8
Rules and the European Union

Using rules for the purposes of domestic government gives rise to a host of difficult issues, as has been seen in previous chapters. A further set of questions is posed by governing at the European level. There is an array of rule-types that can be employed in pursuit of Union1 objectives and choosing between different kinds of rule requires that a number of judgements be made by European rule-makers and domestic officials. Such choices, in turn, give rise to questions of legitimacy.

This chapter looks at the variety of Community rules and their legal effects. It considers issues of rule selection and enforcement in the Community and assesses the legitimacy of Community rules when judged according to the bench-marks discussed in Chapter 3.


I: THE ARRAY OF EUROPEAN RULES

As with domestic governmental rules, it is possible to divide Community rules into those of primary, secondary, and tertiary type and attention here will again focus on secondary and tertiary rules.2

____________________
1
The European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 gives effect to the Maastricht Treaty -- the Treaty on European Union (TEU) -- in domestic legislation. This chapter accordingly follows present convention by referring to the 'Union' when speaking in the most general terms but to the 'Community' or 'EC' in the context of the legal system, legal provisions, rules and institutions other than the Council. On the 1993 Act see P. Beaumont, European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 ( 1993).
2
See generally e.g. D. Lasok and J. Bridge, Law and Institutions of the European Union, 6th edn. ( 1994), ch. 5; S. Weatherill, Cases and Materials on EEC Law ( 1992), chs. 1-3, 16. This chapter is concerned with Community enacted law and accordingly does not discuss non-enacted Community law or international agreements as sources of Community law. Non-enacted Community law is made up of the 'general principles of law' or the 'common law' of the Community which has been adopted by the European Court. International agreements have been said to be an 'integral part of Community Law' in Case 181/73, Haegeman v. Belgium [ 1974] ECR 449; but the issues they raise go beyond the scope of this discussion.

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