Abstract: The Special Section investigates, from a multidisciplinary perspective, foundations, tools and implications of regulatory competition in the EU legal order. The analysis takes the view that regulatory competition is not just an inevitable corollary of the creation of the internal market, but it is the result of political choices made to pursue specific policy objectives. Moving from different analytical angles, it sheds more light on the dangers that the choice to promote regulatory competition poses for the constitutional identity of the EU. The Special Section is composed by two main parts. The first one offers an in-depth examination of the complex relationship between the European integration process and regulatory competition, exploring its historical and conceptual foundations, as well as critically engaging with its implications on the EU constitutional architecture. The second one builds on these analytical findings and, in particular, on the idea that regulatory competition is the by-product of political choices made by supranational institutions. These choices, and the institutional dynamics underneath, vary from sector to sector. The Articles composing this second part look both at fields where EU law acted as a facilitator of regulatory competition and at fields where it functioned as a buttress against it or, at least, some of its most heinous effects.
Keywords: regulatory competition – internal market – race to the bottom – Court of Justice – legislation – regulatory standards.
* Associate Professor of EU Law, University of Turin, Affiliate at the Collegio Carlo Alberto, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Special Section has been conceived and composed in the context of the REScEU project (Reconciling Economic and Social Europe, www.resceu.eu), funded by the European Research Council (grant no. 340534).