European Union

The judgment C-761/18 P appealing by Professor Päivi Leino-Sanberg the order of the General Court T-421/17, concerns the refusal of access decided by the European Parliament regarding the dissemination of the content of some trilogues (object themselves of the well-known De Capitani case T-540/15). Thus, the reasoning of the Court allows to make some reflections on the interest of the beneficiaries of the «right of access» to documents, as well the legal consequences of their publication online by a «Third party». Consequently, it leads to argue on the relationship between «administrative transparency» and «right to online access» in the age of digital administration.

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The ecological damage



Post author | 17 May 2021 | Issue 2/2021

The paper, starting from the exam of the environmental damage and its economic relevance according to damaged environmental functions, aims to analyze the subcategory of ecological prejudice as it is governed within the French legislation. The ecological prejudice, which could be subjective if it concerns the human being – both as an individual and as community – or objective if it damages nature, raises relevant questions about how damage could be repaired. Moving from the “Erika” case, in which for the first time the existence of “pure ecological prejudice” has been recognized, the paper analyses the regulatory developments of ecological prejudice from the transposition of the Directive 2004/35 into French legislation until the Law of 2016 on the reconquest of biodiversity. Finally, with brief references regarding the solutions adopted in other national legislations, it is outlined, trying to stress out the most controversial aspects, the three forms of redress introduced by the 2016 Law: primary, complementary and compensatory.

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The article outlines the European Central Bank’s (ECB) communication characteristics since its foundation, with specific attention to the activities carried out during Mario Draghi’s presidency, from 2011 to 2019. Starting from some historical notes on central bank communication, are examined the reasons, degrees and possible problems. The subjects who are in charge of communication are then outlined, "who communicates", and the contents that are conveyed, "what is communicated", as well as the effects of communication and its relationship with the issues of transparency and accountability. With regard specifically to the European Central Bank, an in-depth analysis is also offered on the communication in Annual Reports from 1998 to 2019. Finally, some deductions are outlined about Draghi’s Government communication.

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In its decision 2 BvR 547/21, the Second Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court rejected the application for interim measures aimed at preventing the entry into force of the Federal Act ratifying the "Own Resources Decision" adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the European Union in December 2020. At the same time, however, the Court declared the request for constitutionality review lodged with the application to be admissible and not manifestly unfounded. Although the hypothesis seems unlikely, in the future the ruling on the latter could lead the German Constitutional Judges to find a violation of the so-called constitutional identity (as derived from the interpretation of Art. 79, paragraph 3 of the German Basic Law), with serious consequences for the participation of the Federal Republic of Germany in the process of supranational integration.

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It has long been a commonplace that the European Union forms a community of law and that the principle of “integration through law” is one of its central characteristics. In view of the growing scope and complexity of Union law, which requires ever new adaptations from the Member States, research on the implementation of Union law, which also works empirically, is gaining considerable importance. An international research project conducted at the German Research Institute for Public Administration was dedicated to the implementation and adaptation strategies of selected EU Member States. It investigated the transposition of organisational and procedural requirements for national administrations as laid down in EU directives related to environmental and energy policy. The investigation focused on various modalities of transposition: minimum transposition (“copy out”), the enactment of provisions that create obligations going beyond the requirements of the Directive (“gold-plating”) and the extension of the rules or principles of the Directive to other fields of law (“spill-over”), either by including a subject area not provided for in the Directive in the scope of application of the transposition provisions (spill-over in the narrow sense) or by fundamentally reforming a legal area on the occasion of the Directive (spill-over in the broad sense). The comparative analysis revealed a low degree of strategic use of transposition modalities. However, there is a growing awareness among Member States that they belong not only to a law community, but also to an implementation community. This is not least due to the mechanisms and procedures of intertwining Union and national action.

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The French Conseil d'Etat categorically rejected the thesis that the courts of the Member States, in particular their supreme (or constitutional) courts, are authorised to review any "ultra vires" of the European institutions. The wording of the judgment is an implicit way of recognising the CJEU's monopoly on the authentic interpretation of the Treaty, unlike the German constitutional court in the Weiss case and scholarship regarding the notions of constitutional identity and the protection of national security. It also recalls that traditional case law of the Conseil d'Etat, which can be considered as a French version of the doctrine of counter-limits, i.e. that only if there is a fundamental right in Union law that corresponds to that guaranteed by French constitutional law, EU law and the CJEU’s jurisprudence apply.

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The aim of this article is to analyse some questions concerning the relationship between the policy of the European Union in the Higher education and the profound changes taking place in the Italian university system.

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The contribution analyzes some critical issues in the procedures for entrusting the implementation of telematic booking systems for anti covid-19 vaccines. In particular, the Author emphasizes how the assignment to in-house companies has been unsuccessful. The Author also criticizes the choice of not reusing software solutions already developed for other public administrations. The comment concludes suggesting that the health emergency in progress should rather have led to make the best of the support that private operators could provide.

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The German Constitutional Court, following a complaint by two thousand German citizens, determined that, pending the final decision, the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, could not promulgate the Own Resources Decision that allows the European Commission to issue bonds on the markets to finance the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The decision had already been approved by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The complainants argue that the way in which the RFF is financed violates the EU’s obligation to maintain a balanced budget and consider the planned issuance to be a "flagrant violation of the EU Treaty", namely of article 311 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). This is not the first time and probably will not be the last that the Bundesverfassungsgericht questions, and tests, the limits of European competences and the relationship between German and European constitutional sovereignties. It was so with the Solange judgments, in the decades of 1970 and 80; in examining the constitutionality of the law ratifying the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and in the assessment of the law ratifying the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009; and last but not the least, last year, the Court questioned the European Central Bank’s secondary markets purchase programme for public sector assets, ultimately, drawing upon itself powers conferred by the Treaties exclusively on the Court of Justice of the EU, thus threatening the foundations of an integration legal order established over 70 years. Without the Own Resources Decision, which must be approved by all Member-States, the Commission will not be able to issue the bonds needed to finance the RRF. To avoid adding a serious economic crisis to the pandemic one, aggravated in Europe by the shortcomings of the European Commission’s management of the vaccines purchase, the Bundesverfassungsgericht should provide an urgent response. In a way, the German Constitutional Court has built itself up, in European matters, as a defender of a strict constitutional nationalism, incompatible with Germany’s commitment to European integration. Once again, the long-term future of the European Union will be decided in the short-term response of the German Constitutional Court.

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The Draghi government has taken office at a time when the labour market, characterised by the decisive influence of information technologies and a high degree of mobility, is undergoing great changes. The emergence of the pandemic, which had been underway for almost a year when the Draghi government was sworn in, has hit the labour market with the destruction of jobs and the failure to create new ones, while at the same time accentuating the disruptive processes underway (IT, mobility). The phenomenon is supranational, and the European Union is acting on two levels: facing up to the emergency (SURE, Youth initiative, EU Next Generation, etc.) and intervening on the basis of a strategy focused on investment in information technologies. It is these technologies which are changing production processes and how trades and professions are carried out, reshaping the labour market while making it necessary for workers to upskill and have IT profiles and creating a strong asymmetry between workers and their employment prospects. The Premier’s speech and the government’s programme are taking this problem into account: on the one hand, they have announced reforms of the assegno di riallocazione reallocation allowance and of job centres, on the other hand, they are talking about strengthening infrastructure (broadband, 5G) and the transversality of the Digital Transition. All of which seems appropriate. The hope is that all this will be done in the European strategic context and that the employment market becomes the omnipresent pivot of the transversal transition.

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