General Principles of EC Law in a Process of Development

What are the basic principles underlying European Community Law? Although no one seeks a purely descriptive answer to this question, the discussion it gives rise to is of immense significance both for theoretical legal studies and for legal practice. Over the years, scholars have convened from time to time to re-examine the question in the light of new developments. This important volume offers insights and findings of the latest such conference, held at Stockholm in March 2007, and sponsored by the Swedish Network for European Legal Studies. The nineteen essays here printed are all final author-edited versions of papers first presented at that conference.

Far from merely an updating of the First Edition, which marked a 1999 conference held under the same auspices at Malmö, this book is entirely new. It underscores the importance of discovering the emergence of new general principles—linked, indeed, to such fundamental continuing concerns as democracy, accountability, transparency, direct effect, good administration, and European citizenship—as they develop in such increasingly important areas as the following:

• core aspects of competition and financial integration law;
• the ongoing process of European constitutionalization;
• the application of general principles in the new Member States;
• the growth of European private law;
• the successive creation of a jus commune europaeum; and
• the instrumental function of the EC Court.

There is also special consideration attached to such overriding issues as the gap-filling function of the principles within the Community legal system, and the implications of the use of a comparative methodology. The authors include both eminent, well-known experts, many of whom took part in the 1999 Conference, and representatives of a new generation of younger scholars in the field. For the myriad parties involved in the evolution of the European project from a legal perspective, this book serves as a watershed, a thorough inspection of the foundations as they are perceived and understood at the present moment. It is sure to be consulted and cited often in the years to come.