The European Union Legal Order: An Introduction to its Nature and Scope

Fabian Amtenbrink, HHB Vedder

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The impact of the European Union legal order on the private law systems of the Member States can only be fully understood when put in the broader context of the raison d'être of European integration and the emergence of a supranational legal order, as well when appreciating the basic mechanics behind the processes that drive the Europeanization of the legal orders of the Member States of the European Union (EU). In fact theses mechanics are quite distinct from those traditionally to be found in the constitutional legal order of states, but also from those in public international law. Highlighting these differences, this contribution first of all observes the the nature of European law as it has emerged since the establishment of the European Coal and Steal Community and thereafter the European Economic Community (Treaty of Rome). Thereafter the two basic tools driving the integrationist efforts of the EU are explained, followed by an overview of the internal market provisions that - arguably even more so than European legislative activities and harmonization measures - are behind the deep intrusion or, to phrase it in somewhat less hostile terms, the adaptation of the national legal orders of the Member States. Indeed, the removal by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of barriers to the free movement of inter alia goods and services has been instrumental to the assimilation of the Member States across a vast variety of policy areas and legal fields, including private law. Finally, this contribution concludes with a few reflections of the values underlying the EU’s (legislative) activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Influence of EU Law on National Private Law
EditorsA.S. Hartkamp, C.H. Sieburgh, L.A.D. Keus, J.S. Kortmann, M.H. Wissink
Place of PublicationDeventer
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

SeriesOnderneming en Recht


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