The Role of National Constitutional Courts in Issues of Compliance
This chapter looks at the role of constitutional courts from a compliance perspective. It focuses on how constitutional courts deal with challenges of unconstitutionality in the course of application of EU law in the member states. It starts with a short overview of the European mandate for national courts. It then discusses how constitutional courts may hinder or facilitate compliance with EU law. It argues that, despite their firm position of upholding the constitution vis-à-vis EU law and some cases of restricting the full effects of EU law, constitutional courts in several ways may act as facilitators of compliance for member states. They do so, for instance, by finding the least harmful solution for the full application of EU law whilst constructing constitutional reservations; by instructing other political branches on how to introduce constitutional or legislative amendments in order to ensure full compliance; and in the pre-accession setting, by putting forward the obligation to interpret national law in conformity with EU law within the ambit of the obligation of approximation.
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