Tagged: Case C-270/12 UK v Parliament and Council

The legal limits to ‘agencification’ in the EU? Case C-270/12 UK v Parliament and Council

This important constitutional case of last week deals with the legal limits of the proliferation of agencies within the EU and their powers imposed by EU constitutional law, and in particular with the Meroni (1958) and Romano (1981) judgments as well as the new constitutional structure created with the Lisbon Treaty with respect to delegated and implementing powers. The case presented an opportunity for the Court, as the Advocate General had put it, ‘to balance the functional benefits and independence of agencies against the possibility of them becoming “uncontrollable centres of arbitrary power”’(para 19). The Court concluded that the fears of the United Kingdom in relation to the powers of the European Securities and Market Authority (‘ESMA’) to intervene in the financial assets and securities markets were unfounded, and by doing so clarified that articles 290 and 291 TFEU do not present a closed system of delegating regulatory powers. The judgement solidifies the legality of much of the EU’s practice in having recourse to specialized agencies to deal with issues which require a certain level of expertise. In this blog post, I will highlight the three main aspects of the judgement:

  • the compatibility of the EU’s delegation of powers to ESMA with the Meroni and Romano judgments;
  • its compatibility with articles 290 and 291 TFEU;
  • its compatibility with the principle of conferral of powers in relation to article 114 TFEU. Continue reading