Europe and the law
Europe and the law

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6.6 Summary of Part E

In Part E you have had the opportunity to appreciate the relationship between the EU law and the domestic law of the EU member states. The principles guiding this relationship do not form part of the founding treaties of the EU but have been distilled by the ECJ from the aims of the Community as set out in those founding treaties. You have been introduced to:

  • the principle of supremacy: in cases of conflict EU law prevails over the domestic law of the member state:

    • pre-dating the EU law

    • post-dating the EU law

    • of constitutional nature.

  • the principle of direct effect: the national court of a member state must apply the directly applicable EU law with priority over any conflicting domestic provisions

  • the principle of proportionality: the EU law-making institutions shall enact and apply EU law only to the extent that it serves the objectives set out in the EU treaties

  • the principle of subsidiarity: EU legislative powers should be used only when the matter cannot be addressed better via national legislation.

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