Edited by Fabrizio Cafaggi and Horatia Muir Watt
Chapter 2: Multilevel Europe and Private Law
Giuliano Amato 1. INTRODUCTION: ‘A MULTILEVEL GOVERNANCE’ This chapter aims at a better understanding of the European institutional setting by examining it in the light of the wider notion of multilevel governance and, at the same time, at a better understanding of multilevel governance by using the European Union as an example of it. Against this background the future of European private law will subsequently be explored. As all of us know, the notion of multilevel governance is relatively recent. Had our fathers applied it to two types of organisation which were neatly distinct from each other in the past – namely international organisations and decentralised States – they would have qualified both types as ‘multilevel’, but not with the same meaning. Decentralised States allocate public powers to departments at different levels, each of them, by exercising a share of such powers, consequently regulates the lives of the citizens. In international organisations the relationship between the levels is sharply different. The upper level of the organisation is entitled to adopt acts which exclusively bind the Member States and only the States have the power to reach their own citizens by adopting domestic acts in conformity with the decisions of the organisation. In other words, we have examples of multilevel systems, the internal structure of which is marked by its being crossed by the boundary between international and constitutional law, while other multilevel systems are entirely constitutional and may distribute domestic powers among all of their levels. Now let us turn to Europe....
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