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Indirect Taxation and the role of the European Court of Justice within the preliminary reference procedure

This article examines the interpretation of indirect taxes by the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter, “CJEU” or “the Court”) by means of the preliminary reference procedure. It is argued that the nature of the relationship between the national courts that send requests for preliminary rulings and the CJEU has undergone profound changes. By analysing the case law in the field of indirect taxation, the aim is to identify the new elements that frame this jurisdictional dialogue, as well as to explain how this framework affects the hermeneutic criteria employed by the Court. Finally, in this particular field, it will be stressed that the CJEU adopts a hierarchical role, rather than the traditional cooperative one as set out in the Treaty.

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