Mario Garcia, Cautious Openness: The Spanish Constitutional Court’s Approach to EU Law in recent national case law, European Law Blog

Mario Garcia, Cautious Openness: The Spanish Constitutional Court’s Approach to EU Law in recent national case law, European Law Blog

In recent months, the Spanish Constitutional Court (SCC) has issued a series of decisions related to EU law that show an interesting combination of both openness toward the European legal order and a certain degree of apprehension to the growing role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in constitutional matters. In these cases the SCC has arrived at fairly pro-EU results: the SCC decided that preliminary references from Spanish courts to the CJEU take precedence over constitutional questions submitted to the SCC, and that a non-transposed, directly-effective EU Directive can be taken as a factor in the interpretation of a constitutional provision. But, as discussed below, the details subtly suggest that the SCC does not fully agree with the ways in which the CJEU has asserted its institutional position, and prefers to avoid potential conflicts in the future.

This post hypothesises that this may be the result of the way in which the CJEU handled the SCC’s first (and so far, only) preliminary reference. First, I briefly explain these developments. Then, I provide a comment.

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