Eitan Kadouri, LLM (Cantab) for their support with proofreading. We would also like to thank Dr Michal Bobek, M Juris (Oxford) for helping us with the interpretation of the Czech version of the TFEU.

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