The doctrine of pre-emption differs from the Supremacy clause of EC law ruled in Costa v. ENEL4 in that the latter is a guide when two existing norms regulating the same thing are in conflict,5 whereas pre-emption consists in determining whether there is a conflict between a national measure, be it in application or decision, and a rule of Community law.
In a further step, in (Case 11/70) Internationale Handelsgesellschaft GmbH6, the Court held that Community law took precedence even over a fundamental rule in the German national constitution. The clearest statement of the implications of the supremacy of Community law came in (Case 106/77) Simmenthal SpA (No. 2)7 where the Court held that national courts, even a lowly court of first instance, have a duty to set aside provisions of national law, which are incompatible with EC law. There was no need to wait for the national law to be amended in line with national constitutional procedures: the national rule had to be set aside immediately if it conflicted with a directly applicable or directly effective Community provision. ...Show more