Preliminary Rulings in Internal Affairs: A Framework for Analysis
European Integration Studies - Miskolc, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 3-18, 2008
17 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 14, 2009
In the last two decades the European Court of Justice always faced serious admissibility questions in such cases where the national courts made references for the interpretation of Community rules that were made applicable by the national legislations to purely internal situations not envisaged by the Community law itself. Since the landmark decision of Dzodzi, the Court has applied at least four different standards for assessing the admissibility of the reference in such cases. The ETI case, which has been recently one of the most complex preliminary ruling procedure with regard to admissibility problems arisen in Dzodzi-like situations since the BIAO ruling, reveals some of the methods by which the domestic rules link Community rules to internal situations.
Starting from ETI, an analysis is offered to make distinction between references (to Community law) and other forms of connecting factors between Community law and internal affairs. Six case patterns are identified in the Court's Dzodzi case-law in terms of these connecting factors. Distinguishing these patterns constitutes appropriate framework for the analysis of future cases and for assessing the Court's approaches to admissibility problems which such cases may bring out.
Keywords: European Court of Justice, preliminary ruling procedure, Dzodzi line of cases, Guimont, Leur-Bloem, reverse discrimination
JEL Classification: K33, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation