The Application of EU Law in the New Member States - Brave New World is a unique volume, providing readers with an in-depth analysis of EU-related legal developments in the twelve new Member States of the European Union.
As anticipated, the new Member States have experienced considerable challenges in the transposition and application of EU law. The first five years have also brought a series of controversial decisions of constitutional and supreme courts on the principle of the supremacy of EC law and the position of third pillar legislation in national legal systems. There is also a growing body of highly interesting decisions of lower courts, proving that EU law is slowly making its way and its effectiveness should not be at risk in the long term. Having passed the phase of shyness, domestic courts in at least a few of those countries have already started to send references for the preliminary rulings to the European Court of Justice. Despite some early disappointments, the new references are, in most cases, admissible and very interesting from the substantive point of view.
A purely technocratic approach may immediately lead to a conclusion that all these efforts are not sufficient and that the newcomers are underperforming. However, if one takes into account the breadth of the reforms and changes those countries have undergone in the past two decades the conclusion may be different. The emerging picture is quite impressive when economic, political and social factors are taken into account. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which had managed to escape the brain draining ruthless Soviet empire, have spent the last twenty years in a deep, multidimensional transformation. Membership of the European Union is yet another challenge they are faced with. One should not think of those countries as children of a lesser God, but rather a Brave New World negotiating its way in the contemporary Europe.
This book is important reading for academics, practitioners and civil servants in the EU Member States and candidate countries.
Dr Adam Lazowski is Reader in Law at the School of Law, University of Westminster, London, UK.