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From its inception, the EU was intended to grow and become more than an economic bloc, which is why the founding member states agreed to transfer parcels of sovereignty to the newly 'supranational' institutions. Supranational as the word indicates is something placed over a national structure. The term is used to denote the opposite to intergovernmental where decisions are taken by consensus and linked to national government interests. Member states are no longer be able to adopt, independently, legislation in the areas delegated by the Treaties i.e. the current Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and their predecessors to the EU institutions. The member states created a new system that, according to established case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), takes precedence over their national law.
The EU legal system is built on several values and principles, some expressly embodied in the Treaties, some others developed by the CJEU through the years. A few of the most important are: conferral, primacy, subsidiarity and proportionality.
An EU regulation is known as a Directive. When a Directive is issued, the 28 member states are given a time limit in which they must incorporate the Directive into their domestic law.
On 23rd June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with a 52% majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU. The full impact of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU remains to be established and the EU and UK domestic legal landscape will continue to change throughout the withdrawal process.
The implications of Brexit and its consequences for businesses and individuals means that EU law specialists are highly in demand. We have carefully selected the most experienced EU solicitors and made it easy for you to search through and select the lawyer who is best suited for your legal matter.
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