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Journal Articles Common Market Law Review Year : 2022

Editorial comments: A jurisprudence of distribution for the EU

Loïc Azoulai


Interregnum and distribution Every lawyer in Europe may legitimately wonder what EU law will look like in the years to come. The Union seems to live in a sort of interregnum: the old forms of European integration are dying, and new forms are still to be born. 1 War, external threats, Europe's dependence on external resources and infrastructures, the rule of law crisis, the ecological catastrophe, the polarization of European societies and the ensuing contestation of the Union and its law are not just ordeals to which the Union is forced to adapt. They render the law of the Union inherently unstable, requiring something new: the elaboration of a broader and more refined legal framework. Is the Union able and equipped to engage in this task? Its reaction has hitherto been twofold. On the one hand, the Union has relied on its capacity to develop new instruments and legal concepts best suited to these challenges. Recent practice is not short of evidence of creative constructions: be it the case law of the Court of Justice to protect judicial independence in the context of the rule of law crisis, the Next Generation EU programme in response to the pandemic episode, or the policy instruments developed by the Commission to cope with Europe's "strategic autonomy" challenge. On the other hand, and in the opposite sense, it seems that the Union is taking refuge in its fundamental values and resorting to long-standing principles enshrined in EU law. Two of these principles have recently re-emerged in the case law of the ECJ, yet endowed with a new function. One is the principle of equality between Member States, considered as a new basis for the primacy of EU law, beyond the instrumental notion of effectiveness. Recognized by the Court of Justice in the 1970s, but then hardly relied on, introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in Article 4(2) TEU, 2 it has been recently resurrected in a context where the



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Dates and versions

hal-03876194 , version 1 (28-11-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03876194 , version 1


Loïc Azoulai. Editorial comments: A jurisprudence of distribution for the EU. Common Market Law Review, 2022, 59 (4), pp.957-968. ⟨hal-03876194⟩
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