This article analyses the determinants that lead national courts across EU countries to use the preliminary reference procedure, paying special attention to the differences and similarities in the use of this mechanism of judicial cooperation between the old and the new Member States incorporated in 2004 and 2007. The study presents original and comprehensive data on the use of preliminary references (1961-2011) in all 27 Member States. Besides confirming the impact of common factors already tested in the literature, this research additionally identifies some differences in the institutional dynamics influencing the use of preliminary references across older and newer Member States.
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