Legal pluralism was traditionally regarded as a ‘non-modern’ and ‘non-European’ phenomenon. It was only in the wake of the deepening of European integration from the Single Market and Economic and Monetary Union onwards that legal pluralism came to be considered a central feature of Europe. This chapter, however, argues that legal pluralism always has been an essential characteristic of modern Europe and of modern European law. That has been the case from the eleventh and twelfth-century Investiture Conflict between Church and Emperor over the overlapping claims of the emerging modern states and various empires until 1918 to the contemporary duality between the EU legal order and Member State legal orders. In other words: overlapping jurisdictions, acting as parallel universes, and mutually exclusive contrafactual claims to supremacy have always been central elements of modern European law.
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