Competence and Member State Autonomy: Causality, Consequence and Legitimacy
THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND THE AUTONOMY OF THE MEMBER STATES, Hans W. Micklitz and Bruno de Witte, eds., Forthcoming
38 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2009
Date Written: September 16, 2009
The scope of EU competence and the limits on Member State autonomy can validly be analyzed from a variety of perspectives. This chapter considers one such perspective, the prevailing concern about the scope and exercise of EU competence. This concern is often based on the premise that some reified entity called the EU has increasingly arrogated power, with a consequent diminution of national autonomy that the Member States have been unable to resist, and the ECJ is frequently regarded as bearing primary responsibility. It will however be argued in the first half of this chapter that the Community courts were but one factor out of four responsible for the expansion of EU power over time, and that the Member States themselves were equally important. This in turn raises interesting questions as to why Member States accepted and contributed to the expansion of EU competence, which is addressed in the second half of the chapter.
Keywords: competence, autonomy, legitimacy, judicial activism
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