Published : 2021-04-21

What are the Ultimate Sources for Privileges and Immunities of the European Union? Comment on the Judgement of the Court of Justice, Case C-502/19 Junqueras Vies

Section: Case comments

Abstract

The judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU in the case of Mr Junqueras Vies has been significant in many respects. It has split the mandate of Members of the European Parliament from the parliamentary functions fulfilled by them. It has also extended the scope of parliamentary privileges and immunities of MEPs as a result of extensive reading of the provisions of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the EU. The present comment argues that such an extensive interpretation had only been possible because the CJEU found in its judgment that the principle of representative democracy created a ‘context’ in which the Court reread the respective provisions on the immunities of MEPs. As a result of the above, it seems the CJEU has found yet another basis for the EU’s
immunities, functioning independently of Article 343 TFEU. Contrary to the EU’s immunities which are based on Article 343 TFEU and operate according to the principle of functional necessity, which is characteristic for traditional international organisations, immunities based on the principle of representative democracy operate according to ‘constitutional’ logic, which is characteristic for states. As the EU is evidently neither a traditional international organisation nor a state, simultaneous operation of these two sources for its privileges and immunities may prove to be difficult. In particular, EU citizens may start to wonder why the EU, the functioning of which is based on the principle of representative democracy, enjoys privileges and immunities characteristic for traditional intergovernmental
organisations.

Keywords

European Union ; Court of Justice of the EU ; privileges and immunities


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Zieliński, M. (2021). What are the Ultimate Sources for Privileges and Immunities of the European Union? Comment on the Judgement of the Court of Justice, Case C-502/19 Junqueras Vies. Polish Review of International and European Law, 10(1), 139-153. https://doi.org/10.21697/priel.2021.10.1.06

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