Tagged: Van Gend & Loos

Autonomy and Opinion 1/17 – a matter of coherence?

By Francisco de Abreu Duarte

On the 30th of April this year, the CJEU handed down its highly anticipated Opinion 1/17 on the compatibility of the CETA agreement with EU law. As Ankersmit details in his blogpost, the request for an opinion had been part of a widely known quarrel within Belgian internal politics, with Wallonia demanding the Belgium government to expressly consult the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the legal merits of that agreement. Respecting that decision from its regional parliament, Belgium asked the CJEU, among other things, whether such an agreement was compatible with the principle of autonomy of the EU.

I will circumscribe this post to the analysis of the precise question of autonomy and leave out many of the other troubling questions such as the ones raised by Schepel’s in his previous post. The argument I put forth is as simple as it is controversial: autonomy, due to its abstract characteristics, is often subject to power injections leading to incoherent interpretations depending on the subject-matter at hand.

Let us see how autonomy has been interpreted before Opinion 1/17 and then analyze it in that light. Continue reading

Happy Europe Day and CJEU conference on Van Gend & Loos

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.