Alter, Karen J. (1999) "Where, When and How Does the European Legal System Influence Domestic Policy?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
The EU legal system offers a powerful means for domestic actors to influence national policy. Because the EU legal tool is so powerful, many have hypothesized that groups will use EU litigation strategies whenever there is a potential benefit. In practice, however, EU law litigation strategies are seldom used. This paper develops a framework for understanding variation in the use of the EU legal system to influence national policy. It identifies four different steps in using the EU legal system to influence national policy. Drawing on recent research on the European Union’s legal system and interest group mobilization, the paper develops a series of hypotheses about the factors affecting each step of the litigation process, in identifying sources of cross-national and cross issue variation in the influence of EU law on national policy.
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