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Ski Teachers reform going downhill fast

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When it was my turn to take part in Europe’s other right of passage – other than Erasmus – and do an internship with one of the European Institutions, I took advantage of my badge to sit in on all the meetings on the biggest dossier that was before the legislators at the time, the […]

Tony Barber on ACTA

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Tony Barber’s brief blog post on ACTA this week was painfully even-handed, and ended on a most curious note: [I]f the EU wants to be taken seriously in its self-appointed role as the world’s most fervent supporter of a rules-based international political and economic order, then it will need to clean up its act on Acta. What […]

Dutch Border Checks

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I love it when I’m proven right. As I explained last February, those cameras the Dutch government put at the borders do not actually violate Schengen law, as long as you carefully deny that they are there to prevent illegal immigration. From EUObserver: Brussels defends Dutch border control project TODAY @ 16:59 BRUSSELS – Existing Dutch […]

AG Kokott on Multilingualism

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Given that I already blogged twice in recent weeks about multilingualism, why not make it three? Today, in Italy v. Commission, AG Kokott sided with the Italians and told the Commission to redo their homework. Just because a job requires excellent knowledge of one of the three working languages does not mean that EPSO gets to […]


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Yesterday, EUObserver had an excellent – although perhaps somewhat optimistic – opinion article about the idea of creating a Benelux for the West-Balkans, or specifically for Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro. Before I focus on the little detail that particularly captivated me, I’d first like to briefly discuss the main idea. In the words of […]

Access to Documents: Grexit edition

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By way of unasked-for favour to my Ideas on Europe colleague Ron Patz, I thought I’d take a look at the pending case of Thesing and Bloomberg Finance v. ECB, which was in the news last week because the General Court held its hearing in the case. As far as Access to Documents cases go, […]

Grexit Cynicism

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On Friday, I had dinner with some fellow die-hard cynics when another (and non-European) dinner guest raised the question of Grexit. To my surprise, their cynical answer was the complete opposite of mine. My thinking on this matter was pretty much summed up in this post: Grexit and non-Grexit are both an unpredictable mess, except with different […]

Aveugles of the world, unite!

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Encouraged by the smashing success of his Philippicae against the use of English by EU-economists, Jean Quatremer managed to find time in his busy schedule of reporting on the Eurozone crisis to take on the cause of Europe’s blind people. Apparently, “Le Parlement européen n’est pas “friendly” avec les handicapés linguistiques”, because the newly blind-friendly […]

Westbahn v. ÖBB

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Last week, AG Jääskinen published his opinion in Westbahn v. ÖBB Infrastruktur, a case that I actually care about enough that I spent some time trying to figure out what would happen back when I first heard about it a few months ago. Just like me, he concludes that it could go either way. However, […]

Vraiment, M. Quatremer?

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Once upon a time, when I was young and innocent, I had the opportunity to spend 5 months running around in the Council Legal Service. My director at the time was a brilliant lawyer by the name of Jean-Paul Jacqué (and, the French being the masters of the Legal Services of the Institutions, his boss […]

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