Volume 44 (2007) / Issue 3
The paper tries to show that some general standards of EC law can be established already now for “horizontal liability” among private parties, as well as “vertical liability” for breaches of EC law by Community institutions under Art. 288 (2) EC or by Member states under the Francovich doctrine. The basic requirement is the violation of an EC law provision intending to protect private parties, e.g. under the competition or free movement rules. Remedies for compensation must be found under national law, but this must obey the principles of effectiveness and equivalence, which may be summarized as the principle of “adequate protection”. The existing national remedies may need to be reshaped and “upgraded” if they do not meet EC standards. This will lead to a “hybridization of remedies” with regard to the basic requirements of a “sufficiently serious breach”, causation, amount of compensation, and adequate procedures. Even if EC law must respect the diversity of Member State laws, it should still develop adequate, effective and equivalent common standards on compensation of EU citizens if their rights protected under Community law have been illegally violated by private parties.
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