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In what respects is the EU substantially different from other international organisations? Why is this important

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In what respects is the EU substantially different from other international organisations? Why is this important


In what respects is the EU substantially different from other international organisations?  Why is this important?


One of the changes made by the Lisbon Treaty 2007 was to abolish the ‘three pillar` structure which had previously underpinned the legal framework of the European Union. Explain what the tripartite pillar structure was and why it came about. What are the implications of its abolition? What does the new structure look like?


4)      Briefly outline the main functions of these five EU institutions:

European Council    -Council of the European Union

European Commission   -European Parliament

Court of Justice of the European Union


5)       i)  The prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality (Art 18 TFEU) has

been called ‘the single most important principle of [EU] law…the leitmotif of the […] Treaty`. Advocate General Jacobs in Joined Cases C-92 & 362/92 Phil Collins [1993] ECR I-5145.

  Why? What does it require of Member States?


Selected cases mentioned in the lecture(s) on the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality (Art 18 TFEU ex Art 12 EC, before that Art 6 EC and originally Art 7 EEC)

Joined Cases C-92 & 326/92 Phil Collins [1993] ECR I-5145

Case C-43/95 MSL Dynamics Ltd [1996] ECR I-4661

Case C-274/96 Bickel [1998] ECR I-7637

Case C-115/08 Land Oberösterreich v ČEZ [2009] ECR I-10265


ii) To what extent do you think that the provision for ‘enhanced co-operation` contained within the EU treaty framework (Art. 20 TEU, Arts.326-334 TFEU) undermines the principle of non-discrimination underpinning Art.18 TFEU?


Supplementary questions for Seminar 1 (for self-study only)


How would you distinguish the nature and roles of these two regional international organisations: the Council of Europe and the European Union?


Distinguish between a ‘free trade area` and a ‘customs union` and explain to what extent they apply to: the EU, EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and the EEA (European Economic Area).


Outline the main changes made to the evolving EU framework by the following treaties:

Single European Act 1986

Treaty on European Union 1992 (Maastricht Treaty)

Amsterdam Treaty 1997

Nice Treaty 2001

Lisbon Treaty 2007

Why was further reform of the EU`s legal framework considered necessary after the entry into force of the Nice Treaty? Outline how the reform process evolved after Nice.


i) The TFEU preamble restates the determination of the Member States, first set out in the founding treaty framework in the 1950s First recital of the preamble of the European Community Treaty 1957 (or ‘Treaty of Rome`) as amended.

, ‘to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe`. What do you think ‘ever closer union` means?

ii) Consider Art 20 TEU and Arts 326-334 TFEU. What are the conditions for recourse to ‘enhanced cooperation`? Does the incorporation of an ‘enhanced co-operation` procedure undermine the goal of ‘an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe`?



Seminar 2 (Week 3) 

The Court of Justice`s approach to the interpretation of EU Law; Supremacy and Direct Effect




The aim of seminars 2-4 is to enable students to consider and discuss key elements of the general foundational legal principles underpinning EU Law, as developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). This seminar focuses on three aspects that have been pivotal to the establishment of EU law as a distinct body of legal rules having profound legal effects on the national legal systems of the Union`sMember States. Specifically, we consider the significance of the CJEU`s development of methods for the interpretation of EU Law, as well as the supremacy and direct effect of EU Law. 

Seminar 3 questions for seminar group discussion and an oral presentation


1)     Outline the respective roles of national courts and the CJEU in relation to the preliminary ruling procedure. How has the Court of Justice developed the relationship between itself and national courts in that context?



2) To what extent can Art 267 TFEU be fairly described as a particular type of judicial 

 remedy for individuals seeking to enforce their rights under EU law?



3)  Consider the CJEU judgment`s CILFIT.  Outline what is meant by acte clair and what impact CILFIT has had on the relationship between the CJEU and national courts of the EU member states.




Joint presentation by students to be given on the legal significance of the judgment of the CJEU in:


Case C-99/00 Criminal proceedings against Lyckeskog [2002] ECR I-4839


Presenters are referred to the note on p2 of this LW593 Seminar Workbook and the information contained in sections 6.4 and 7.5 of the LW593 Module Outline.


Note: The above judgment contains references to former treaty provisions whose numbering has since been amended. The judgment refers to various provisions of the Treaty of Rome 1957 (EEC Treaty), notably Art 177 EEC. This provision has now been replaced by Art 267 TFEU. (Blackstone`s EU Treaties & Legislation contains tables of equivalences.)

5)   Assess the significance of the CJEU`s judgment in Köbler in terms of its impact regarding:

i) decisions by national courts of final appeal not to refer to the CJEU for advice on EU law under the auspices of the preliminary ruling procedure; and 

ii) the nature of the relationship between the national courts and the CJEU.


8)   The CJEU has described the preliminary ruling system as ‘the veritable        cornerstone of the operation of the internal market`. Report of the Court of Justice on certain aspects of the application of the Treaty on European Union, 1995, pp. 5-6.


 Assume the following facts are true.

The government of member state A of the European Union estimates that 30% of children aged between 2-15 years of age living in member state A are obese. Concerned to reduce the level in obesity levels amongst children, member state A`s government notifies the European Commission of its intention to adopt the following national legislative measures in relation to the sale of snack foods and soft drinks, as part of its strategy to enhance children`s health:


a ban on the sale or advertising of confectionery, soft drinks as well as salted and processed snack foods within the immediate vicinity of shop tills in supermarkets and within 200 metres of any school premises; and


a requirement that all three of the following labels be affixed prominently to the packaging of all confectionery, salted and processed snack foods and soft drinks containing a high sugar, salt and/or fat content:


 (1) a large red warning triangle inserted with an exclamation mark





(2) a prominent label stating in emboldened capital letters that ‘WARNING! EXCESSIVE EATING OF SUGARY, SALTY OR FATTY SNACKS IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH` 




(3) a label providing consumers with information about the maximum recommended daily consumption levels of the particular product for children, in accordance with guidelines on the maximum recommended daily intake by consumers of sugar, salt and fat set out by the Health Ministry of member state A.



iii) failure by persons producing, importing or selling goods in member state A to adhere to the requirements mentioned in (i) and (ii) above will constitute a criminal offence, with a maximum penalty of up to £20,000 fine and/or six months` imprisonment or community service.


Advise the European Commission whether member state A`s draft legislative measures are in conformity with EU law on the free movement of goods.

Supplementary questions for Seminar 5 (for self-study only)


1)   How does Art 34 TFEU fit into the overall scheme of EU law on the free movement of goods? What are the other relevant treaty provisions on the free movement of goods?


2)  Give examples of distinctly and indistinctly applicable national measures from the case-law of the CJEU in relation to Art 34 TFEU.


3)  Does Art 34 TFEU have horizontal direct effect? To what extent does the judgment in Commission v France (Spanish Strawberries) address the activities of private persons that conflict with the requirements of Art 34 TFEU?


4)  What is demonstrated by the judgment in Commission v Ireland (Buy Irish) about the origin and nature of the rules that will be caught by Art 34 TFEU?  What is demonstrated by Commission v UK (Origin marking)? How would you assess these so-called ‘origin marking` cases in the light of public concern about ‘foodmiles` and climate change?


5)  Consider the following judgments:  Familiapress, De Agostini, Gourmet, Commission v Italy (Motorcycle trailers) and Mickelsson. To what extent are these rulings compatible with the ‘Keck` formula on measures having equivalent effect, as set out in Keck and Mithouard?


6)   What was clarified by the CJEU in Schmidberger?

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  • Title: In what respects is the EU substantially different from other international organisations? Why is this important
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