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In exploring supremacy, this chapter aims to explain how the EEC became a new form of international organisation, or a supranational organisation, the only one of its kind. It will discuss the development of a supranational polity with strong independent powers and the establishment of founding principles which are key to the autonomy of the EU as we know it today. It will also highlight the attitudes of the member states. The chapter begins with a summary of the seminal case, van Gend en Loos. This case is often discussed as a revolution in EU law but recent research suggests that this decision was in fact the culmination of a gradual change in the opinion of legal scholars on how EU law should operate. The case will serve as a launch pad into discussion of the controversies that continue to give rise to lively debate on EU law and European integration. While exploring the facets of the concept, the chapter will intertwine debates about the legislative and judicial dimensions. It will also consider the theoretical and practical legal and political challenges to which it has given rise. The chapter will end with consideration of why supremacy was accepted.
This chapter explores the key policy and law-making institutions in the EU – the European Parliament (the EP), the European Council (the EC), the Council of Ministers (the Council) and the European Commission (the Commission). The elements of the exploration will be taken from Article 13(2) TEU, where each institution is mandated to act ‘within the limits of the powers conferred on it in the Treaties, and in conformity with the procedures, conditions and objectives set out in them’. The chapter will outline the powers: what authority does each institution have, for what functions and how is it exercised? It will discuss their composition and identify supervisory relationships between the institutions.
Is there any point in a body of law providing rights that cannot be accessed by individuals? If a prohibition needs a procedure to make it effective in practice, this was the job for which direct effect was originally introduced. This chapter will consider the application of direct effect to primary and secondary Union law. It will only explore binding EU law – it was clearly stated in Grimaldi that recommendations and opinions could not have direct effect as they are not binding. This prevented Mr Grimaldi from relying upon two Commission recommendations which dealt with occupational diseases. Although the recommendations recognised his particular malady, the Belgian Occupational Diseases Fund did not, with the consequence that he was unable to receive compensation. The recommendations were deemed to be clear, unconditional and precise, but it is clear from the wording in Article 288 TFEU that these are not binding. The CJ therefore decided that the recommendations did not create rights upon which individuals may rely before a national court.
The scope of EU law is not to be underestimated: in 2010, the acquis consisted of around 8,400 regulations and nearly 2,000 directives in addition to the primary law in the Treaties. These measures are no longer limited to economic issues but now also include instruments regulating health and safety, discrimination, criminal justice, as well as migration and asylum. Since 1992, Justice and Home Affairs matters have been coordinated in the EU and the Lisbon Treaty fully incorporated all issues related to these themes. Policing is thus now an EU competence, although these matters for now remain beyond the scope of the CJEU. This chapter will explore the methods to oversee the application and enforcement of EU law. In 1957, enforcement was predominantly the responsibility of the Commission as ‘guardian’ of the Treaties, supported by the threat of litigation before the CJEU.
The European Union introduced ‘European Union citizenship’ in 1992. European Union citizens hold a citizenship that is linked to national citizenship. It is the only form of citizenship in the world that is acquired automatically by those who are nationals of a member state. Citizenship is complex and varied – some countries allow dual citizenship while others do not; individuals can change their citizenship or renounce it but states may not arbitrarily deprive a citizen of this status. As the EU is not a nation state, EU citizenship does not give Union citizens dual nationality. This chapter will explore the character of EU citizenship and the substance of the rights associated with it. EU citizenship may have been the idea that drove a wedge between the UK and the EU resulting in Brexit. A key question is whether it can be given enough substance to act as a ‘glue’ and bind the nationals in the twenty-seven EU member states. Furthermore, what is its value – is it an ‘inviolable’ status, giving rise to rights that exist regardless of any economic activity?
The essence of a human right is that it is afforded immediate protection, even if this protection is not absolute. Rights are ‘fundamental’ because their existence is not open to dispute, negotiation or compromise, although their substance is subject to interpretation. Rights are anchored in law and they underwrite legal as well as political action. Despite their interaction, human rights should not be equated with human rights law. This chapter will explore the appearance and evolution of human rights in EU law, paying particular attention to five themes: the history and systematisation of human rights in EU law; their initial appearance in EU law via adjudication rather than political deliberation; the relationship between general principles, fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights in EU law; the use of fundamental rights in EU law, in particular the scope of judicial review by the CJEU; and accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the busiest court in the world. The second edition of this textbook explores why this is. It examines in detail the interactions between European Union and national institutions, instruments, laws and concepts that make up this unique legal order. It explains the core constitutional and substantive principles that underpin the European Union legal order, and introduces EU law in a detailed, comprehensive way which is both enjoyable and clear to read. It offers an up-to-date and accessible analysis of EU law and avoids technical jargon, providing informed insights on an exciting but challenging subject. Combining a historical perspective with up-to-date examples, it aims to help students appreciate how EU law developed and its continued significance in day-to-day life. This updated edition features new coverage on free movement, online resources plus additional chapters on Article 50 and EU law in the UK after Brexit.
This chapter will explore and provide a background to European integration, from the creation of the ECSC and the European Economic Community (EEC or the ‘Community’) to its evolution into the present-day European Union (EU) and EEA. Klaus Patel describes the EEC as ‘a fragile latecomer in an already densely populated field of international organisations’. It covers, first, patterns of post-war regional cooperation, of which the EEC/EU is just one example; second, the enlargement of the EEC, which saw it grow from six members in 1957 to an EU of twenty-eight member states in 2013; third, the process of Treaty reform and development from the Treaty of Rome in 1957 to the Rome Declaration in 2017 and the Future of Europe conference in 2021; and fourth, Brexit or the British exit from the European Union, taking it to twenty-seven member states.