Robert Schütze. European Union Law 2 ed. 2018. p 116 scanned.

      But even when directives have direct effect, they generally do not have horizontal direct effects. Why has the Court shown such ‘childish’ loyalty to the no-horizontal- direct- effect rule? Has that rule not created more constitutional problems than it solves? And is the Court perhaps discussing a ‘false problem’? [2.] For if the Court simply wishes to say that an (unimplemented) directive may never directly prohibit private party actions [PPAs], [3.] this does not mean that it cannot have horizontal direct effects [HDE] in civil disputes challenging the legality of State actions.199

199 This – much – simpler reading of the substance of the case law would bring directives close to the normative character of Art. 107 TFEU – prohibiting State aid. For while the provision can be invoked as against the State as well as against a private party, it cannot prohibit private aids by private companies.

  1. Pls ELI5 the boldened sentence? It has too many negators for me to fathom.

  2. What's the scope of "never"? Does this mean "an (unimplemented directive) can sometimes directly allow PPAs" or "an (unimplemented directive) can only INdirectly prohibit PPAS"?

1 Answer 1


EU directives are for member states

More context is needed for exact clarification, but this seems to refer to the issue that generally EU directives (as opposed to EU regulations) don't directly target private parties in any way. The idea is that EU directives don't say "X must/can't do Y", but instead "Member states shall require [by passing legislation] that X must/can't do Y". EU Directives don't require private parties to do anything, it requires member states to do things.

So the emphasised text says that in any private dispute the directive can only have an indirect effect (the direct effect would come from the appropriate national law(s) which implement that directive). However, if a private party challenges the legality of state actions and asserts that the state violated the directive because they didn't implement the provisions as required, then the directive would be directly relevant.

  • hi. thanks. i scanned pp. 115-116. does the more context change your answer?
    – user6241
    Jan 3, 2020 at 6:53

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