The Question of Competence in the European Union

The Question of Competence in the European Union

By: Loic Azoulai (editor)Hardback

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The classic debate surrounding the prolific role of the European Union in defining spheres of competence and power relationships has long divided scholarly opinion. However, in recent years, the long-standing acquiescence to the broad powers of the Union has given way to the emerging perception of a competence problem in Europe. For a long period it was taken for granted that the European Community could act whenever its action was justified on the basis of the widely interpreted objectives of the Treaties. However this context has since changed. There is a widespread perception of a competence problem in Europe and the overabundance of provisions limiting the Union's competences is one of the most obvious marks left by the Lisbon Treaty. This book discusses the extent to which the parameters of power throughout the Union and its Member States have been recast by the recent implementation of the Lisbon Treaty and doctrines developed by the European Court of Justice. Comprised of contributions from a vast array of leading practitioners and academics in the field of EU Law, this volume assesses the debate surrounding the political identity of the European Union, and further illustrates the relevance of the Federal theory of sharing competences for the development of EU Law. Finally, the question of new potential limits to Union's competence is addressed. If anything, this broad reflection on the notion of competence in the EU law context is a way of opening up the question of the nature and contours of the political identity of the European Union.

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About Author

Loic Azoulai holds the chair of European Law at the European University Institute. He is codirector of the Academy of European Law and of the Centre for Judicial Cooperation both hosted at the European University Institute. He is on leave from University of Pantheon-Assas Paris II where he is a Professor of Public Law. He has published on a wide range of questions related to European Union Law.


On the Concepts of Competence and Federal Order of Competences in the EU Legal Order ; PART I: THE REFERENCE TO FEDERALISM ; 1. The Allocation of Competences in a Federation ; 2. Theoretical Deflation: The EU Order of Competences and Power-Conferring Norms Theory ; PART II: THE ALLOCATION OF COMPETENCES IN EU PRACTICE ; 3. Allocation of Competences in the field of External Relations ; 4. Allocation of Economic Policy Competences in the EU ; 5. Legislative and Executive Competences in Competition Law ; 6. The Forgotten Dimension of Private Law ; PART. III: THE ECJ AND THE QUESTION OF COMPETENCE ; 7. ECJ doctrines on Competences ; 8. EU Law and Retained Powers of Member States ; 9. The Protection of Fundamental Rights and the Allocation of Competences in the EU: A Clash of Constitutional Logics ; PART. IV: POLITICAL AND LEGAL LIMITS TO EU COMPETENCES ; 10. Limits to Union's "Internal Market" Competence(s): Constitutional Comparisons ; 11. Subsidiarity as a Procedural Safeguard to Federalism ; 12. The Respect for National Constitutional Identity in the European Legal Space: An Approach to Federalism as Constitutionalism

Product Details

  • publication date: 20/02/2014
  • ISBN13: 9780198705222
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9780198705222
  • weight: 618
  • ISBN10: 0198705220

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