The Structure of European Union Law

Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Is the general structure of EU law a matter determined by its own constitutional principles? Many assume that this must be the case, because this is what we regularly expect from any national order of constitutional law. A more careful look shows that the analogy does not work. There is no single set of constitutional principles that determines the application of EU law by the Member States. Each State has its own principles. This clear division of labour between EU and national law poses a serious theoretical problem to those presenting EU law as a legal system directly analogous to that of a constitutional order. This chapter argues that a more careful study shows that the structure of EU law is very much like the structure of international law: dualist, not monist. Nevertheless, the dualist structure of EU law does not in any sense reduce its authority or legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-150
Number of pages30
JournalCambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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