By the editors
As is becoming a tradition with our blog, we present to you our top 10 most read posts of the last year. Blogging in 2016 on EU law was no doubt marked by Brexit. The result of the UK’s advisory referendum on EU membership on 23 June 2016, which returned a slim majority in favour of ‘Brexit’ provoked much discussion on this blog (10 posts so far) and elsewhere about the UK’s future relationship with the EU and the future of the EU itself. It is therefore no surprise that three of this year’s top 10 blog posts dissect this momentous moment. But Brexit was surely not the only topic that gathered the attention of our readers.
Keeping in mind that there is a certain bias in favour of older posts which have had more time to become popular, this is the 2016 list of most read posts of the year: Continue reading
By Laurens Ankersmit
Earlier this month the Court launched its very own app for smartphone and tablet. Available for free in both the Apple App store (for iPhone and iPad) and Google Play (for Android), the app contains a few nice basic functions for us Court followers.
The application is available in 23 EU languages and has four basic features:
- ‘Case-law’: this feature gives easy access to the latest decisions of the Courts of the CJEU (judgments, orders and Opinions);
- ‘Press releases’: shows the 10 most recent press releases published by the institution;
- ‘Judicial calendar’: gives an overview of the hearings, readings of Opinions and deliveries of judgments scheduled for the next five weeks;
- ‘Search’: gives easy access to all the case-law of the Court. This section allows searches to be made by case number, parties’ names and date and in full text mode.
I have had the app for a week or so now and it is quite a handy basic version of the curia website. The design is also quite neat and it operates smoothly. However, don’t expect too many wonders from the app. The search function is basic, so if you want to search by procedure or subject-matter, you will still need to go to the curia website. Also, while it is great that with one touch you have access to the most recent judgments, the list of judgments does not include the subject-matter of the case. This is of course a general problem with the Court’s website (although half of the list of judgments does indicate the subject-matter) and it makes it a bit more tedious to skim through recent judgments that might potentially be of interest to you. Lastly, it would really be great if the next version of the app would have a notification feature which it unfortunately doesn’t have currently.
You can find the app under the name ‘CVRIA’ (with a V not a U) in your app store or in Google Play.
Une belle introduction d’une opinion de l’Avocat Général Maciej Szpunar qu’il serait dommage de rater:
“Nous sommes en 2016 après Jésus-Christ. Toute la politique agricole commune (PAC) est régie par la procédure législative ordinaire… Toute ? Non ! Car une disposition irréductible du traité FUE relative à la PAC résiste encore à cette procédure ordinaire. Et la vie n’est pas facile pour ceux qui sont appelés à délimiter le champ d’application de cette disposition…”
By the editors
On Wednesday Koen Lenaerts was elected President of the European Court of Justice by the Judges of the Court for the term of three years. Mr Lenaerts succeeds Vassilios Skouris who had been president for the last twelve years. Mr Lenaerts is the second Belgian President of the Court after Josse Mertens de Wilmars (1980-1984) and had been Vice-President for the past three years. Also elected: Mr Tizzano as the new Vice-President of the Court and the Presidents of the different chambers.
[Edit: there is an interesting interview with Mr Lenaerts by Wall Street Journal journalist Valentina Pop. You can find it here.]
We take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Lenaerts, Mr Tizzano and the other elected Presidents and discuss some of the institutional and historical aspects of today’s elections. Continue reading
By Benedikt Pirker
Remember the movie Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray is caught in a time loop and relives the same day over and over again? Well, that’s a bit how the Court must have felt when being asked this question by the Landesgericht Bozen:
“Does the interpretation of Articles 18 and 21 TFEU preclude the application of provisions of national law, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, which grant the right to use the German language in civil proceedings pending before the courts in the province of Bolzano only to Italian citizens domiciled in the Province of Bolzano, but not to nationals of other EU Member States, whether or not they are domiciled in that province?” Continue reading
An interesting case not only for ‘Sons of Anarchy’ fans was handed down by the EFTA-Court this week. The scenario is somewhat similar to the early, well known Van Duyn case law, where the Church of Scientology was at issue. In the present case, a member of the Norvegian Hells Angels was denied entry into Iceland because the Icelandic authorities argued that he played a central role in the final stage of accession of an Icelandic motorcycle club as a new charter in Hells Angels. The Supreme Court of Iceland referred a number of questions to the EFTA Court, most interesting to us regarding the interpretation of Article 27 of Directive 2004/38/EC. To quite some extent, the EFTA Court reiterates here what it had already established in Van Duyn long ago. However, there are three points I find interesting: The insistence on the need for the individual in question to constitute a genuine and sufficiently serious threat; the treatment of the dangerous organization by the State in question; and finally the findings on the alleged discrimination of non-nationals.
Today is Europe Day so I wish our readers a very fine day today. We celebrate that it is exactly 63 years ago that French minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman announced the beginning of European supranational cooperation with the Schuman declaration. I’ve always really liked the speech; it’s a nice mix of vision and practical thinking on European cooperation.
Anyway, I would also like to draw your attention to a pretty awesome conference organized by the CJEU next Monday. That’s right: the Court itself is organizing a conference which is open to all. But it gets better. Not only is it on a cool topic (reflection on 50 years since the Van Gend & Loos judgment), but it will also be broadcast live on the internet. So we can follow the conference from all around the globe without having to go to Luxembourg. You can find the programme here (with some excellent speakers), the link to the live stream is here. The conference starts at 9.30 AM UTC+01:00 on May 13.
In her opinion in the case C-566/10 P Commission/Italy Advocate General Kokott made an interesting point which inspired a new category of posts here at the blog: Luxemburgerli – that is, the lighter side of EU law. For the unfortunate readers who are not familiar with the real life Luxemburgerli, please go see here – or even better, try them if you get the opportunity. We hope to be able to entertain you from time to time with some snippets from Luxembourg on the amusing side of EU law. Continue reading