Presentation on theme: "Methods of governance. The « community » method Initiative of the Commission Majority voting in the Council Participation of the Parliament (co-decision)"— Presentation transcript:
The « community » method Initiative of the Commission Majority voting in the Council Participation of the Parliament (co-decision)
Major aspects of the « Community method » the integrative institution (Commission) is a key actor Inter-governmentalism is limited
Outcome of the law making process -Binding norms Regulations Directives Decisions - Recommendations
Evolution Two dimensions: - Greater powers of the Council & European Council (very visible in the Lisbon Treaty) - Unanimity remains in some fields (former second and third pillars)
New governance & better law making -Less regulation - More soft law Open Method of Coordination Self and Co-regulation
EU Courts The Court of Justice of the European Union(Luxembourg) consists of three courts: - the Court of Justice - the General Court (created in 1988) - the Civil Service Tribunal (created in 2004)
National courts Central role The « ordinary » courts for the application of EU law
References for preliminary rulings = Cooperation with courts of the Member States National courts may, and sometimes must, refer to the Court of Justice and ask it to clarify a point concerning the interpretation of EU law, so that they may ascertain, for example, whether their national legislation complies with that law. Objective : ensure the effective and uniform application of European Union legislation and to prevent divergent interpretations, A reference for a preliminary ruling may also seek thereview of the validity of an act of EU law = references for preliminary rulings allow European citizens to seek clarification of the European Union rules which affect them
Other actions before the Court of Justice 1) Actions for failure to fulfil obligations To determine whether a Member State has fulfilled its obligations under European Union law Before bringing the case before the Court of Justice, the Commission conducts a preliminary procedure in which the Member State concerned is given the opportunity to reply to the complaints addressed to it. If that procedure does not result in the Member State terminating the failure, an action for infringement of EU law may be brought before the Court of Justice. The action may be brought by the Commission - as, in practice, is usually the case - or by a Member State. Possible financial penalty
2) Actions for annulment For annulment of a measure (a regulation, directive or decision…) adopted by an institution Exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Justice over actions brought by a Member State against the European Parliament and/or against the Council (apart from Council measures in respect of State aid, dumping and implementing powers) or brought by one European Union institution against another The General Court has jurisdiction, at first instance, in all other actions of this type and particularly in actions brought by individuals.
3) Actions for failure to act Review on the lawfulness of the failure of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the European Union to act Action may be brought only after the institution concerned has been called on to act. Jurisdiction to hear actions for failure to act is shared between the Court of Justice and the General Court according to the same criteria as for actions for annulment.
European Federalim Supremacy & direct effect Subsidiarity & proportionality
Supremacy & direct effect In case of conflict with national law, EU law prevails All national court must give precedence to EU law, even in case of conflict with the Constitution Solutions derived from two landmark cases (cases Costa. ENEL, 1964 and Van Gend en Loos, 1963)
Subsidiarity Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union = Decisions to be taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that constant checks are made to verify that action at Union level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level = the Union does not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence), unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level See: Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. Requires the principle of subsidiarity must be respected in all draft legislative acts and allows national parliaments to object to a proposal on the grounds that it breaches the principle
Consequences of National Parliament objections if one third of national parliaments consider that the proposal is not in line with subsidiarity, the Commission will have to re-examine it and decide whether to maintain, adjust or withdraw it if a majority of national parliaments agrees with the objection but the Commission decides to maintain its proposal anyway, the Commission will have to explain its reasons, and it will be up to the European Parliament and the Council to decide whether or not to continue the legislative procedure.
Proportionality Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. See also : Protocol (No 2) on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality annexed to the Treaties. Objective : set actions taken by the institutions of the Union within specified bounds. = the involvement of the institutions must be limited to what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties. In other words, the content and form of the action must be in keeping with the aim pursued.