Europees recht – Simmenthal II

  • Datum: 9 maart 1978

  • Rechtbankniveau: HvJEU

  • Rechtsgebied: Europees recht

  • Wetsartikelen: Community law


The Simmenthal judgment concerns two preliminary questions on the direct applicability of Community law (Article 189 of the EEC Treaty) in the event of a conflict between a rule of Community law and a national provision of law of a later date:
• Should a provision contrary to Community law which is directly applicable be left out of application, without the provision having to be withdrawn or declared unconstitutional, so that in the second case the community provisions can have no effect and the rights of individuals cannot be protected?
• Should the elimination of conflicting provisions be done with full retroactive effect?

Court of Justice

The direct effect of Community law means that rules of their entry into force and during their entire period of validity must be fully and uniformly applied in all the Member States. Provisions are therefore a direct source of rights and obligations for the Member States and their nationals (individuals).

In accordance with the principle of the precedence of Community law, the relationship between provisions of the treaty and directly applicable measures of the institutions on the one hand and the national law of member states on the other is such that those provisions and measures not only by their entry into force render automatically inapplicable any conflicting provision of current national law but – in so far as they are an integral part of, and take precedence in, the legal order applicable in the territory of each of the member states – also preclude the valid adoption of new national legislative measures to the extent to which they would be incompatible with Community provisions

The national court is obliged to apply Community law and to ensure the full effect of the standards listed in Community law. Thus, it is not necessary for the court to request or await the actual setting aside by the national authorities empowered to act on any national measures which might impede the direct and immediate application of Community rules.