Judicial Control of the European Communities

By Gerhard Bebr | Go to book overview

10
Supremacy of the Court over Community Matters before Municipal Courts

THE powers of the Member States over their national economics are notably restrained and in specific instances entirely excluded in favour of the Communities.1 The division of competence between the Member States and the Communities is by no means so clear cut and precise as the Court presented it in a recent case.2 Consequently the Treaties create a new and complex relationship between the Community law as represented by the Treaties, acts of the Community organs and the jurisprudence of the Court on the one hand, and the municipal laws of the Member States on the other. Municipal laws are applied along with the Community law; or to be more precise, the Community law is placed as a legal superstructure over municipal laws. Thus the enterprises and individuals are not only directly subject to the Community jurisdiction, but also remain under the jurisdiction of the Member States.3 The Community law operates almost exclusively within the domain of public law,4 the Treaties having conferred practically no powers in the realm of private law.5 This is particularly significant for the ECSC and Euratom. Furthermore, even though the law of the Communities forms an integral part of the municipal

____________________
1
ECSC Treaty e.g. Arts. 14, 44, 54, 65, 66, 92. EEC Treaty e.g. Arts. 14 (7), 43 (2), 49, 87 (1), 94, 187, 192. Euratom Treaty e.g. Arts. 24, 53, para. 1, 47, 59, para. 2 (b), 62, 66, 68, 80, 81, 90, 159, 164.
2
Judgment No. 6/6o ( Humblet c. Etat Belge) 6 Recucil 1127, at p. 1145 ( 1960). The provisions of Art. 16 of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities, which neatly delimits the jurisdiction of the Community Court and the municipal courts, evidently prompted the Court to formulate this generally misleading view.
3
Lagrange, "'La protection juridique des enterprises dans la Communauté Et dans les Etats Membre'", Actes Officiels Vol. 4 ( 1958) 179, at p. 194; see also De Visscher, Le Droit Public de la Communauté Européenne du Charbon et de l' Acier ( 1956) p. 51.
4
See, for example, the conclusions of Advocate-General Lagrange in Affaire No. 1/54 ( Gouvernement de la République Française c. Haute Autorité) I Recueil 35, at p. 60( 1954-55); Krawielicki, das Monopolverbot im Schumanplan ( 1952) at p. 3.
5
See, however, ECSC Treaty, Arts. 65 (4), 66 (5) paras. 2-7; so also Ballerstedt, Übernationale und nationale marktordnung ( 1955) pp. 43-51. EEC Treaty, Art. 85 (2); Euratom Treaty, Arts. 52 (2), 68, 90, 91.

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