6th Framework Programme (2002-2006)
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Project 26 Detail:
Legal Task Force Team II - Litigating EU-Law
Project completed

The Task Force on Legal Issues was responsible for compiling, processing, and making available to the NEWGOV Component Project basic data and analysis on how the legal system operates. The Task Force focused on the effectiveness of EU law, which we can further divide into two basic empirical issues:

(a) access to justice: the extent to which private parties (individuals, firms, interest groups, and NGOs) can use the courts to have their rights under EU law protected, including in the face of transposition and implementation failures on the part of the Member States; and

(b) the judicial enforceability of EU law: the extent to which the European Court of Justice and the national courts are positioned to enforce EU law against the acts of public authorities in both the EU and the Member States.

The Task Force’s agenda overlapped in obvious ways with component projects in each of the clusters, including Cluster 1.3 (Arguing and Persuasion in EU Governance) and 1.4 (Legal Perspectives on Democracy); Cluster 2.5 (New Modes of Governance in the Shadow of Hierarchy) 2.9 (Choice and Combination of Policy Instruments), and 2.11 (The Role of Civil Society); Cluster 3.13 (The Domestic Impact of European Law); Cluster 4.19 (New Approaches to Economic Governance in the EU) and 4.24 (Accountability and Participation of Civil Society in New Modes of Governance), among others.

The Task Force proceeded in three stages. First, we compiled data on the most important “inputs” and “outputs” of the legal system. We constructed comprehensive data sets with information on: preliminary references and rulings (Art. 234 EC); enforcement actions brought by the Commission against the Member States (Art. 226 EC); and judicial review of the legality of Community acts (Art. 230 EC). We also gathered basic information on standing requirements in the EU, documenting how they have changed over time. Standing rules govern who can initiate litigation and under what conditions. Of particular importance to the overall project was the extent to which NGOs and other groups can litigate in the “public interest.” Second, we produced a series of papers containing analyses of these data (in graphs, tables, and so on) and summary commentaries, to help the non-legal specialist make sense of them. The data sets, the analyses, and the commentaries were made freely available to the NEWGOV Component Projects online, on the project website. Third, we liaised with the heads of the various component projects, informing them of the Task Force’s purpose and work. As important, we solicited ideas for subsequent research and analysis, in order to tailor the Task Force’s subsequent activities to the needs of specific clusters and projects.

Page updated: 10/12/08

Co-ordinated by the European University Institute