Even at the time of the Intergovernmental Conference, which resulted in the passing of the Maastricht Treaty, the theme of the (then hardly existing) hierarchy of norms within EC law, appeared on the agenda. In Declaration 16 attached to the Treaty, the subject was postponed until the following IGC in 1996. However Amsterdam also failed to resolve the matter. The reason for this must be sought in the wide variety of views among member states on the question of what should be regulated at what level, partly in the light of principles relating to the constitutional state. A comparative law study of the hierarchy of norms as it exists, or does not exist, in the member states of the EU, and of the prevailing views of the need for this at European level, is therefore a prerequisite for any meaningful discussion of the introduction of a European hierarchy of norms. Project sections 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 may be able to generate more insight into the place of the different Community legislative instruments, both traditional and new, in the legislative system as it develops in practice.