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Excessive pragmatism

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I’m still reading the Cohn-Bendit/Verhofstadt book. So far my diagnosis is that, for a book that I fundamentally agree with, there is a lot there that makes me mad. I will blog more about specific annoyances later, time permitting, but I thought I might start by explaining my problems with the book’s excessive pragmatism. Here’s […]

Resistance is Futile (2)

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The story of Tonio Borg’s confirmation as the next Maltese Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection keeps getting stranger. In response to the objections in the S&D group, the Parliament has listed a series of commitments that Mr. Borg is to make in order to be confirmed. They are: The delivery of the legislative proposal […]

Resistance is Futile

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Parts of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, as well as their civil society supporters, seem to have taken a rather unusual approach to the question of whether the Conservative Maltese Tonio Borg should be permitted to serve as the new Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs. In general, their objection seems to be […]

Subsidiarity: Right of Access to an Attorney

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Virtually all Europeans imagine their right to an attorney to be more or less the way they see it in American cop shows on TV. In reality, however, the law in most European countries is not quite so generous. Even under the 2008 ECtHR ruling of Salduz v. Turkey, the right to have an attorney […]

Is art. 247 TFEU redundant?

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Now that Commissioner Dalli suddenly appears to have un-resigned, the question is what to do. As far as I can see, under the Treaties there are two ways to get rid of a Commssioner. On the one hand, there is the approach that President Barroso has taken so far, which is codified in art. 17(6) […]

La Poste

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This has to be some kind of conspiracy: No sooner had I advocated for the greater use of EPICs than the CJEU declared them unlawful. On September 20, the 6th Chamber of the General Court, with Judge Wahl acting as rapporteur, upheld the Commission’s State Aid Decision again France over La Poste, the French Postal Services. So where did it go […]

EU Secrets

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As part of her ongoing fight over the EU’s agreement with the US over the exchange SWIFT data, MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld is trying to get her hands on the full version of this Europol inspection report. The problem is that it is classified UE SECRET, which predictably led to Ms. In ‘t Veld’s […]

Implementing Powers

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I was unexpectedly fascinated by what the European Court of Justice had to say in today’s Schengen Border Code case. As others have also argued, the whole field of delegated acts/implementing powers is an oft-overlooked but vitally important area, with great potential for mischief. In January, I posted an introduction to the post-Lisbon state of […]

How the Dutch state is stealing from itself

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Even though this story has no obvious European dimension – other than a bit of international tax competition – I think it is interesting enough to be worth cross-posting here. As explained yesterday, I managed to get all of Dutch politics in a frenzy last Saturday, by pointing out that the Dutch state railway company NS […]

Excessive formalism: the sequel

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Following yesterday’s post on (excessive) formalism in the Van der Heijden case, there’s another case from April that suffers from the same curiosity. In Boulois v. Luxembourg, the applicant was slapped down in his attempt to get the Court to recognise his right of access to court on the grounds that the right he was […]

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