Prejudicinio sprendimo procedūra Europos Bendrijų Teisingumo Teisme.
The purpose of this article is to introduce principal questions related to the concept and procedure of preliminary rulings, the main form of cooperation between the Court of Justice and national courts. A separate part of the article analyses certain aspects of its legal effect and the reform necessary to achieve a more effective functioning of its mechanism. Preliminary rulings, given according to Article 234 EC Treaty, have to ensure a uniform interpretation and application of Community law in all European Union Member States. Moreover, preliminary rulings should be considered as a real source of enrichment for Community law. The author emphasizes that the preliminary ruling procedure is an intermediate phase in a case pending before a national court. It has specific features determined by the same nature and characteristics of Community law. In the context of the preliminary ruling procedure, national courts applying Community law have a right and - in certain cases - an obligation to refer a case to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling concerning specific questions of interpretation or validity of Community law. However, it should be noted that the Court of Justice does not give an opinion on the validity of national law, nor on its application to the facts of a specific case. Moreover, the Court does not apply provisions of Community law in the main proceedings. The interpretation given by of the Court of Justice is binding not only for the referring national court but also for all other courts of the Member States, when they face the same question in cases arising before them. The article refers to the doctrine of law and the case law of the Court of Justice and draws the conclusion that the preliminary ruling procedure is one of the fundamental elements of the EU legal system. The role and importance of preliminary rulings are obvious and clearly defined in enlarged European Union which is on the way to further enlargement.
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