Foreword of K. Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union

AuthorCourt of Justice of the European Union
Annual Repor t 2018 | Judicial Act ivity
Foreword of K. Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union
One hundred years ago, Europe was devastated by a particularly deadly conic t. Today, more than 500 million
citizens of all gener ations are witn essing an unprece dented histor ical journey th at has given ris e to a
Community an d then a European Union, a carr ier of fundamental values com mon to its Member States an d
a guarantor, through it s institutions, of peace, f reedom, democracy, the rule of la w and respect for human
This tremendou s achievement, patient ly built over several dec ades, must remain engrave d in our collective
memory a t this dicult tim e in European histor y.
As I write thi s preface, the future remains uncer tain about the outcome of the p olitical process that began
after the ref erendum on the Unite d Kingdom’s memb ership of the Europe an Union on 23 June 2016.
Th e mig rat ion c ris is a ec tin g our con tin ent i s, b eyo nd i ts dr ama tic huma n di mens ion , a s ourc e of some tim es
intense tensions bet ween Member States and fuels reexes of identit y withdrawal in many public opinions.
Concerns about re spect for the values i nherent in the rule of law have al so emerged in some Member St ates.
These sources of c risis or tension have a direc t impact on the acti vities of our instit ution. Over the past y ear,
the Court of Justi ce has thus had to deal with the rst questi ons relating to Brexit, includin g whether a Member
State, afte r having notied the European Counc il of its intention to leave the Union, may re voke that notication.
Asylum cases continue to ow in, draining in their wake issues t hat, under the guise of a highly te chnical
nature, involve c onsiderable human and societ al challenges. Several ca ses, related to respec t for the rule of
law, have also been bro ught before the Court of Jus tice.
In this troubled cl imate, the Court of Justice of t he European Union must remain a sta ble and fundamental
pillar of the European p roject. It is up to it to work , through the unwavering commi tment of all its Members
and sta, towards consolidating the founding values of t his project. To contribute, through high -quality,
eectiv e and transparent just ice, to restoring the conde nce of all  citizens, workers , consumers, businesses,
political de cision-maker s and public manager s — in European integratio n. To tirelessly est ablish itself as a
guarantor of the f undamental valu es inherent in a Union gov erned by the rule o f law, values that can not
tolerate any form of concession or compromise.
President of the Cour t of Justice
of the European Union

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