Table of Contents

Research Handbook on EU Institutional Law

Research Handbook on EU Institutional Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Adam Lazowski and Steven Blockmans

Research Handbook on EU Institutional Law offers a critical look into the European Union: its legal foundations, competences and institutions. It provides an analysis of the EU legal system, its application at the national level and the prevalent role of the Court of Justice. Throughout the course of the Handbook the expert contributors discuss whether the European Union is well equipped for the 21st century and the numerous crises it has to handle. They revisit the call for an EU reform made in the Laeken Conclusions in 2001 to verify if its objectives have been achieved by the Treaty of Lisbon and in daily practice of the EU institutions. The book also delves into the concept of a Europe of different speeds, which - according to some - is inevitable in the EU comprising 28 Member States. Overall, the assessment of the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty is positive, even if there are plenty of suggestions for further reforms to re-fit the EU for purpose.


Adam Łazowski and Steven Blockmans

Subjects: law - academic, european law


The Lisbon Treaty marks a watershed in the European integration process. With the ink still wet after having signed off on a decade of institutional reform negotiations, the EU was severely hit by the deepest global financial and economic crisis since the end of the Second World War. At the time, the European Union’s ‘obsession with restructuring its internal arrangements’ was famously compared to ‘rearranging the deck chairs of a sinking Titanic’. In view of the multiple challenges which have plagued the European Union since – the Greek debt crisis, an unstable neighbourhood, propelling waves of refugees, and the spectre of a British exit from the EU (‘Brexit’) – one wonders whether the EU's institutional reform still stands the test of time. Seven years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and with no further treaty revision in sight, it is worth revisiting the existential call for EU reform made by the 2001 European Council Summit at Laeken in order to verify if the current institutional framework is fit for purpose. This is the overarching aim of this volume.