What Implications for the ‘European Social Model’?
Edited by Marie-Ange Moreau
Chapter 6: What Remedies for Social Derivatives and Expansionism of the Court of Justice of the European Union?
Nikitas Aliprantis OPENING REMARKS In their anxiety to gradually create a common body of rules governing the European countries, the fathers of the current European Union (EU) established, among other things, the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEC, CJEU or ECJ today), and they endowed it with exorbitant judicial power, which is unique in the world.1 They were obviously aware of this enormous attribution of competence envisaged by the then Article 164 of the EEC Treaty and which remains unchanged today in Article 19 of the Treaty of Lisbon (TEU). Under this provision the ECJ ‘shall ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed’. It is clear that the ‘law’ is set up in a separate parameter distinct from the treaties and must ‘inspire’ their interpretation. Even if we ignore this formula which legitimates the Court’s determination of what the ‘law’ is, the interpretation itself of the treaties is the uncontrolled and exclusive work of this Court. But then: quis custodiat curiam? Unfortunately, neither the original inspirers of the CJEC, nor the drafters of the new EU Treaty have provided ‘safety valves’ against disproportionate expansionism and against derived interpretations of the European jurisdiction.2 This ‘lacuna’ is all the more serious as we witness for some time now how both of the dangers occur, especially at the social level. This allows us to measure the responsibility of the forces and European institutions that were recently animated by the desire to ensure and precipitate...
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