Multilevel trust in a multilevel system: Exploring judicial trust in the EU

European judicial politics literature is increasingly focusing on trust as a new mechanism for enhancing the cooperation and compliance of national courts with the CJEU and EU law. Exploring the role of trust in a multilevel judicial system such as the EU, however, requires looking at trust from a multilevel perspective. This includes (1) trust between domestic courts in a national judicial hierarchy and (2) trust between domestic courts (at different levels) and the CJEU. Building on the literature on multi-level trust where trust at one level influences trust at another level, this paper explores how can trust on different levels (that is, trust within and between different levels of judicial hierarchy) limit or enhance judicial cooperation and compliance with EU law. The paper is based on a mixed-method research design that combines survey results (N=450) and the results of in-depth interviews (N=31) with Slovenian and Croatian national judges.

The trust relationship between Parliament and Government as a “common constitutional tradition” to EU Member States?

The paper assumes that it is possible to make use of the notion of “common constitutional traditions” not only to fundamental rights (Art. 6,3 TUE), but also to institutional settings. It argues that the existence of such a common constitutional tradition can be envisaged among EU Member States, namely in the necessity of a trust relationship between Government and (at least one House of) Parliament. It has to be considered, in fact, that, with the only exception of Cyprus, in all the 27 Member States – although with many variations – a parliamentary or a semi-presidential form of government is provided. Therefore, the European choice is in favor of a “fusion of powers” model, requiring a mutual relation of trust between Parliament and Government, instead of a “separation of powers” one, which is dominant in other continents, such as America and Asia. This element needs to be taken into consideration also for correctly identifying the EU form of government.

Trust and Specialized Regulatory Agencies: A Case Study of the European Patent Office

Trust is vital for any type of collaboration, including for specialized regulatory regimes. The European Patent Office (EPO) is a fascinating case study for a specialized regulatory regime to examine trust dynamics at various levels. The EPO is not an EU agency, but it is part of an intergovernmental organization which also includes non-EU countries. The EU closely collaborates with the EPO. Since its establishment the EPO has built a very strong global reputation in patent examination. However, recent reforms to improve the EPO’s efficiency and effectiveness has had a negative impact on its reputation within the global patent community. Moreover, the last decade EPO leadership has encountered significant conflicts with its employees, which according to some commentators has resulted in a serious “trust crisis”. The objective of the paper is to examine these features and developments through the lense of multilevel trust focusing on interpersonal, interorganizational and system trust.

The duty of Parliament to adopt reliable legislation: Linking trust in Parliament with legitimate expectations

This presentation links trust-in-parliament studies with studies on the legal notion of ‘legitimate expectations’ related to legislation. The legal notion demands that Parliament does not frustrate the expectations of people that rely on legislation. This gives a normative feature to the idea of trust: Parliament should produce reliable legislation, and should therefore be trustworthy so as to not harm individual interests through unexpected changes in legislation. The central question is: how is the notion of legitimate expectations related to the concept of trust in Parliament? This way, the relationship between reliability and trustworthiness, or between prediction and trust, is clarified. By analysing the interplay of trust and legal alternatives to trust, the presentation puts the finger on the role of courts in conceptualizing the principle of legitimate expectations.