Tag Archives: direct effect

Important Judgment on the Principles of EU Law

A judgment on a reference for a recent preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice has serious implications for the application of European Union law in the future.

In Case C‑555/07 (Kücükdeveci) the Court was asked to clarify the question of the application of the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age. ECJ stated that the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age is a general principle of European Union law in that it constitutes a specific application of the general principle of equal treatment.

The Court says that Directive 2000/78 “merely gives expression to, but does not lay down, the principle of equal treatment in employment and occupation, and that the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age is a general principle of European Union law in that it constitutes a specific application of the general principle of equal treatment”.

This is really interesting, because the ECJ actually says that any directive can “give expression” to a general principle of EU law, and thus have horizontal direct effect.

Some commentators do not agree with the ECJ, and others think a battle between the ECJ and the German Constitutional Court is pending.