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Law Notes European Law Notes

Subsidiarity And Proportionality Notes

Updated Subsidiarity And Proportionality Notes

European Law Notes

European Law

Approximately 1161 pages

European Law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB EU law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

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Table of Contents

Tutorial 1: European integration, institutions, and limits on european Law-making 3

1 – The evolution of European Integration 3

Craig, Ch 2 Craig and De Burca 4

Para I – Theories of Integration 4

I – Neofunctionalism (Early ideology) 4

II – Liberal intergovernmentalism (1950s: Moravcsik) 5

III – Multi-Level Governance 5

IV – Rational Choice Institutionalism (1990s) and constructivism 6

Para II – Democracy and Legitimacy 6

I – Some of the deficiencies are overstated 7

II – Democratic features prioritized by particular scholars 7

Craig, Ch1 Craig and De Burca (Texts, Cases and Materials) 8

2 – Institutions 11

3 – Law-Making 11


Introduction: Conferral 11

(a) Legal limits on European law-making – competence 12

Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC), [1993] OJ L 95/29 (Preamble) 13

Case C-376/98 Germany v Parliament and Council [2000] ECR I-8419 (“Tobacco Advertising”) 15

Case C-210/03 Swedish Match [2004] ECR I-11893 19

Cases C-154/04 & C-155/04 Alliance for Natural Health [2005] ECR I-6451 and 20

Case C-380/03 Germany v. Parliament and Council [2006] ECR I-11573 (“Tobacco Advertising II”) 21

Case C-58/08 Vodafone [2010] ECR I-4999 22

Case T-526/10 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami et al v. Commission, judgment of 25 April 2013 (Seal Products II Case) 24

Case C-547/14 Philip Morris v. Secretary of State for Health (4 May 2016) ECLI:EU:C:2016:325 (and see AG Kokott’s Opinion, ECLI:EU:C:2015:853). 26

D. Wyatt, ‘Community Competence to Regulate the Internal Market’ 26

S. Weatherill, ‘The limits of legislative harmonisation ten years after Tobacco Advertising”’ (2011) 12 German LJ 827 27

P. Craig, ‘The ECJ and Ultra Vires Action: a Conceptual Analysis’ (2011) 48 CMLRev 395 29

(b) Constitutional limits on European law-making – Proportionality and Subsidiarity 29

(1) Proportionality 30

Case C-375/96 Galileo Zaninotto v. Ispettorato Centrale [1998] ECR I-6629, paras. 57-67. 31

Germany v. Parliament and Council [2006] ECR I-11573 (“Tobacco Advertising II”) 31

Case C-58/08 Vodafone [2010] ECR I-4999 32

Case 114/76 Bela-Mühle (Skimmed-Milk Powder) [1977] ECR 1211; 33

Case 240/78 Atalanta [1979] ECR 2137 34

Cases C-453/03 et al, ex p ABNA [2005] ECR I-10423 34

Case C-310/04 Spain v Council [2006] ECR I-7285 34

(2) Subsidiarity 35

Case C-233/94 Germany v. Parliament (Deposit Guarantee Directive) [1997] ECR I-2405, paras. 24-28; 38

Case C-491/01 ex parte British American Tobacco [2002] ECR I-11453, at paras. 177-185 39

Cases C-154/04 & C-155/04 Alliance for Natural Health [2005] ECR I-6451, paras. 99-108; 39

Case C-114/01 AvestaPolarit Chrome Oy, [2003] ECR I-8725, para. 56 39

Case C-518/07 Commission v. Germany [2010] ECR I-1885 40

Case C-58/08 Vodafone [2010] ECR I-4999 40

Case C-547/14 Philip Morris, see esp. AG Kokott (ECLI:EU:C:2015:853) on subsidiarity. 41

B. Bertrand, ‘Un principe politique saisi par le droit” (2012) 48 RTDE 329 42

G. Davies, ‘Subsidiarity: the wrong idea, in the wrong place, at the wrong time’ (2006) 43 CMLRev 63 44

P. Craig, ‘Subsidiarity: A Political and Legal Analysis’ (2012) 50 JCMS 72 at 82-84 46

R. Schütze, ‘Subsidiarity after Lisbon: Reinforcing the Safeguards of Federalism’ (2009) 68 Cambridge Law Journal 525; 48

P. Kiiver, ‘The Early-Warning System for the Principle of Subsidiarity’ (2011) 36 ELRev 98; 49

Jančić ‘The Game of Cards’ (2015) 52 CMLRev 939 51

Annual Report 2014 on Subsidiarity and Proportionality (Commission) 53

COM 2013 566 (Annual report 2012 on Subsidiarity and Proportionality) 53

Com (2016) 505 (Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the National Parliaments) 54

Questions 55

Constitutional limits on European law-making – Proportionality and Subsidiarity

These only apply if there is shared competence.

(1) Proportionality

is a principle which places a legal limit on the law-making powers of the EU institutions.

On its face, it covers very different things than subsidiarity:

  • Subsidiarity = when the Union should intervene (reflects self-government – local decisions are better than EU ones)

  • Proportionality = the quality of the intervention (reflects a presumption in favour of private autonomy and requiring justification for state intervention: requires the measure to be suitable for achieving the objective and to impose the fewest possible constraints on individuals)

Proportionality requires the content and form of Union action not to exceed what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties, its current formulation in ex parte Fedesa (1990) – where it is conflated into two balancing tests:

  • Whether there is an appropriate balance between the ends sought and the means used, and whether the means used are suitable to the ends sought (the suitability of the measure)

  • Whether the effect of the measure on other interests and values is excessive (the necessity of the measure)

Thus, the principle offers the possibility of very wide-ranging review of EU action, allowing judges the possibility to address the merits of the measure (excessive or not suitable) and consider a wide range of arguments (balance all interests and values against each other in necessity, and consider the wider policy and broader ethos/rationale behind the political system that gives rise to a measure in suitability).

The extent to which this is taken up will depend on the legal culture within which it arises (Cohen-Eliya, Porat):

  • A culture of justification (broad conceptions of rights every administrative and legislative action is required to justify itself)

  • A culture of authority (proportionality exists not to allow merit-review but to check that the institution is the appropriate body to take the decision; once this is determined, the sphere of authorization is treated as a black box where the legislator enjoys discretion)

This second culture is reflected in Fedesa (“manifestly inappropriate” test); often the Court sees the realization of the...

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