The Institutions of the Enlarged European Union
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The Institutions of the Enlarged European Union

Continuity and Change

Edited by Edward Best, Thomas Christiansen and Pierpaolo Settembri

How have the main institutions and decision-making processes of the EU responded to the arrival of new member states? This book assesses the actual state of the EU institutions in the years after the 2004 enlargement, examining each of the main institutional actors as well as trends in legislative output, implementing measures and non-legislative approaches. The contributors outline the key changes as well as patterns of continuity in the institutional politics of the EU.
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Chapter 6: EU Enlargement and the European Court of Justice

Caroline Naômé


Caroline Naômé1 On 11 May 2004, ten new members of the European Court of Justice (hereafter, the ‘Court’)2 took the oath before a court composed of 15 judges and eight advocates-general. On the next day, nine3 new members of the Court of First Instance (hereafter, the ‘CFI’) took the oath before a court composed of 25 judges and eight advocates-general. The bench had been adapted during the night in order for the members of the Court to sit in two rows. The reason for the organization of two different formal sittings may have been that it would have taken too long to listen to introductory speeches, presentations and oaths of 20 persons. Yet this distinction between the members of the two Courts allowed the new members of the Court to be immediately involved in the judicial activity and gave the new members of the CFI the opportunity to be sworn in before the members of the Court from their own member states. This is a good example of the effects of enlargement on the Court: material adaptations, immediate involvement of the new members and preservation of the substance. The Court has had to adapt its structure, increase the number of chambers and reduce the amount of documents to be translated. The judicial activity of the Court between 2004 and 2007 shows that the Court has overcome the difficulties related to the enlargement and even used it as an opportunity to improve its working methods...

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