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Global Jurist

Ed. by Mattei, Ugo / Monti, Alberto

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2014: 0.101

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The Public–Private Distinction, Autonomy and Free Movement: Unpacking the Assumptions

1Lecturer, University of Zagreb Faculty of Law, Jean Monnet Department of European Public Law

Citation Information: Global Jurist. Volume 13, Issue 2-3, Pages 23–48, ISSN (Online) 1934-2640, ISSN (Print) 2194-5675, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gj-2014-0006, May 2014

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This paper discusses the assumptions behind an evergreen issue of EU law – the so-called horizontal effect of the EU Treaty free movement rules. It is usually claimed that the use of those rules to impose duties on individuals should be limited in order to protect private autonomy. Debate on this issue is largely confined to how far those limits should go. This paper takes a step back and questions the central assumptions made both by legal practice and by scholarship: first, the public–private distinction as a basis for applying the EU Treaties; second, the broad argument for “private autonomy”.

Keywords: horizontal effect; public–private distinction; EU law; free movement; private autonomy

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