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This paper is concerned with the implications of CJEU internal market case law for the balance of powers between the EU institutions. It argues that the Court’s case law involving the areas of domestic policy reserved by the Treaty predominantly for the competence of the Member States creates an inter-institutional dynamic that restrains the rule-making capacity of the EU legislature. This dynamic seems to undermine the EU law principle of institutional balance because it either (i) prevents EU-level legislative action, or (ii) predetermines its content, or (iii) makes it devoid of practical force through expansive judicial interpretation of secondary legislation.