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Is the Commission levelling the playing field? Rights enforcement in the European Union

Journal article
Authors Andreas Hofmann
Published in Journal of European Integration
Volume 40
Issue 6
Pages 737-751
ISSN 0703-6337
Publication year 2018
Published at Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Pages 737-751
Language en
Keywords European Commission, legal mobilization, rights enforcement, collective redress, interest groups, eu law
Subject categories European law


This article investigates important shifts in the way that rights are enforced in the EU. On the one hand, the Commission is increasingly withdrawing from centralised rights enforcement, initiating less and less infringement proceedings and shifting the bulk of its work towards more informal compliance management tools. At the same time, private, de-centralised rights enforcement is becoming more prominent, at least as measured by the amount of preliminary references submitted to the CJEU. The Commission actively supports this trend, and in effect outsources its own enforcement work to private actors, both individual and collective. The article outlines Commission efforts to facilitate private enforcement and discusses whether private enforcement can substitute for centralised enforcement. It concludes that all channels of rights enforcement have a role to play, and the loss of any single channel cannot easily be compensated.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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