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Working paper

Role of the European Court of Justice in the Third Pillar: Does not it grow too fast?

The article discusses the role of the European court of justice in the so called third pillar of the European Union. This role, from virtually non-existent in the early 1990s when the third pillar was introduced into the institutional structure of the European Union, grew extensively throughout the 1990-2000s and by the time the pillar structure was abandoned in the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the Court has already effectively escaped its limitations by its own case-law. This provides a curious example of judicialization – the process whereby legal institutions gain political power and engage into taking politically salient decisions alongside, and sometimes even instead of politicians acting within majoritarian institutions. By reviewing the ECJ case-law in the third pillar the paper attempts to establish the effect of judicialization on the EU, to evaluate it and to answer the question whether the role of the ECJ grows too fast in the third pillar.