Business Briefs


Political and Institutional Factors: Rule Enforcement & Dispute Resolution

From the start, all involved in the creation of the EU realized that the European integration project required effective enforcement and conflict resolution. Only a solid and credible system would instill the confidence necessary to ensure compliance with the rules to which the Member States agreed. Over the last half century, the institutions designed to pursue these aims - the European Commission and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) - have been remarkably successful in staking their claim and developing a sophisticated framework of substantive law and remedies. This overview lays out the essential characteristics of the EU's enforcement and adjudication system, focusing on institutional features as well the bedrock rules concerning market access and competition. During the 1970s and 1980s, these rules were in many ways the heart and soul of European integration. Although these economically oriented aspects of integration are now flanked by more political fields, which have risen in varying degrees to the supranational sphere, market access and competition are still very much at the core of the EU's unique legal system and integration project.

  • Enforcement & Adjudication in the EU: Institutional Features
    • Enforcement
    • Adjudication
      • Supremacy
      • Direct effect
  • Market Access & Competition in the EU
    • Market access rules: developing a single market through the elimination of trade barriers
    • Competition rules: policing against restrictive agreements & abuses of market power
      • Articles 81 and 82

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