Trust and distrust in EU regulatory expertise: a cross-sectoral analysis of the CJEU’s approach to risk regulation cases

Trust and expertise are closely intertwined in the EU. While EU institutions rely heavily on expert advice in policy drafting and implementation, such reliance on expertise has historically failed to win European citizens’ trust. EU risk regulation provides several examples in these respects. It is suggested that courts can play a role in enhancing citizens’ trust in regulatory expertise, by holding institutions to account for how they use science when regulating risks. The paper offers a cross-sectoral analysis of the CJEU’s case law in three areas of risk regulation (food safety, chemicals, medicines). Given that each entails different constellations of interests and actors, the paper seeks to clarify if and how these variations affect the CJEU’s reasoning. It maps the actors who initiated litigation and the legal grounds they invoked and assesses whether any context-dependent patterns are identifiable in the CJEU’s reasoning or whether the Court follows a one-size-fits-all approach.