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Court power and politics

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Court power and politics

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A Dutch voter is interested in the role of the ECJ:

“Hello, my name is Luke, and I come from the Netherlands. My question relates to the political power of the European Court of Justice. As the final interpereter of the EU treaties, the Court often gets to decide on what are national and what are EU competencies. Today, roughly 75% of the laws implemented at the national level come from Brussels; So, my question of course is, does the ECJ have too much political power and of course is the EP going to do something about it?” The response: “My name is Marianne Dony. I am vice-president of the European Study Institute at Brussels Free University. Can we say that the Court of Justice plays an excessive political role and that there ought to be safeguards for this. I think that’s a bit exaggerated. It is true that a certain number of the Court of Justice’s rulings have shown it to be actively in support of the community competencies, but you can find just as many other rulings where the Court rules in favour of the Member States’ competencies. Therefore, rather than a veritable political role, I would answer this question saying that the Court sees itself truly as a constitutional court, wanting to make respected as much by the countries as by the community this constitutional charter which the treaty is, and ruling as much in favour of the member states as in favour of the competencies of the community institutions. As for the question whether the European Parliament could have a role to play in this matter, I would find that rather difficult to imagine, since within the European Community, as among the Member States, there is a fundamental principle of independence of powers, and the Court of Justice does not have to answer to the political institutions such as the Parliament or the Council.”