European Law Beyond ‘Ever Closer Union’ Repositioning the Concept, its Thrust and the ECJ's Comparative Methodology
20 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016
Date Written: July 2016
The article investigates competing understandings of European law. It supports, against the prevailing EU‐centred understanding, an ecumenical concept that embraces EU law, supplementing international instruments, the European Convention on Human Rights and, importantly, various domestic laws enacting or responding to such transnational law, as well as European comparative law. To keep the concept in sync with European politics, it posits a new idea that binds the parts together: to provide for a European legal space rather than further European integration (the ever closer union). This idea can also serve as European law's functional equivalent to forming one legal order. European law thus conceived grasps the puzzling complex of interdependent legal orders, sets a common frame for corresponding reconstructions (European composite constructions, legal pluralism, network theories, federalism or intergovernmentalism) and allows forces with diverging outlooks to meet in one legal field, on one more neutral disciplinary platform. Within this framework, European comparative law finds a new mission as well as a sound legal basis.
Keywords: European law, European integration, ever closer union, transformation of Europe, legal space, legal order, European comparative law, comparative studies in the Court of Justice of the European Union
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