7 European Union 28 Member States (year of entry) Austria (1995)Hungary (2004)Slovenia (2004)Belgium (1952)Ireland (1973)Spain (1986)Bulgaria (2007)Italy (1952)Sweden (1995)Croatia (2013)Latvia (2004)United Kingdom (1973)Cyprus (2004)Lithuania (2004)Czech Republic (2004)Luxembourg (1952)Denmark (1973)Malta (2004)Estonia (2004)Netherlands (1952)Finland (1995)Poland (2004)France (1952)Portugal (1986)Germany (1952)Romania (2007)Greece (1981)Slovakia (2004)European Parliament – Legislative body consisting of directly elected MEPsEuropean Council consists of heads of State or Government in each of the Member States and determines the general political direction and priorities of the EUEuropean Commission – Drafts proposals for EU laws and manages implementation of EU policiesCourt of Justice – interprets EU law and settles disputes between EU governments, EU institutions and individuals.
9 REGULATIONS & DIRECTIVES The Sources of EU LawThere is a hierarchy of law in the EU, when making a case you always want to cite the strongest sources of law. Here is an overview of the hierarchy:Note that EU law is supreme in domestic legal systems. In the UK, the European Communities Act 1972 established this.TREATIESREGULATIONS & DIRECTIVESCASELAW
10 The Lisbon TreatyAt the top of the hierarchy of EU law there are three treaties (known together as the Lisbon Treaty):Treaty on European Union (TEU) – broad principles and institutional frameworkTreaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU or TOFU) – nuts and bolts of competence and lawmakingCharter of Fundamental Rights – contains rights and principles of a justiciable character (but there is a Protocol limiting this for the UK, currently at issue in litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union)
11 Application of the Charter Article 51Scope1. The provisions of this Charter are addressed to the institutions and bodies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. They shall therefore respect the rights, observe the principles and promote the application thereof in accordance with their respective powers.2. This Charter does not establish any new power or task for the Community or the Union, or modify powers and tasks defined by the Treaties.This means that the Charter can only be used when the UK is applying existing European Union law.The Court of Justice recently took a very restrictive view on what this means. Case C-87/12 Ymerga, paras
12 Direct Effect of Treaty Articles It is possible for Treaty articles to have direct effect, that is, to create legally binding obligations. The article must be clear, precise, unconditional, and capable of giving rights (Van Gend, C-23/62).Some key terms:Vertical direct effect: creates obligations on the states vis-à-vis individuals.Horizontal direct effect: creates obligations between individuals.
13 Do Directives Have Direct Effect? A provision of a Directive can have direct effect if the provision is clear and precise, unconditional, and the deadline for implementation has passed. In that case, the Directive has direct effect vis-à-vis the Member State or an emanation of the Member State. For more about these, see Grad (C-9/70), Ratti (C-148/78), and Marshall (C-152/84).The important point is that direct effect is only vertical: you cannot rely on a Directive alone to enforce obligations against individuals.
16 Who Are EEA Nationals? Nationals of these countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, SwitzerlandThe UK is not included!*A8 countries are underlinedA2 countries are hyphen-underlined*There are exceptions, but these are very specific and don’t apply in general circumstances
17 A8 & A2 Nationals A8 – Joined in 2004 Czech Republic Lithuania Poland EstoniaSlovakiaHungarySloveniaLatviaA2 – Joined in 2007RomaniaBulgaria
18 Basic Residence Rights Any EEA national has the right to move to and reside in the UK for up to three monthsAt the end of three months – in order to live here legally – EEA nationals must exercise “treaty rights”Includes part-time work (as little as 10 hours a week)EG. full-time or part-time work with a contract of employmentWORKINGWorking for yourself (even part-time)EG. Starting your own cleaning businessSELF-EMPLOYEDBeing so rich you don’t need to workEG. millionaires and their familiesSELF-SUFFICIENTEnrolled in full-time or part-time studies that require location in UKSTUDYINGTREATY RIGHTSAfter five years of legally living in the UK whilst exercising treaty rights (with some exceptions), EEA nationals can apply for permanent residence
20 Three Ways Litigation in UK Courts and Tribunals References to the Court of Justice for the European UnionInfringement proceedings
21 Litigation in UK Courts and Tribunals EU law can be relied upon and enforced in domestic courts and tribunals.Rights under Treaties, Regulations and provisions of Directives with direct affect can be directly sought and applied.Directive provisions with indirect affect can be used to argue for an interpretation consistent with the Directive.
22 References to the CJEUArticle 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings concerning: (a) the interpretation of the Treaties; (b) the validity and interpretation of acts of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union; Where such a question is raised before any court or tribunal of a Member State, that court or tribunal may, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to give judgment, request the Court to give a ruling thereon. Where any such question is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law, that court or tribunal shall bring the matter before the Court.
23 Process for a Reference Referral can be requested by one of the parties in the case, however decision to refer remains with the Court or Tribunal (other than Court from which there is no appeal)CJEU only rules on the questions that are referred – the national court remains competent in the original cases.Decision of the CJEU is binding not only on the referring national court but on all national courts.
24 Infringement Proceedings Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU: If the Commission considers that a Member State has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties, it shall deliver a reasoned opinion on the matter after giving the State concerned the opportunity to submit its observations. If the State concerned does not comply with the opinion within the period laid down by the Commission, the latter may bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union
25 Infringement Proceedings Process Very long processBegins with a complaint to the European Commission.If Commission agrees with complaint, State given formal notice and opportunity to submit observations.European Commission gives a “reasoned opinion”If State fails to comply, may be brought before the CJEU
27 EU Law Quiz What countries make up the A8 states? How is the Council of Europe different from the EU?Can the Commission investigate the way Belarus implements law?What are the four ways you can exercise “treaty rights?”Name two differences between Regulations & DirectivesWhich EU Institution investigates whether states infringed the rights of citizens by failing in their treaty obligations?
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