Edited by Mark Dawson, Bruno De Witte and Elise Muir
Chapter 6: Actively talking to each other: the Court and the political institutions
By its very title, the discussion which follows in this chapter is bound to be controversial. Are political EU institutions supposed to give guidance to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU; the Court)? And, supposing that they do so, should the Court be responsive to such guidance? Although there is no clear answer to these preliminary, and yet fundamental, questions (Section 6.1), the contention of this paper is that the CJEU actively interacts with political institutions. While in some occasions the Court adjusts its positions to meet the express will of the other institutions (Section 6.4), in many other cases the Court actively furthers and fleshes out their decisions (Section 6.3). More controversially, there are many occasions where the Court acts as an instigator to political action (Section 6.2). A terminological clarification is necessary at this point: from the four ‘other institutions’ (i.e., the European Council, the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament) only the latter two possess legislative powers. The four are treated together, being the ‘political institutions’ which steer the EU and, broadly, share the legislative competence.
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