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Warum betreibt der Europäische Gerichtshof Rechtsfortbildung? Die Politisierungshypothese


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  • Höpner, Martin
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    In der rechtswissenschaftlichen, politologischen und soziologischen Fachliteratur ist unumstritten, dass der Europäische Gerichtshof (EuGH) das europäische Recht als 'Motor der Integration' expansiv interpretiert und damit faktisch Integrationspolitik betreibt. Das Papier diskutiert anhand von zehn Richtungsentscheidungen des EuGH, ob die Politisierungshypothese einen Beitrag zur Erklärung dieses Umstands leisten kann. Die Hypothese besagt, dass EuGH-Richter ihre Entscheidungen auf Grundlage von länderspezifischen oder parteipolitischen Interessen fällen. Der parteienbezogenen Variante der Hypothese scheint keine Erklärungskraft zuzukommen. Auch die länderbezogene Variante vermag keine systematische Erklärung der EuGH-Rechtsfortbildung zu leisten, die an die Stelle konkurrierender Deutungen treten könnte. Auf ausgewählte Fälle aber passt die länderbezogene Hypothese recht gut. Auf Grundlage der vorgefundenen Ergebnisse formuliere ich die These, dass situative Akte der Politisierung des EuGH möglich erscheinen, ohne dass der rechtliche Code bei der Entscheidungsfindung damit vollständig und dauerhaft vom politischen Code verdrängt würde. -- Scholars from law, political science and sociology agree that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) interprets European law extensively and that the Court has become an 'engine of integration' that, de facto, conducts integration policy. On the basis of ten landmark ECJ decisions, this paper discusses whether the politicization hypothesis can help to explain this development. The politicization hypothesis posits that ECJ judges make their decisions based on the political interests of either the countries they come from or the parties they sympathize with. The party-based variant of the hypothesis does not seem to have any explanatory power. Similarly, the country-based variant delivers no systematic explanation that could supersede alternative explanations. However, the country-based variant fits quite well with some of the cases observed. I conclude that while situationally motivated acts of politicization may actually occur at the ECJ, which does not imply that the judicial code is being totally replaced by political considerations.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Working Paper with number 10/2.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgw:p0087

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    1. Garrett, Geoffrey, 1995. "The politics of legal integration in the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(01), pages 171-181, December.
    2. Höpner, Martin, 2004. "Unternehmensmitbestimmung unter Beschuss: Die Mitbestimmungsdebatte im Licht der sozialwissenschaftlichen Forschung," MPIfG Discussion Paper 04/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    3. Caporaso, James A. & Tarrow, Sidney, 2009. "Polanyi in Brussels: Supranational Institutions and the Transnational Embedding of Markets," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 593-620, October.
    4. Burley, Anne-Marie & Mattli, Walter, 1993. "Europe Before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal Integration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 41-76, December.
    5. Mattli, Walter & Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 1998. "Revisiting the European Court of Justice," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 177-209, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Grimmel, Andreas, 2011. "Politics in robes? The European Court of Justice and the myth of judicial activism," Discussion Papers 2/11, Europa-Kolleg Hamburg, Institute for European Integration.


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