Hierarchy or network - On the relationship of the national to the European legal system

Andreas Fisahn


European primary law doesn't provide an explicit precedence rule, but the draft of a European constitution, which was rejected by the referendum votes in France and Ireland, contains the priority rule. The European Constitution of 2004, which never came into force, provided an article on the primacy of European law. The Treaty of Lisbon, which does not differ essentially from the proposed European Constitution, does not contain a precedence rule. But different declarations are attached to the treaty. And declaration No. 17 to the TFEU declares the primacy of European law. In this paper I critically examine this hierarchical model and suggest that a network model is more appropriate.


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