AuthorDr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt

Page 103

What overall picture emerges of the European Community?s legal order?

The legal order is the true foundation of the Community, giving it a common system of law under which to operate. Only by creating new law and upholding it can the Community?s underlying objectives be achieved. The Community legal order has already accomplished a great deal in this respect. It is thanks not least to this new legal order that the largely open frontiers, the substantial trade in goods and services, the migration of workers and the large number of transnational links between companies have already made the common market part of everyday life for some 380 million people. Another, historically important, feature of the Community legal order is its peacemaking role. With its objective of maintaining peace and liberty, it replaces force as a means of settling conflicts by rules of law that bind both individuals and the Member States into a single community. As a result the Community legal order is an important instrument for the preservation and creation of peace.

The Community and its underlying legal order can survive only if compliance with and safeguarding of that legal order is guaranteed by the two cornerstones: the direct applicability of Community law and the primacy of Community law over national law. These two principles, the Page 104 existence and maintenance of which are resolutely defended by the Court of Justice, guarantee the uniform and priority application of Community law in all Member States.

For all its imperfections, the Community legal order makes an invaluable contribution towards solving the political, economic and social problems of the Member States of the Community.

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