Hello! Welcome to Luxembourg for a visit to the Court of Justice of the European Union. In your country, a court is a tribunal with judges and lawyers. It hands down justice. It settles disputes of all kinds, not only crimes. The Court of Justice of the European Union plays a special role. It only deals with cases concerning the rules of European law. And that's quite something. Let's go to the library. You have to see it! The shelves are huge. They contain every subject to do with European law. Explanation. The European Union makes law. It creates a set of rules which must be applied in all EU Member States. The aim is to make sure the goals of the Union are achieved. For example, to protect the environment, or so that Europeans can travel freely between Member States. So it must be verified that EU law is respected everywhere. Let's imagine. If an EU Member State doesn't respect a rule of European law, it can be summoned here, to this courtroom. And then, like in a detective film, it will find itself on trial, with defence lawyers and one or more judges. It may be punished financially if it doesn't obey the decision at the end of the trial. The Court of Justice settles disputes concerning one of the EU institutions, one Member State, or even several Member States. And there's a court to deal with cases affecting EU citizens or companies. But it must still directly involve European law. But most of the time the Court of Justice's work consists of interpretation. Doesn't it, Your Honour? That's how you have to address a judge. In addition to the treaties and legislation by the EU's political institutions, there is jurisprudence, which contains clarifications of the treaties and this legislation. It's not easy. National judges aren't always sure they understand EU rules, so they ask the European judges for clarification. What does this jurisprudence look like? The jurisprudence is behind me. It's available in the 23 languages of the European Union, each of which is represented by a colour. Indeed, this jurisprudence colours the daily lives of European citizens who travel, who work, who stay, who study in a Member State other than their own. That's what I said. European law covers a good deal of our everyday lives. In total, over 1,000 cases per year are analysed here. That's a lot of work. Right, time for a quick recap. The Court of Justice of the European Union is used: 1. to resolve Member States' disputes with each other or with one of the EU institutions; 2. to resolve certain disputes involving EU citizens or companies, but only in the area of European rules; and 3. to help national judges understand European law better in order to apply it better. There are other things, but those are the most important. I'll spare you the details. Bye! TO BE CONTINUED ON WWW.EUROPARLTV.EU