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The Rule of Law in the European Union: The Internal Dimension

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This is a book about the internal dimension of the rule of law in the European Union (EU). The EU is a community based on law which adheres to and promotes a set of common values between the Member States. The preservation of these values (such as legality, legal certainty, prohibition of arbitrariness, respect for fundamental rights) is pivotal to the success of European integration and the well-being of the individuals within it. Yet, the EU rule of law suffers from an imposter syndrome and has been the subject of criticism: ie that it is only part of the EU agenda in order to legitimise sweeping new powers and policies, and that it plays little or no role in promoting a culture of compliance for either deviant EU Institutions or for Member States. This book will examine whether the EU rule of law deserves those criticisms. It will offer an analytical guide to the EU rule of law by conceptualising it and locating it within the sources of EU law. It will then ask whether the EU is based on the rule of law - a question which is answered in the affirmative, but one which has to be considered in the context of compliance and the overall effectiveness of the EU enforcement acquis. It is argued that while the EU means well in its aim to preserve unity in an increasingly diversified Europe, the extent to which it can pave the way to a better world (based on a transnational rule of law concept akin to good governance and improvement of citizens' lives) is dependent on the commitment of all European integration stakeholders to the EU project.

Author: Konstadinides Theodore
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781849464703
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2017


I. Contents of the Book

Part I: Design
1. Foundations of the EU Rule of Law
I. The EU as a System where Laws are Applied and Enforced
II. Arguments Against the EU Rule of Law
III. The Rule of Law as a Stretch Concept
2. Conceptualising the EU Rule of Law
I. Introduction
II. The Rule of Law, Not the Rule of Man
III. The Rule of Law, Not the Rule of One State
IV. Conclusion
3. Locating the EU Rule of Law
I. Introduction
II. Express Commitment to the Rule of Law in EU Primary Law
III. Implied Commitment to the Rule of Law in EU Constitutional Principles
IV. Conclusion

Part II: Enforcement 4. Holding EU Institutions to the Rule of Law
I. Introduction
II. Judicial Review of EU Acts as a Means of Individual Protection
III. Judicial Protection before EU Courts
IV. Judicial Protection before National Courts
V. Review of EU Law by National Courts
VI. Conclusion
5. Holding Member States to the Rule of Law
I. Introduction
II. Coining the Term 'Rule-of-Law Crises'
III. Three Rule-of-Law Crises
IV. Rule-of-Law Enforcement Mechanisms in the Treaty
V. Conclusion


Theodore Konstadinides is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Essex. His research focuses on public law in its domestic and European context with an expertise in constitutional principles and the division of competences between the European Union and its Member States.

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