This is subject to the principles of equivalence and effectiveness, i.e. national procedural rules must not discriminate against EC law rights and must afford full effectiveness to EC law rights. Where national rules of procedure respect these principles, EC law normally does not require any particular regime of procedural or adjectival law to exist in the member states. In particular, EC law does not normally create any remedies in its own right, leaving the law on remedies to national law. In these fields of law, the doctrine of supremacy of Community law is well established. In case of conflict between Community law and national law, the member states courts are obliged to respect the Community law which to a large extent has direct effect in the member states and also in relations between private parties.
Member states courts might sometimes hesitate to set aside national law provisions regarded as important because they are contrary to Community law and they normally know their own national law better than Community law. Thus, there are problems not only of obstruction but also of ignorance. There has been and still is an ongoing struggle to secure the full application of Community law in the member states.
If the national court decides to make a reference to ECJ, proceedings are stayed in the national court until the ECJ gives its ruling. The Court has also assessed the legality of derogations to Community rules by reference to fundamental rights. In particular, the Court has applied article 10 of ECHR to a case in which a Member State justified a measure having equivalent effect to quantitative restrictions based on the need to secure protection of fundamental rights, such as media plurality2. The key factors that have helped in developing the Community legal system, are that the obligation in Community law to duly motivate any decision3, the principle of transparency to which Community and domestic Administrations have to comply with, individuals' right to have their legal positions fully and effectively protected4 and the principle of the liability of a Member State for breach of Community law5.
The judgments of the Court, in this aspect, have played a fundamental role in trying to build an even playing field to secure a minimum standard of substantive judicial protection of Community rights. The Court has asserted a founding principle of the EC legal system that national judicial remedies must be adequate, and any impediment to Community rights being enforced effectively should be removed in the name of the supremacy of Community law6.
In 1976, the Court had insisted that an essential element of the Community's constitutional order was the freedom of Member States to implement their Community obligations according to their individual traditions of public law and civil and criminal justice7. The only conditions set down by the Court of Justice were equal treatment and effectiveness. National courts and administrations were prohibited from making it more