EUPoLex Jean Monnet Seminar with Lucía López

Exploring the tensions in the procedure for a preliminary ruling

The procedure for a preliminary ruling (PPR) ensures the uniformity of EU law through the cooperation between national courts. However, the mechanism is simultaneously ‘the infringement procedure of the EU citizen’:  It opens its gates for individuals to bring their claims to the Court and it does so successfully: Individuals do go to Court, and their claims are frequently upheld. They are protected. The Court grants them pension rights, ensures that they can keep their houses, makes it possible for them to bring their loved ones along when they decide to move. And yet, there is something more to a procedure so strongly linked to the need to ensure the uniformity of a legal system always afraid of fragmenting and crumbling. Individuals are there, but the procedure is not fully about them. One feels a tension in a procedure that aims towards the concrete and the abstract at the same time.

The thesis shows how this creates two different disputes in the procedure, how these disputes are at the heart of the mechanism, how they relate to the different procedural factors and force us to speak of outcomes (in plural) of the procedure. In doing all this, the thesis brings the individual to the spotlight. After all, the success of the procedure for a preliminary ruling owes to the endless list of individuals bringing their claims to Luxembourg. As such, it is the perfect lab in which to study what happens to the individual in the proceedings. Because the procedure is central to EU law, its jewel in the crown, the study of the mechanism in the procedure in this thesis provides new data and tools to understand individuals and their rights in EU law.

To participate, please use this Zoom link.

This seminar is part of the "The Law & Politics of EU Integration" Talks Series organised by the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law & Politics and, hence, is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.