European Union

March 2024 has been the apex of a sort of race as to which international organisation would be the first to adopt an instrument trying to regulate the development, production, and use of artificial intelligence. The paper highlights the advantages and disadvantages of a Council of Europe treaty, such as the Draft Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, as opposed to an EU regulation, such as the so-called “Artificial Intelligence Act”. The content of Draft Framework Convention is presented only briefly, before explaining why there is a case for a Council of Europe Treaty on Artificial Intelligence. The instrument of a Council of Europe Convention is then compared to the instrument of an EU Regulation, especially in terms of the limits resulting from the respective competences of the Council of Europe and the European Union, as well as the consequences of the need for ratification of the Council of Europe treaty as opposed to the direct applicability of the EU regulation.

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Six gatekeepers are appointed by the European Commission, tasked with imposing on Big Tech the obligations in the Digital Market Act. That Act imposes regulation that is innovative in some respects, although related to competition law. This contribution considers the regulation that became effective this year, the grounds for its approval, and the gatekeeper role.

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This paper analyses the EU legal framework of Joint Cross-Border Procurement. This is an instrument for achieving the (cross-border) satisfaction of the needs of different EU Member States’ public authorities. This goal, however, seems to be (partially) at odds with the extremely complicated rules and their application which - together with other practical considerations, makes contracting authorities favour alternative procurement procedures.

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The European Green Deal, a set of EU policy initiatives with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050, requires significant green investments mobilizing public funds. The Commission confirms that the State aid policy has an important role to play in supporting the EU in the green transition process and in achieving the European Green Deal goals. However, for this to be possible, the EU State aid rules have to be well-designed and fully aligned with these targets. This paper aims to answer the question whether the European Green Deal actually gives a long-awaited green light for more sustainable and green aid and, at the same time, whether the EU State aid regime allows the achievement of the ambitious European Green Deal goals. To this end, the author analyses the existing State aid legal framework and assesses the recent review of State aid rules following the adoption of the European Green Deal.

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This study aims to critically examine the influence of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights on the Italian constitutional adjudication system. The EU Charter’s substantive constitutional nature and the significant overlap between its guarantees and those found in the Italian Constitution will be taken into consideration as the Italian Constitutional Court highlights its most recent approaches to the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The analysis will demonstrate how, in general, the Italian Constitutional Court’s approach to the Court of Justice is one of open communication and cooperation. With reference to the so-called counter-limits doctrine, it will also highlight the critical roles that the two courts have played in defining the components of national identity and shared constitutional traditions.

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The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in financial markets requires a balanced and proactive approach. The distinction between weak and strong AI systems highlights the need to adapt the sector legislation with respect to the sudden growth of the autonomy of the algorithms. The challenge is to balance natural technological development with market security. The balancing of human responsibility with the socialization of damages and with daring innovative solutions, such as the recognition of the legal personality of advanced AI systems or “smart law” hypotheses, would help jurists to manage, with less uncertainty, the new dynamics of financial markets.

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In its European Strategy for Data, the Commission presents its ideas on how the EU can create a «single European data space». The plan is to make the EU a leader in a data-driven society. By creating a single market for data, it will allow it to flow freely within the EU and across sectors for the benefit of businesses, researchers, and public administrations. One central factor in the European data space is putting in place clear and trustworthy data governance mechanisms. Focusing on publicly held data, the administrative structures in the Open Data Directive, the Data Governance Act (DGA), and the first sectoral data space proposed, the European Health Data Space (EHDS), are analyzed. The question posed in the article is whether the administrative structure that has been developed in the EU for the last decades, the European composite administration, is well placed to fulfil the ideal of clear and trustworthy data governance.

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This contribution summarises the main amendments adopted by the European Parliament during its first reading of the EU’s Proposal for a Regulation on Artificial Intelligence (AI Act). It outlines the impact of this Act, if adopted with such amendments, on automated administrative decision-making (“adm-ADM”), and examines the margin Member States will have to supplement such provisions in their respective national administrative procedure acts. It concludes that the AI Act is a necessary piece of legislation and that, if adopted with some of the Parliament’s amendments, it will adequately regulate the development and use of AI systems by European public authorities, setting a high regulatory standard that can be reinforced by national legislators.

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This essay concerns the protection of freedom of expression in the EU legal system. The paper aims to identify the limits of, and possible restrictions to, this fundamental right. The paper focuses on the reaction of the European Union to the regime propaganda promoted by several Russian broadcasters to justify the attack on Ukraine. The paper has three aims. First, the paper evaluates whether the limitations on freedom of information, contained in the EU sanctions, represents a novelty in European law regarding human rights. Second, the paper highlights the recent trends in European jurisprudence regarding the protection of freedom of expression (“hate speech” and “fake news”), and considers their interaction with the recent sanctions of the European Council. Finally, the paper addresses whether the EU General Court, called upon to assess the legitimacy of these sanctions, followed the established process to conclude that the compression of freedom of expression is justified.

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With one year remaining before the 2024 European elections, it is useful to try to appreciate what legacy will be left by the ninth legislature, which on close inspection appears to be truly exceptional. During the current legislature there has been a change in the European Union which has cast light on its capacity to take strong, courageous and highly innovative decisions. Also its ability to impose itself as a determined legislator. The article examines some important aspects in this respect and points to new avenues of research.

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