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Dealing with the Fallout: West Germany's Response to the Solange Decision (1974). ACES Working Papers, 2011

Davies, Dr. Bill (2011) Dealing with the Fallout: West Germany's Response to the Solange Decision (1974). ACES Working Papers, 2011. [Working Paper]

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    The European Union's powerful legal system has proven to be the vanguard moment in the process of European integration. As early as the 1960s, the European Court of Justice established an effective and powerful supranational legal order, beyond the original wording of the Treaties of Rome through the doctrines of direct effect and supremacy. Whereas scholars have analyzed the evolution of EU case law and its implications, only very recent historical scholarship has examined how the Member States received this process in the context of a number of difficult political and economic crises for the integration process. This paper investigates how the national level dealt with these fundamental transformations in the European legal system. Specifically, it examines one of the Union's most important member states, the Federal Republic of Germany. Faced with a huge number of cases dealing with European law, German judges dealt with the supremacy of European law very cautiously, negotiating between increasingly polarized academic, public and ministerial debates on the question throughout the 1960s. By the mid 1970s, the German Constitutional Court famously limited the power of the ECJ in its Solange decision (1974). This was an expression of a broader discourse in Germany from 1968 onwards about the qualitative nature of democracy and participation in public life and was in some aspects a marker, at which the German elites felt comfortable expressing the value of their national constitutional system on the European stage. This paper examines the political, media and academic build up and response to the Constitutional Court's decision in the 1970s, arguing that the national "reception" is central to understanding the dynamics and evolution of European Union legal history.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Court of Justice/Court of First Instance
    Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > American Consortium on European Union Studies > ACES Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2015 10:53
    Number of Pages: 36
    Last Modified: 15 Jan 2015 10:53

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