The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact

By Andreas Staab | Go to book overview

7
The European Court of Justice

Organization

Although not explicitly mentioned in the Treaty of Rome, the ECJ consists of one judge from each member state who are all appointed by their national governments for a six-year term (see Table 7.1). The treaty only mentions that judges must act independently, and past records show that decisions have been reached without national biases. The judges are assisted by eight advocates general who consider cases and give opinions for the Court’s guidance. Judges are free to accept or reject these opinions, but only rarely do they go against them. The positions of judge and advocate general attract the top individuals in their respective fields, usually from the upper echelon of a national judicial hierarchy or from academia. Despite the recent criticism of the EU and its institutions, being a judge at the ECJ in Luxembourg is still regarded as a highly prestigious job.

The duty of the Court is to interpret and apply EU law. To speed up the process, cases need not be decided in plenary sessions (i.e., with all judges present) but can be decided in chambers, with three or five presiding judges. Full plenary sessions are required when a member state or an EU institution is a party in the case and

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The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Acronyms xv
  • Tables xix
  • Part One - The Evolution of the European Union 1
  • 1 - Parameters of European Integration 3
  • 2 - Enlarsement 32
  • Part Two - Institutions 47
  • 3 - The European Commission 49
  • 4 - The European Council 56
  • 5 - The Council of Ministers 61
  • 6 - The European Parliament 67
  • 7 - The European Court of Justice 76
  • 8 - Checks and Balances 84
  • Part Three - Policies 91
  • 9 - The Single Market and Competition 93
  • 10 - Regional Rolicy and Cohesion 106
  • 11 - The Common Agricultural Policy 116
  • 12 - Economic and Monetary Union 128
  • 13 - Justice and Home Affairs 141
  • 14 - Common Foreign and Security Policy 151
  • 15 - Trade and the Common Commercial Policy 161
  • 16 - Environment 171
  • 17 - The Sovereign Debt Crisis in the Eurozone 179
  • Outlook- The Future of European Integration 197
  • Notes 205
  • Bibliosraphy 225
  • Index 229
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