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The Constitution of European Democracy$
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Dieter Grimm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805120

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805120.001.0001

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The Role of National Constitutional Courts in European Democracy

The Role of National Constitutional Courts in European Democracy

(p.181) 10 The Role of National Constitutional Courts in European Democracy
The Constitution of European Democracy

Dieter Grimm

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role of national constitutional courts in European democracy. It first provides an overview of national constitutional courts in Europe, focusing on the requirements that they impose on national institutions and the consequences of those requirements at the treaty level—i.e., transferring national powers to the European Union and regulating how these powers are exercised; at the level of the EU’s exercise of these powers; and at the level of implementing European law within national legal systems. The chapter also discusses how the European Court of Justice’s jurisprudence enabled the European treaties to function as a constitution; the non-political mechanism of EU decisions and how it promotes economic liberalization; and how the design and function of European primary law undermine democracy. The chapter suggests that the democratic legitimacy imparted to the EU’s decisions by its citizens can only develop within the framework of the European Parliament’s powers.

Keywords:   constitutional courts, Europe, democracy, European law, European Court of Justice, European treaties, economic liberalization, democratic legitimacy, European Parliament, European Union

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