The Court of Justice of the European Union is an important motor of integration and is said to be particularly strong in those cases where the Council shows an inability to act. What is the relevance of the Court to social Europe? Europeanisation studies analyse how member states change due to European integration. Judicial Europeanisation is a topic that is under-explored in the literature. Using a case-study approach, this paper analyses the Zambrano case, one of the most notable recent cases of judicial activism of the CJEU with regard to EU citizenship rights. Although the literature often assumes that member states only reluctantly embrace the requirements of case law, the Irish government immediately obliged its administration to implement the required changes. Analysing this case in greater detail and comparing it to the responses of several other member states promises to shed some light on the under-explored question of how Europeanisation through case law proceeds, and what the Court may contribute to social Europe.
Source: West European Politics, Volume 37, Issue 4, 2014, Special Issue: Implementing Social Europe in Times of Crises