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
Is there such a thing as an unconstitutional constitutional amendment? And if so, does the judge have the power to declare that amendment unconstitutional?
The question seems nonsensical or paradoxical, “rather like asking whether the Bible can be unbiblical”. Yet, if it is primarily the preserve of constitutional theorists – think of the American debate about the constitutionality of a proposed flag-burning amendment – it is nevertheless an issue with practical implications, as witnessed in the recent Pringle case before the CJEU. Here, the Court was asked to assess the validity of a Treaty amendment by reference to the European Union’s (EU) own Treaties. The Court rejected the argument that it did not have jurisdiction and affirmed its power to review the validity of the amendment.Continue reading
For the more academically oriented readers of this blog: This page collects and lists a wide number of calls for papers related to European Union law. We also added it to our blogroll.
With our eyes glued on the Court of Justice, it is sometimes easy to overlook the work of its less-famous cousin, the EFTA Court, also situated in Luxembourg, just a stone’s throw away from the CJEU. Today, our attention turns to the judges of the European Economic Area, after they delivered an interesting case on the free movement of goods this morning.Continue reading
The Pringle case (Case C-370/12 Pringle) decided today is arguably the case of the year. In an accelerated procedure, the full court (all 27 judges!) answered a number of questions referred by the Irish Supreme Court on the competence of EU Member States under EU law to conclude the ESM Treaty. The ESM Treaty is a treaty under public international law concluded by the members of the eurozone to create a permanent crisis mechanism to safeguard the stability of the euro area. It is the latest answer to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis (dubbed the ‘eurocrisis’) experienced by a number EU Member States that have the euro as a currency.
Despite the good intentions of its creators, the idea of setting up a permanent international body competent to grant financial assistance (amongst other things) to eurozone members in financial difficulties goes somewhat against the foundations of the Economic and Monetary Union, which aims at ensuring price stability through sound government budgets. It is thus not surprising that a case was brought before the CJEU so that the latter had to rule on whether Member States can actually do this under EU law.
Case C-245/11 K – The Humanitarian Clause of the Dublin Regulation : States’ (Obligatory) Discretion to Bring Families Together
On November 6, the Grand Chamber issued an important judgment on the interpretation of the humanitarian clause of the Dublin Regulation. It found that a State is obliged to apply, of its own motion, the Regulation’s humanitarian clause where it would “bring together” dependent family members. That State must therefore assume responsibility for an asylum seeker who would otherwise be required to seek asylum elsewhere under the Regulation’s criteria.
A short note on a case of yesterday: In Commission v. Germany (judgment only available in German and French so far), the Commission had argued that the free movement of capital was hindered by provisions of German tax law according to which non-resident pensions funds could not deduct directly connected operating costs from dividends and interests generated in Germany. This would create a disadvantage compared to resident pension funds which were entitled to deduct these costs in full. However, the Commission failed to convince the Court that it had a plausible case.Continue reading
Past Monday, Commissioner Hedegaard announced that she requested the EU Member States to suspend the application of the Emissions Trading Scheme to the aviation sector pending new impetus that might be given by the ICAO Council to find a multilateral solution to combating climate change in the aviation sector. Hedegaard announced that ‘in order to create a positive atmosphere around these very important negotiations, I have just recommended in a telephone conference with 27 member states that the EU stops the clock when it comes to enforcement of aviation into the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to and from non-European countries until after the ICAO assembly next autumn.’
This is the latest development in the ongoing saga concerning the inclusion of aviation into the European scheme. The international protest has been growing the past year especially since last years ATA-judgment of the CJEU, with many of the EU’s main trading partners having threatened to take retaliatory measures against the EU for applying their scheme to third country carriers. This heterogeneous group, dubbed ‘the coalition of the unwilling’, has vowed to combat the EU ETS within the ICAO until it has been removed. Today, the Republican dominated US House of Representatives passed a bill making it illegal for US air transport undertakings to comply with the EU ETS.