Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Adam Lazowski and Steven Blockmans
Chapter 15: Liability for breach of EU law by the Union, Member States and individuals: damages, enforcement and effective judicial protection
Liability for breach of EU law by the Union, Member States and individuals is a cornerstone of EU institutional law. Liability for breach of EU law by the Union denotes the action for damages prescribed in Article 268 TFEU and the second paragraph of Article 340 TFEU, which allows parties to bring a case before the Union courts to establish the Union’s non-contractual liability and to obtain compensation for damage caused by unlawful acts or conduct of Union institutions and bodies. Liability for breach of EU law by Member States denotes the principle of State liability proclaimed by the Court of Justice in a long line of case law emanating from the seminal judgments of Francovich, Brasserie and Köbler, which affords protection for individuals against unlawful acts or conduct of national authorities by way of actions for damages adjudicated by the national courts. Liability for breach of EU law by individuals likewise evokes an increasing body of case law of the Court of Justice, starting with Courage and Manfredi, which establishes the right for private parties to bring actions for damages against other private parties (i.e. natural and legal persons) who have infringed directly effective provisions of EU law, so far concerning the EU competition rules.
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