The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact

By Andreas Staab | Go to book overview

8
Checks and Balances

Checks on the European Court of Justice

Once in place, a court should be able to rule and act as independently as possible in interpreting and applying law. Throughout the ECJ’s existence its judges in Luxembourg operated quietly outside the political limelight of Brussels. Granted, legal wrangles have occurred with national supreme courts that often criticized the establishment of a superior European legal order by the ECJ’s case law, but, from an institutional perspective, no political player in the EU has ever questioned the authority of the ECJ. Given that every member state has to appoint one judge, one could assume that rulings tend to be in line with the national backgrounds of the judges. But past experience yields the overwhelming impression that judges do not vote in line with any political objectives of their member state governments. The ECJ, therefore, can be described as a beacon of judicial independence and, as such, gives great credit to the European project.

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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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