Horizontal Direct Effect of Directives

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: The Court's refusal to implement horizontal direct effect upon directives may, in some cases, lead to injustice. It can not be considered just and equitable that individuals who do not comply with provisions stemming from a supreme legal order are able to avoid retribution. This situation may be seen as further exacerbated by the fact that public funds are used to finance the shortcomings. What is more, the absence of a uniform application of directives creates inequalities and may well disadvantage the competitive chances of some parties. For instance, the legal protection of citizens varies depending upon which Member State one happens to be in. Another dissatisfying effect is that not all of the European companies are placed upon an equal footing with one other. This is especially troublesome when considering the implications upon the Internal Market and in the context of the 'four freedoms'. Things however do not have to be this way as a legal solution may be found. This thesis will present some facts and arguments that suggest an opposite outcome. By groundbreaking judgements, such as 'van Gend en Loos', 'Simmenthal' and 'Francovich', the Court has paved the way for an ever-closer Union. However, the rulings of the Court have not always been very evolutive. Considering the topic of this thesis, degeneration is a more accurate description. The confusing and sometimes unclear rulings of the Court have lead to inconsistencies within EC law. This thesis will illustrate that the denial of 'horizontal direct effect of directives' is one such result.

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