Judicial Homogeneity as a Fundamental Principle of the EEA

Chapter

Abstract

Homogeneity is a concept often used in sciences, statistics and the law. In chemistry, for example, a homogeneous suspension of material means that, when dividing the volume in half, the same amount of material is suspended in both halves of the substance. However, it might be possible to see the particles under a microscope. In the EEA, the principle of homogeneity guarantees a level playing field for individuals and economic operators (One may have expected that the equally important principle of reciprocity had played a similar preeminent role as the homogeneity principle. However, the notion of that principle is only gradually emerging into homogeneity’s twin sister or brother (see further the chapter by Carl Baudenbacher, Reciprocity)). Without homogeneous interpretation of the common rules the playing field would, in the long run, develop into two separated internal markets. The homogeneity principle therefore simply has to work. The understanding of homogeneity, however, is not as homogeneous as one may expect (see Fredriksen, Judicial protection in the European economic area, pp. 188 et seq., 2012; Magnússon, Nord J International Law 80(4):507–534, 2011; Baudenbacher, The Handbook of EEA law, 2016; Hreinsson, The handbook of EEA law, 2016), in particular with respect to judicial homogeneity. It is undoubtedly a special challenge in the EEA’s system with two independent courts, each with full jurisdiction about the interpretation of the EEA agreement in their pillar, to achieve homogeneity. Against this background that branch of the principle and how it has been (pragmatically) approached in Luxembourg shall be (re-)assessed.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of St. Gallen HSGSt. GallenSwitzerland

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