Private Enforcement of EU Law Before National Courts

Private Enforcement of EU Law Before National Courts

The EU Legislative Framework

Elgar European Law and Practice series

Folkert Wilman

Private Enforcement of EU Law before National Courts successfully illustrates how legal actions brought by private parties can be instrumental in strengthening compliance with EU law. Through a detailed examination of selected EU legislation across the fields of procurement, intellectual property rights, consumer protection, and competition law, Folkert Wilman compares various remedies and procedures in which private parties have been utilised in the redress of grievances under EU law. An essential reference work for practicing lawyers acting before domestic courts in matters of EU Law, this timely publication offers new insights into private enforcement as a supplementary enforcement instrument, and offers clarity on how such a tool impacts on contractual remedies, procedural issues and the role of judicial review.


Folkert Wilman

Subjects: law - academic, constitutional and administrative law, european law, law -professional, european law


With a view to further deepening the understanding of EU legislation facilitating the private enforcement of EU law before national courts, the present penultimate chapter seeks to “take a step back” and assess the concept of private enforcement generally and EU legislation thereon specifically at a more fundamental level. It does so by assessing these matters from two different angles. The first section below focuses on considerations related to effectiveness. While it has already been seen that ensuring effectiveness is an important “driver” behind the EU legislation at issue, it is shown below that the concept of effectiveness in EU law is neither unambiguous nor unproblematic for the present purposes. The second section of this chapter subsequently assesses this legislation from the perspective of the “horizontalisation” of the enforcement of EU law. There it is explained what is meant by this term and what its implications are, particularly at the practical level and in so far as the various relevant fundamental rights are concerned. Considerations related to effectiveness lie in many ways at the heart of the issues discussed in the foregoing chapters. It is explained below that in this context a distinction can be made between two different “expressions” of the principle of effectiveness as it exists in EU law. They often coincide and reinforce each other, but that is not always the case.

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