It Takes Two to Tango: An Introduction

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Evolving legal questions surrounding Art. 267 TFEU. – III. Stocktaking: the procedure under pressure? – IV. Contributing to the academic debate. – V. Overview of the Special Section. – V.1. Factors and motives to refer. – V.2. Quality of Court of Justice answers and dialogue. – V.3. Implementation of Court of Justice judgments.

Abstract: The most important procedure of EU law is the preliminary ruling procedure. Academic scrutiny by way of a Special Section is pertinent for three reasons. Firstly, there are still many out-standing legal and practical questions with respect to Art. 267 TFEU as illustrated by the continuous flow of new judgments of the Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights. Secondly, there are growing allegations that (some) national court judges are dissatisfied with the procedure, their interaction with the Court of Justice and the resulting answers. Thirdly, there has been little (empirical) research into the effective functioning of the procedure and its application by national courts. The Articles of this Special Section examine – often in an empirical way on the basis of interviews or questionnaires – why national courts refer (or not), what they think of their interaction with the Court of Justice and whether and how they implement the answers of the Court of Justice.

Keywords: preliminary ruling procedure – judicial dialogue – national courts – CILFIT – motives to refer – (dis)satisfaction with Court of Justice judgments.

European Papers, Vol. 5, 2020, No 2, pp. 745-754
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/410

* Associate Professor of International and European Law, Radboud University Nijmegen,


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