Top ten most read posts of 2015

By the editors

As is becoming a tradition with our blog (albeit a bit late this year), we present to you our top 10 most read posts of the last year. We have had another good year of blogging behind us: more readers contributing to the content of the blog with 33 posters coming from approximately 14 different countries this year. Equally important is that readership is steadily increasing according to Google Analytics (plus: we now have almost 1600 email subscribers and 2400 followers on twitter). Most of you are from the UK, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United States, Italy, Sweden, France, Ireland and Poland, respectively.

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 2015 list of most read posts of the year:

  1. Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice on Access of the EU to the ECHR – One step ahead and two steps back

By Benedikt Pirker and Stefan Reitemeyer

No surprises for the top spot. Opinion 2/13 is arguably one of the most important judgments ever rendered by the Court. Ben and Stefan aptly take us through the judgment. While the judgment is significant for the shaping of fundamental rights protection within the EU and the ECHR, it’s significance lays more fundamentally with the Court’s development of the EU legal order, EU constitutional law and the EU’s and the Court’s relationship with international law and international judicial mechanisms. The strength with which the Court defends its own powers may have consequences for other international initiatives that may undermine these powers, including the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism the Commission is seeking to negotiate in future EU trade agreements.

  1. Joined cases C-72/14 and C-197/14 X and case C-160/14 Ferreira da Silva: is the ECJ reversing its position on the acte clair doctrine?

By Elisabet Ruiz Cairó

Elisabet’s post concerned the perennial question faced by national judges: in matters where EU law is involved, should I make a preliminary reference? In both cases commented on, the Court sought to clarify the meaning of the acte clair doctrine. Elisabet’s post guides us through the meaning of the CILFIT judgment and the apparent relaxation of its conditions in order to maintain the good working relationship between the Court and national courts.

  1. Had they only worked one month longer! An Analysis of the Alimanovic Case [2015] C-67/14

By Dion Kramer

After the Court handed down the Dano case, it delivered another important ruling on welfare tourism in the Alimanovic case. The Alimanovic case was slightly more complicated as the EU citizen in that case had worked for 11 months before applying for social benefits. Dion’s post  takes us through the law on social assistance and reminds us that one month can make all the difference when applying for social assistance in another Member State.

  1. Joined Cases C-446/12 – 449/12 Willems: The CJEU washes its hands of Member States’ fingerprint retention

By Eduardo Gill-Pedro

In Willems, the Court dealt with the scope of application of EU fundamental rights with respect to Member State measures. As the Court found the Charter of Fundamental Rights not applicable to the situation of fingerprint data collected originally in compliance with an EU regulation, but then used for other purposes by a Member State, Eduardo suggests that this indicates a retreat by the Court from the broad interpretation of said scope in the well-known Fransson case of 2013.

  1. The seal product cases: the ECJ’s silence on admissibility in Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami II

By Jasper Krommendijk

In this decision, the CJEU dealt in an interesting way with the eternal question of locus standi requirements for individual applicants. Jasper takes us through the decision, in particular the way in which the Court dealt with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the ECHR, and also puts the Court’s reasoning in the context of the overall “Inuit Saga” which brought about already five years of litigation.

  1. Schrems vs. Data Protection Commissioner: a slap on the wrist for the Commission and new powers for data protection authorities

By Fanny Coudert

Schrems was perhaps the CJEU decision receiving the most public attention in the last year. The Court put an end to the legal regime regulating data flows to the US based on data protection concerns. Fanny’s post takes us through the context of the decision and its content, focusing in particular on the role of national data protection authorities and the competences of the respective actors, i.e. the Commission, national authorities and the courts.

  1. Reform of the EU’s Court System: Why a more accountable – not a larger – Court is the way forward

By Alberto Alemanno and Laurent Pech

This year has among others been marked by the debate on the politics of the reform of the General Court which mainly doubles the number of judges at that court. In a widely read piece, Alberto and Laurent take us through the intricacies of the reform process, in particular the diagnosis of what is the actual problem and what the suggested solutions mean, before proposing their own take on the topic.

  1. Case C-354/13 Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund –Can obesity be a disability under EU equality law?

By Sara Benedi Lahuerta

Is severe obesity a disability? In that case, obesity discrimination can amount to disability discrimination. In this post, Sara examines how the CJEU did not quite go as far as that, but recognized that in some cases differential treatment on the basis of obesity can indeed amount to disability discrimination, marking another step in clarifying the overall scope of EU antidiscrimination law.

  1. The CJEU and the Spasic case: recasting mutual trust in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice?

By Angelo Marletta

Ne bis in idem is a principle of EU fundamental rights that kept the CJEU busy also during this year. In this post, Angelo examines the Spasic case and the solution developed by the Court to the problem that there is a difference between the principle with regard to how it is laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement.

  1. The Shortest Competition Judgment Ever: AC-Treuhand II

By Rick Busscher, Martin Herz, and Hans Vedder

In AC-Treuhand II, the Court clarified that article 101 TFEU also applies to cartel facilitators to the despair of the three scholars from the University of Groningen covering the case for us on the blog.

Thank you once again for following us, and do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to contribute. We wish you all the best for 2016!