Chapter 5 Practice essay question

Chapter 5 Question

EU Recht über alles = EU law over everything.

Please evaluate this statement and discuss whether it is a universally accepted position.

Attempt this question before reading the answer guidance below.



Answer guide

Don’t worry about the fact this question was phrased in German – it really does just suggest the universal supremacy of EU Law. Hence the question is clearly about supremacy, and the way the question is set allows a general answer to provide the point of view of the CJEU and then any or all member states which object to this universalist view.

In case you are tempted; discussions on Monism and Dualism do little to help the answer as whilst it might be considered these concepts dictate an attitude to accepting supremacy, they do not. They are more concerned with how international law is received into national legal orders and are in fact not very helpful when considering the unique nature of EU law. It’s not entirely wrong to include them but no more than a brief mention.

You have to set out the CJEU case for the supremacy of EU law over all forms of other laws in conflict (National, constitutional, international, even UN Resolutions). Case examples are required, preferably for all points made. The starting point is, of course, the case of Van Gend en Loos. Having set out the EU side of the discussion, you need to turn to the member states’ view/s.

Of course, Germany and even still the UK (despite Brexit) could be selected but examples from other countries such as Belgium, France or Italy or as well other less receptive countries (Czech Republic, Hungary or Poland) could be used. The cases from Germany though are probably the most instructive.