“What would remain of equality between European citizens if certain rules were to apply in member states and not in others? “

The context

The Dutch magistrate Marc van der Woude presides over the Court of the European Union, which judges in first instance, before the Court of Justice of the EU, in Luxembourg, the litigations within the Twenty-Seven, since the law and community institutions are involved.

In a column published in five continental dailies, the judge vehemently criticizes the judgment taken on May 5 by the German Constitutional Court, questioning the vast program of repurchases of sovereign debts set up in the wake of the crisis of the euro by the European Central Bank. This device had however been validated by the European Court of Justice.

For him, this decision is “Wrong”. It is first of all likely to disrupt the legal order and cooperation between the national and European courts, built over the decades. It can also have the consequence of inciting states in delicacy with the rule of law, such as Poland and Hungary, to contest the decisions of European justice.

Grandstand. Echoing the invitation issued on May 9, 1950 by Robert Schuman, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, six states began a unique cooperation project in history. Beginning with an integration of their steel and coal industries, then their internal markets, this project gradually spread to many areas of city life, to give rise to the current European Union.

Despite its crises and setbacks, our Union continues to shine economically, culturally and legally. Its success is largely based on the sharing of common democratic values. Undoubtedly, dialogue, the search for consensus and the rule of law have replaced the games of power and the bloody conflicts of long ago.

This construction owes its unique character in particular to a legal innovation developed in the 1960s by the Court of Justice of the European Communities. This innovation consists in conceiving European cooperation as a pooling of sovereign powers which not only governs relations between states, but which directly confers on their citizens rights and freedoms which they can assert against the authorities national and European.

A model of legal integration

The question of the exact demarcation of the Union’s legal order is naturally complicated, since this order is constantly evolving and interacts with the constitutional orders of the Member States. According to the Treaties, the question of the Union’s competences is governed by the so-called principle of attribution, according to which only the powers effectively attributed to the community by the Member States are exercised at Union level, any unallocated competence being retained by States.

In addition, when the Union exercises the powers thus attributed to it, it must comply with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. These two principles are therefore regulatory principles for the exercise of powers already allocated. Like any other legal order, the legal order of the Union can only function with the assistance of competent courts before which citizens, businesses and public authorities can assert, across the Union and against the Union, their rights under equal conditions.

Workers, investors, tourists, patients and carers, industrialists or service providers, as well as their original authorities, must be convinced that the law is imposed on everyone in the same way in the great area of ​​freedom and security set up by the Union. Here again, the Union offers a unique legal integration model in that it is based not only on the two Union jurisdictions (Court of Justice and Court), but also, and above all, on the jurisdictions of the Member States. . When they operate in areas covered by Union law, they become the guarantors.

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