The Commission’s Quest for Stronger Powers of Enforcement

Stine Andersen

in The Enforcement of EU Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645442
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744686 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in European Law

The Commission’s Quest for Stronger Powers of Enforcement

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This chapter investigates whether the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (and prior to that, the EC Treaty) in fact provides adequate legal basis for the ‘EU legislator’ to establish binding enforcement mechanisms in secondary legislation. It argues that the EU Treaties exhaustively list the array of tools and powers available to the Commission in its role as guardian of the Treaties, with the exception of soft-law measures voluntarily embraced by the member states. Comparison of the general EU infringement procedure to the regulatory steering-mode responsive regulation showed that both are inherently decentralized and only gradually can the supervisor increase pressure on defaulting supervisees. Similar to responsive regulation, the Commission lacks stronger and readily available enforcement powers when responsive, cooperative dialogue for some reason fails or when speedier responses are required.

Keywords: EC Treaty; TFEU; EU legislator; EU law; enforcement; European Commission; soft-law

Chapter.  16646 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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