A Critical Analysis of the European Union Law-making Process and Sources of Law
Keywords:European Union, Law-making process, sources of law, legislative process, Treaty on European Union, Treaty on the Functioning of European Union
This study focused on the critical analysis of the European Union law-making process and sources of law. The study employed doctrinal legal methodology which covers research into doctrines and analysis of the relevant legal instruments including; Treaty on European Union (TEU), Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and other instruments, legal articles and books citing secondary materials where issues need to be placed in contexts of the European Union’s law-making process and sources of law. The findings on the European Union law making process revealed three major methods of the European Union’s legislative process which they entail: firstly, ordinary legislative process containing procedures such as formulation, first reading, second reading, conciliation, third reading and special provisions; secondly, special legislative process containing procedures such as consultation procedure, consent procedure and approval procedure; and thirdly, non-legislative procedures such as procedure for adopting delegated acts and implementing acts; and the findings of the study on the European Union’s sources of law indicates that are two major categories of sources of law including; primary source of law such as the European Union founding treaties like the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; and the secondary source of law such as legislative and non-legislative acts, international agreements, sui generis decisions, soft law, inter-institutional agreements, agreement between member states, legal unwritten custom; and thirdly, the general principles of law such as protection of the legitimate expectations, right to a fair hearing, the guarantee of fundamental rights and the principle of proportionality.