Constitutional Principles and Horizontal Effects: Kücükdeveci revisited

Dagmar Schiek

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While German labour lawyers were still awaiting the German Constitutional Court’s final verdict on the principles established by the Mangold case, the Court of Justice of the European Union re-visited the question what exactly are the effects of Directive 2000/78 and the constitutional principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age. This article analyses the constitutional relevance of this case in two respects. First, it argues that the Court has accepted neither direct horizontal effects of directives nor direct effects of constitutional principles, but rather - much more cautiously - reiterated the rule that directives on constitutional principles such as non-discrimination can exclude the application of national legislation in horizontal cases. The article also demonstrates that this cautious approach has succeeded in convincing the German Constitutional Court that the Mangold judgment was not ultra vires. Consequently, the claim challenging that judgment was dismissed and a constitutional crisis avoided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-379
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Labour Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • EU Law
  • Labour Law
  • Effects of EU Directives
  • EU Constitutional Law
  • age discrimination
  • race discrimination
  • intersectional discrimination


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