Effective legal protection in the composite procedures of the SSM

It seems to be a given by now that shared administrations are increasingly used in the EU to ensure an effective implementation of Union law. However, the administrative reality of shared administrations still seems ahead of the legal and judicial reality. Shared administrations result in decisions based on often complex composite administrative procedures involving administrative authorities from both the EU and national legal orders. However, there is no single uniform set of EU administrative standards and the judicial orders are still relatively separate. The different administrative authorities involved may thus be subject to different administrative standards and, due to the relatively separate judicial orders, it is often uncertain in what manner effective judicial protection can be ensured. The extent to which an effective legal control is possible is thus questionable in case of composite administrative procedures. In this blog post, which is based on my new book ‘Effective Legal Protection in Banking Supervision. An Analysis of Legal Protection in Composite Administrative Procedures in the Single Supervisory Mechanism’ (Europa Law Publishing 2021), I will be addressing this question on the example of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). I have looked for a middle ground that ensures effective legal protection in composite procedures in such a way that persons’ rights are safeguarded without unnecessarily hampering the supervisors’ effectiveness. Although this is not such an easy task, it seems possible nonetheless.

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CJEU moving towards integrated judicial protection?

Ensuring effective judicial protection appears to be a challenge in the case of the increasingly integrated administrative procedures. The judicial powers are generally more strictly divided between the EU and the national level, while composite procedures may require a more integrated judicial control. Is the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) moving into this direction in the recent case of Berlusconi by confirming its exclusive competence to review non-binding national preparatory measures that are part of an EU decision-making process? The ruling clarifies the CJEU’s jurisdiction and avoids a strict separation of the EU and the national level, but it remains to be seen if it serves as an actual next step towards integrated judicial protection. Just how the CJEU can review the national part of the procedure is still unclear, as are the types of preparatory measures to be covered. It seems to nevertheless be a welcome step towards clarifying judicial protection in the case of composite procedures.

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