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Integration and the Europeanisation of the Law


  • Alec Stone Sweet


The paper elaborates and tests a dynamic theory of European integration, and examineshow national legal systems have participated in, and are affected by, the development of asupranational, constitutional legal order. The paper is divided into two parts. Part Iexamines the relationship between market forces, lobbying in the Commission, EClegislation, and the legal system. The data analysis demonstrates that the development ofcausal connections between these four processes produced a self-reinforcing system thathas largely determined the pace and scope of integration. The analysis also shows that theconstruction and operation of the EC’s legal system has been a crucial component ofintegration, a process conceived broadly as a joint market-building and polity-buildingproject. The second part of the paper explores how litigants, national judges, and theEuropean Court have interacted, through the Art. 234 preliminary reference procedure.Some important puzzles have been, at least partly, solved, but others deserve the fullattention of lawyers and social scientists. Many of these relate to the complex,multidimensional impact of the development of European law on national legal systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Alec Stone Sweet, 2002. "Integration and the Europeanisation of the Law," Queen's Papers on Europeanisation p0024, Queens University Belfast.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:queens:p0024

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    economic law; economic integration; European Commission; European Court of Justice; European law;

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