Striking a Balance of Power between the Court of Justice and the EU Legislature: The Law on Competition Damages Actions as a Paradigm
European Law Review, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp. 837-857, 2018
22 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2018 Last revised: 27 Nov 2019
Date Written: August 6, 2018
The framework of EU law on cartel damages actions consists in part of rules established by the ECJ based on arts 101 and 102 TFEU in conjunction with the principle of effectiveness. These rules are an integral part of EU primary law. The notion of institutional balance, however, requires the Court to consider its own inherent limits on democratic legitimacy, accountability and expertise. In particular, the Court has to ensure that adequate scope remains for the EU legislature to exercise its legislative power pursuant to art.103 TFEU. It is argued that the ECJ has disregarded these restrictions and overstretched the principle of effectiveness–for instance, in its adjudication on liability for umbrella pricing and on access to leniency files, respectively. Consequently, the EU legislature must not consider itself bound by these standards.
Keywords: Institutional balance; Principle of effectiveness; Democratic legitimacy; EU competition damages law; Courage v Crehan; Directive 2014/104; Access to leniency documents
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