The Danish Ajos Case: The Missing Case from Maastricht and Lisbon

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction and structure. – II. Brief account on Ajos. – II.1. The reference to the Court of Justice. – II.2. The reasoning of the Supreme Court. – III. Ajosin light of DSC’s practise about accession to EU. – III.1. Background on the Danish constitutional context as regards review of constitutionality of legislation. – III.2. Analysis of case law: Maastrichtjudgment, Lisbonjudgment and Ajosjudgment. – III.3. Possible reasons for and scope of the development. – IV. Comparative analysis of the Ajoscase. – IV.1. Upholding legal certainty at a national level. – IV.2. Different approaches to the ongoing dialogue between national courts and the CJEU. – V. Concluding remarks.

Abstract: In the Danish Ajos case the Danish Supreme Court rejected to follow the guidance from the Court of Justice. This Articlewill provide an analysis of the case and reflect on the implications on the European integration and the ongoing dialogue between the European Courts. We will also provide a background and an introduction to the Danish Constitutional Reservations to Union law and the scope and development of the case law regarding the accessions to the European Union treaties. It is considered; whether the Ajoscase was the “missing case” from the Lisbonjudgment. Furthermore, the case will be analysed from a comparative legal perspective relating it to developments seen by other constitutional courts, for instance the Italian Taricco IIcase and the German Honeywellcase both of which can be interpreted as more open toward Union law and European integration.

Keywords: application of Art. 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – horizontal relationships – judicial dialogue – constitutional reservations to Union law – comparative legal analysis – political implications.

European Papers, Vol. 3, 2018, No 1, pp. 157-182
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/204

* Professor of Constitutional Law, Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies (CECS), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen,

** PhD Scholar, Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies (CECS), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen,


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