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Advanced Introduction to European Union Law

European Union Law

Jacques Ziller

This book explains how member states of the EU confer powers to the Union through the founding treaties and the legal frame applicable to the Union’s institutions, and the rules that apply to their functioning and the legal review of their action. It reviews the main fields of action of the EU – the internal market, area of freedom, security and justice, external action – and how law is shaping them. The interaction between the EU and its member states is also explained.
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Judicial review and case law

Jacques Ziller


The institutional framework of the ECSC treaty of 1951 was based upon a major innovation: the establishment of a supranational agency known as the High Authority. The Authority’s accountability mechanisms included: the powers of the Special Council of Ministers who could impede the adoption of Community measures, powers of the parliamentary assembly who controlled the management of the Community budget and could dismiss the Authority with a motion of censure, and powers of the Court of Justice, who could review the legality of the High Authority’s and Council’s acts. Such a system was highly original compared to international organisations, but quite common when compared with public administration in member states, or with US government agencies, including the Commission created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 (an inspiration for the team of Jean Monnet who prepared the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950). The system of remedies with the CJEU was therefore comparable from the outset to that of administrative courts in member states – especially of France, where judicial review of executive power included the entirety of rule-making acts since the nineteenth century. It became comparable to those of constitutional courts with the development legislative power in the hands of the EP and Council.

Those remedies have been extended to the reviewing of all EU IBOAs, as specified in Article 263 TFEU. The wording of that Article reflects to a large extent the system of the traditional French action for annulment (recours pour excès ce pouvoir) – especially...

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