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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

The Dynamics of "Integration through Law"

Martin Höpner

In light of recent legal decisions relating to the single market, this project analyzes the extensive interpretation by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of European market freedoms' and the member states’ reactions to resulting ECJ rulings. These rulings intensify the integration of the single market by applying European market freedoms to fields formerly within the remit of the member states (as exemplified by the right to take industrial action in the Laval ruling). The project places contemporary legal decisions in the context of a lengthy process of the politically uncontrolled usurpation of member-state competences. It investigates the sources of the ECJ’s freedom of action, which has increasingly extended EU competences to the disadvantage of member states, and examines the political economy implications for the coordinated, organized economies of Europe. In particular, the project analyzes the strategic interplay of national and European interests that makes it impossible, or at least very difficult, to exercise effective political control over the evolution of European law. The project also examines the interests of organizations, particularly trade unions, in this regard. Project duration: October 2008 to September 2017.
Höpner, Martin. 2011. "Der europäische Gerichtshof als Motor der europäischen Integration: Eine akteursbezogene Erklärung." Berliner Journal für Soziologie 21 (2): 203-29.
Höpner, Martin. 2013. "Von der Lückenfüllung zur Vertragsumdeutung: Ein Vorschlag zur Unterscheidung von Stufen der Rechtsfortbildung durch den Europäischen Gerichtshof (EuGH)." Der moderne Staat 3 (1): 165-85.
Höpner, Martin. 2014. "Wie der Europäische Gerichtshof und die Kommission Liberalisierung durchsetzen: Befunde aus der MPIfG-Forschungsgruppe zur Politischen Ökonomie der europäischen Integration." MPIfG Discussion Paper 14/8. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne.
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