• Clash of Titans – general principles of EU law: balancing and horizontal direct effect

      Gualco, Elena; Lourenço, Luísa; University of Genoa; ERA Academy of European Law (2016-08-08)
      More than 10 years after the first ruling on the horizontal effect of the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age, in the Dansk Industri case (Court of Justice, judgment of 19 April 2016, Dansk Industri (DI), Acting on Behalf of Ajos A/S v. Estate of Karsten Eigil Rasmussen, case C-441/14 [GC]) the CJEU reiterates Mangold and Kücükdeveci. It has by now proclaimed a new form of horizontality, deriving from the combined application of two different sources of law, i.e. the directive and the general principle. According to the Court, neither the general principle of legal certainty, nor that of legitimate expectations, which can be jeopardised by the horizontal effect of non-discrimination on grounds of age, question the necessity to ensure its effectiveness. Protecting non-discrimination on grounds of age justifies not only a broader application of that principle, but also its hierarchical priority over other general principles of EU law. However, insofar as general principles equally protect other fundamental rights, some questions arise: can the judicial activism of the CJEU equally improve effectiveness and uniformity in the protection of fundamental rights within the EU? Or, as Dansk Industri suggests, does the former goal (i.e. effectiveness) necessarily affect the latter?
    • “Clash of Titans” 2.0. From conflicting EU general principles to conflicting jurisdictional authorities: the Court of Justice and the Danish Supreme Court in the Dansk Industri case

      Gualco, Elena; University of Bedfordshire (2017-03-26)
      The present papers focuses on the reception by the Danish Supreme Court of the CJEU decision in the Dansk Industri case. Instead of disapplying a national provision which was found by the CJEU to be inconsistent with the general principle of non-discrimination of grounds of age, the Danish Supreme Court stresses that the Law of Accession of the Kingdom of Denmark to the European Union does not cover general principles of EU law and the national provision cannot be disapplied. The selective approach of the Danish Supreme Court raises a number of concerns which this paper highlights: first, a clear misunderstanding regarding the functioning of general principles of EU law; second, a violation of the duty of sincere cooperation and the relate doctrine of supremacy of EU law; third, an arguable assessment of the effects of the Charter of fundamental rights.
    • Is Toufik Lounes another brick in the wall? The CJEU and the on-going shaping of the EU citizenship

      Gualco, Elena; University of Bedfordshire (2018-06-21)
      This Insight tackles a recent judgment of the CJEU, Toufik Lounes (Court of Justice, judgment of 14 November 2017, case C-165/16, Toufik Lounes v. Secretary of State for the Home Department), where the CJEU was asked to rule on the case of a EU national, Ms García Omazábal, who had exercised her free movement rights, later acquiring the citizenship of the host State while also retaining her nationality of origin. The Court has further investigated the scope ratione personae of Directive 2004/38 and Art. 21, para. 1, TFEU, so to clarify whether, in the scenario above, the EU national and her third-country national spouse could still be considered “beneficiaries” under Directive 2004/38. The CJEU answered as follows: while Directive 2004/38 is not applicable in the situation above, Art. 21, para. 1, TFEU shall instead be applied so as to prevent the EU national holding a dual citizenship to be treated less favourably than a EU national having the citizenship of his country of origin only, and therefore having the EU national’s right to family life unreasonably disrupted. Against this backdrop, the Insight first highlights the merits of the decision, by also investigating its positive effects within the Brexit process. Secondly, it discloses a main shortcoming that is likely to weaken the overall protection granted to EU citizens, i.e. the CJEU choice to disregard the connection between the provisions on the EU citizenship and the respect of fundamental rights