Minimum Harmonisation after Alemo-Herron: The Janus Face of EU Fundamental Rights Review
European Constitutional Law Review, 1/2015 Forthcoming
Posted: 18 Dec 2014 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
Date Written: December 17, 2014
While Alemo-Herron v Parkwood Leisure Ltd (case C-426/11) has obtained much criticism in recent months, one fundamental constitutional question has passed-by unnoticed. In Alemo Herron the Court of Justice expanded the scope of EU fundamental rights review in the field of minimum harmonisation to include, in particular, member states action that goes beyond the EU minimum rules. This expansion of EU fundamental rights review is bound to unsettle the division of powers both horizontally (between the EU institutions) and vertically (between the EU and the member states), and at the same time, perhaps counter-intuitively, poses a significant danger for the level of social and environmental protection in Europe.
Keywords: Minimum Harmonisation, Freedom of Contract, EU Fundamental Rights, Scope of EU Law
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