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FROM THE EUROPEANIZATION OF LAWMAKING TO THE EUROPEANIZATION OF NATIONAL LEGAL ORDERS: THE CASE OF AUSTRIA

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Abstract

This article addresses the scope of legal Europeanization with regard to Austria, a 1995 accession country. Depending on the choice among several plausible indicators of legal Europeanization, the relative impact of the EU varies greatly. The share of EU-related legislation peaked in the pre-accession period when most of the acquis communautaire needed to be adopted. In the membership period, legislation that relates to the EU accounts for almost 25 per cent of the enactments. Although government decrees outnumber laws as the means of transposition, EU-related rules constitute a much smaller share of delegated legislation. Collectively, EU-related rules constitute a tenth of Austrian legislation. Yet by mid-2003, 42 per cent of Austria's original laws—the core of its legislation—were related to EU rules. While falling short of some inflated expectations, legal Europeanization is indeed a major feature of Austrian legislation. The article confirms expectations derived from the political controversy of EU affairs, federalism, and legal traditions. When we refer to ‘legal orders' in the article we mean the entire body of legislation in force; we use the term ‘legislation’ to refer to recent additions to the body of legislation.

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