Enforcing the Transposition and Application of EC Law: What Role is Played by the Commission and European Court of Justice?

Research question/goal: 

This project contributed a theoretical and empirical perspective to contemporary research on the transposition and application of EU Law in the member states as it is enforced by the Commission and European Court of Justice (ECJ). The project draws on the theoretical literature from the field of International Relations (IR) on the interaction between international courts and national states as well as on the more empirically oriented studies on implementation of EU law in member states. An overview of previous compliance research on EU law revealed that the interaction between the European Commission, the ECJ and the member states has been largely overlooked. Despite the importance in the theoretical literature in IR, there are hardly any theoretical contributions in the EU literature on this topic. Tanja Dannwolf presented one suitable theoretical approach in her dissertation proposal. In order to empirically test the theoretical predictions of the model we completed a comprehensive data set linking data from three previous resources and extending the time period to include all directives passed between 1986 and 2009. More specifically, three datasets were combined: 1) on EU legislative activity (König, Luetgert and Dannwolf 2006), 2) on transposition activities of member states (König and Luetgert 2009; Luetgert and Dannwolf 2009) as well as 3) on infringement procedures that were initiated by the European Commission. This allows to adopt a process perspective on all EU laws – insofar available – for the period 1986 until 2009. This new data set will allow for the continued investigation of member state transposition activities and supranational enforcement for individual legislative acts across all stages of legislative and compliance decision making. The project has resulted in one book chapter and two conference papers that are currently under review. In addition, a MZES working paper and a dissertation are in preparation.

Fact sheet

2010 to 2011
Data Sources: 
document analysis, survey data
Geographic Space: 
all documented member state transposition activities in fifteen member states over a twenty year period