The Shaping of European Risk Regulation by Community Courts

Although not originally foreseen in the founding Treaty, today the most important and widespread form of EU regulation in the internal market is concerned with the government of risk. Indeed, similarly to what occurred in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, the EU has in recent times witnessed the enactment of a vast body of legislation to protect the environment as well as individuals’ health and safety. Collectively, this large body of legislation is known as ‘risk regulation’. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this phenomenon is not the product of legislative interventions tout court but the result of a rich and informed case-law developed by EU courts in recent years. By systematising this growing case-law, this essay aims at identifying the main distinctive attributes of the emerging European risk regulatory model.