Pre-emption definition

Published by a LexisNexis EU Law expert

What does Pre-emption mean?

Pre-emption is a legal doctrine according to which the exercise of EU competences precludes corresponding Member State competences in case of a conflict.

The doctrine of pre-emption is applicable only in shared competence areas which are listed under Article 4 TFEU. Article 2(2) TFEU, codifying the pre-emption doctrine in EU law, suggests that in shared competence areas the Member States can legislate to the extent that the Union does not legislate. As a result of the pre-emption doctrine, the Member States are allowed to regulate matters in shared competence areas under the condition that in case of a conflict with the EU measures, the national measures will be set aside.

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