Sources of European Law
3.) Rulings / Landmark cases
a.) Van Gend & Loos (26/62) landmark case, about the right to use EU law in & by national courts – i.e. direct effect
By creating the EC – the member states have created an supranational order + power to make laws, these laws come down again to MS’s: EU law prevails over national law!
a.) Regulation – binding in its entirety, and directly applicable in all member states
Regulation --> EU-Citizen (Ignoring Member States)
b.) Directive – binding as to the result to be achieved, leave to the national authorities the choice of form and method. (Also known as Harmonization law) Not directly applicable
Directive --> Member States --> EU-Citizen
c.) Decision – binding in its entirety, specifies those to whom it is addressed shall be binding only to them.
a+b+c= “hard law”
d+e = “soft law”
…means that the measure automatically becomes law in each Member States on the date specified. The consequence of this is that there is no requirement for the state to implement the measure.
Subsidiarity principle – Decisions should be taken as closely to the citizen as possible
Proportionality principle – All decisions should be based on proportional means
Legal certainty – Predictability of ruling
Principle of Direct effect – enforceable of EU law in / by national courts (enables individuals to immediately invoke European law before courts)
Principle of Equality – The concept of equal treatment or non-discrimination
Natural Justice – The ECJ has on occasions referred to it simply as « fairness ». It consists of the right of being heard and the right of a fair and unbiased hearing.
Protection of Human Rights
Pillar 1: it represents all of the common provisions of the existing Community and while these are widened as above includes also all of the objectives of the original treaties. It also set out the basic aims of the newly formed union.
Pillar 2: Concerns adoption of a common foreign and security policy. The general obligation on Member States was one of “loyalty and mutual solidarity and to refrain from any action contrary to those objectives”. Any actions taken would be on the basis of a unanimous vote in Council.
Pillar 3: Cooperation in justice and home affaires
It concerns sensitive issues like immigration and asylum seeking.
→Pillar 2 and 3 were beyond legal scope and not legally enforceable.
is a treaty to which three or more sovereign states are parties
French expression for all the law in “Europe”
A bundle of legislation which have to be adopted by a country/future member states