Member state governments of the European Community began with a fundamental role in making EC policies and standards; but throughout the 1960s and 1970s the European Court of Justice gradually began to expand its role and developed an unprecedented regime comparable to the constitutional order of a federal state. The ECJ permitted itself to decide on matters traditionally considered to be the exclusive competence of member states; including social policy, gender equality and competition policy. Remarkably, the majority of national courts and governments of the member states have conformed to ECJ rulings and have harmoniously surrendered their jurisdiction over key policy areas â€“ deferring to the ECJâ€™s authority. Consequently, the member states have struggled to enjoy international legal latitude of compliance in their relationship with the ECJ and commentators such as Weiler J.A have labelled the process a â€œquiet revolution. â€ It is necessary to address the means and opportunities the Court of Justice employed in order to inaugurate itself as a superior court to that of the membersâ€™. In pursuance of this objective, it should be borne in mind whether member states desired ECJ supremacy and thus voluntarily handed the ECJ their competences; or whether a â€œcompetence creepâ€ materialised, gradually increasing the superiority of the ECJ. The answer is not easily deciphered; ample EU scholars have proposed explanations for the apparent gift of superiority. â€˜Neo-functionalistsâ€™ notably argue that the early choice of national governments to place determined areas within the power of European institutions produced pressure to extend the powers of these institutions to further policy areas. The phrase â€˜functional spill-overâ€™ was coined by ... ...man, and Heiner Schulz. 1998. The European Court of Justice, National Governments, and Legal Integration in the European Union. International Organization 52 (1):292 Neill Nugent. 2006. The Government and Politics of the European Union, Sixth Edition. Durham: Duke University Press: 292. Nugent  291 Weiler, J.A. (1994) â€˜A Quiet Revolution: The European Court of Justice and its Interlocutorsâ€™ Mark A. Pollack. 2005. Theorizing EU Policy-Making. In Policy-Making in the European Union, 5th edition, edited by Helen Wallace, William Wallace, and Mark A. Pollack. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 15. Andrew Moravscik. April 2005. The European Constitutional Compromise and the Neofunctionalist Legacy. Journal of European Public Policy 12 (2): 350. Martha Finnemore. 1996. National Interests in International Society. Ithaca: Cornell University Press: 5.
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