Law and language in EU institutions

 

Post-enlargement dynamics of law and language in EU institutions

The enlargement of the EU to 25 member states in May 2004, followed by the accession of two further states in 2007, brought with it questions concerning the organisational structure of that Union – the sheer scale of the largest EU expansion to date has highlighted the need to restructure the EU institutions.  However, issues of an organisational nature are not the only challenges that must be faced: the effect of enlargement on the institutional dynamics of the European Court of Justice, Commission and Parliament will have implications for the development of EU law and European governance.  The representatives of the twelve new member states who have taken their places and positions in the EU institutions bring to those multilingual, multicultural institutions the influence of their own languages, legal systems and cultures.  My research in this area investigates to what extent the dynamics and organisational structure of the EU’s supranational institutions, in particular the Court of Justice, is affected by such influences and by the organisational problems of enlargement; all of which will consequently affect the future development of the law and governance of the European Union.  Using qualitative data largely obtained from empirical fieldwork research I focus on the implications of enlargement within the EU institutions and consider whether such enlargement requires the rethinking of existing problematics and the development of new ways of functioning for those institutions.