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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

There is a temptation to suppose that the creation and maintenance of an integrated trading area in the EU brings with it a need for a general regulatory competence vested in the EU institutions. The Treaties, however, do not so provide. The competences and powers of the EU are no more than those conferred upon it by its Treaties, and are limited to and by that mandate. That it may seem desirable for the EU to act in a particular way may collide with the constitutional point that its Treaties do not permit such action. In this sense all choices and preferences about the nature and scope of policy making in the EU are underpinned by constitutional constraints that are particular to the EU. This article presents an account of those constitutional constraints in law and in practice.

Keywords: EU competence, treaties, policy making, constitutional constraints

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