The Enforcement of EU Law against Member States.
Methods against Defiance
Nature of the project
The project is aimed at producing an edited volume on the above topic. In February 2014, Oxford University Press offered a contract to the project leaders as editors to publish the volume in 2015.
Statement of purpose
The current crisis of the European Union is not confined to the Eurozone and the EMU. A potentially much more worrisome trend of developments is observable in parallel, showcasing the apparent inability of the Union to be effective in ensuring that all its Member States are in compliance with the principles and values underlying the integration project in Europe.
Defiance is not a new phenomenon, to which numerous examples from the history of EU law testify – from the French empty chair policy, leading to the Luxembourg compromise, to the FPÖ crisis in Austria ten years ago. The same can be said about all the other multi-layered legal systems: virtually every federation or a devolved state could provide an array of telling examples of how important it is to deal with defiance in the face of the enforcement of key principles, values and the law. The will take the richness of EU-level and national-level examples into account, also drawing on the experience of the US legal system and that of the integration projects on other continents.
The volume will build on the richness of this legal-political context, focusing on coping with Member States’ defiance by legal and not fully legal means. The main emphasis lies with the assessment of the adequacy of the enforcement mechanisms taking not only acquis enforcement, but also values enforcement into account, to embrace a comparative perspective, while also learning from EU integration history. Our purpose is to achieve a near-total coverage of the topic by covering all of its numerous key problematic issues: something that has not been attempted so far.
Time-frame and production details
Accomplished preparatory work
All the preparatory work for the project is accomplished. We started planning the proposed volume several months ago by first preparing the theoretical set-up and then contacting the authors. The set-up has been tested at an international conference at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences organized by András Jakab, in which a number of key contributors took part. Dimitry Kochenov also gave a talk at the event, which enjoyed support of a number of the EU Member States’ embassies to Hungary, including the Dutch, the French and the Swedish, showcasing the importance of the defiance problem in the EU today.
Lastly – as the work is very complex and highly technical, while also boasting strong theoretical foundations – we decided to test the main arguments contained in all the chapters at a special conference for the authors of the book which we are convening in Berlin in July 2014 with the help of Prof. Mattias Kumm of NYU. The conference will allow the authors participating in the project to discuss the drafts of the chapters in detail and to ensure that necessary connections are introduced between the chapters as well as between the different parts of the book.
Time-frame and planning
The proposed book should be ready in December 2014, two years into the process. The Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen has allocated student assistants to help with the technicalities of editing and the whole volume will be proofread for language consistency and style by a native speaker of English who is a practicing lawyer in London.
The proposed volume will be quite large, which does not detract from, but only adds to its quality, given the comprehensive treatment of the subject matter. The book will be around 285.000 words all in all.