Losing to the European Union: A Review of Yanis Varoufakis’ Book “Adults in the Room”

Varoufakis gives a detailed account of a saga that gripped international public opinion two years ago, propelled him to international stardom and ended in economic and social disaster for the Greeks. The book is readable and interesting, even if it is full of the author’s familiar hyperbolic statements. It will be of value to anyone with an interest the Eurozone crisis, and especially to British readers who are concerned about Brexit. The parallels between Varoufakis’ ideologically motivated clash with the EU and the British government’s similarly confrontational attitude with the EU are too obvious to miss. 

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The EU as the Appropriate Locus of Power for Tackling Crises: Interpretation of Article 78(3) TFEU in the case Slovakia and Hungary v Council

The CJEU’s judgment in Slovakia and Hungary v Council of 6 September 2017 raises important instutional questions. As the Court implicitly recognises the EU as the appropriate forum for taking effective action to address the emergency situation created by a sudden inflow of third country nationals, it adopts its tendency towards purposive and effectiveness-oriented jurisprudence to asylum law.

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Family Life Temporarily not Available – Bilateral Limits on Family Unity within the Dublin-System

Germany and Greece bilaterally agreed upon slowing down the family reunification procedures of asylum seekers under the Dublin III Regulation. Now, many doubts and questions surround the exact terms and conditions of the agreement. Who bears the responsibility of delayed transfers? And what can be done to prevent families from being separated longer than legally permitted?

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Genauer hinschauen: Der Beschluss des BVerfG zu einer Abschiebung nach Griechenland

Ob Grundrechte ausreichend geschützt sind, das ist unter Anschauung der Wirklichkeit festzustellen und nicht lediglich mit Blick auf eine Rechtsnorm. Weil das VG Minden das nicht tun wollte, hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht die Abschiebung eines in Griechenland bereits anerkannten Asylbewerbers nach Griechenland gestoppt. Die Rückführung auszusetzen, kann aber nur eine Notbremse sein, nicht aber die aktive Gestaltung der Verantwortungsteilung für den Flüchtlingsschutz in der EU ersetzen. Eine Möglichkeit dazu wäre der europäische Asylstatus.

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State Reform in Greece: Legal and Practical Considerations

For the Greek drama to be resolved on a long-term basis, the shift from the exclusive focus on finances to institutional arrangements is long overdue. Armin von Bogdandy and Michael Ioannidis convincingly set out the proposal’s significant advantages. At the same time, however, its implementation might raise a host of both legal and practical considerations.

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The Incompatibility of the Definition of Torture in Greece with International Law

In Greek criminal law, torture is defined primarily as the “planned” (μεθοδευμένη) infliction by a state official on a person of severe physical, and other similar forms of, pain. Under the established Greek case law and doctrine in order for the infliction of pain to be considered as “planned” it must be repeated and have a certain duration. This definition raises serious issues of compatibility with international human rights law.

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Can Greece lawfully extradite the eight Turkish soldiers to Turkey?

Turkey demands the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece on Saturday 16 July after Friday’s failed coup, using an army helicopter. The key question is whether they would face a ‘real risk’ of ill-treatment contrary to Art. 3 ECHR. I tentatively conclude that such real risk is made out.

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Calling Europe into Question: the British and the Greek referenda

On this day last year, Greeks woke up facing a referendum result that very few had expected. Almost a year later, on the 24th of June 2016, British and other Europeans woke up overwhelmingly surprised by the ‘Leave’ vote. Despite their significant differences, the Greek and the British referenda have some important things in common. Reading them together might have something to teach us about referenda on the EU—especially now that more people seem to be asking for one in their own country.

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Rule of law in Greece buckles under institutionalised ill-treatment by law enforcement agents

Rampant police violence, institutionalized racism and a “culture of impunity”: The Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee’s latest report on Greece reveals once again a shocking lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law in the Greek law enforcement system.

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Im Spiegelkabinett des Parlamentarismus – Macht und Ohnmacht der europäischen Bürgervertretungen

Einziger Tagesordnungspunkt des Bundestages auf seiner Sondersitzung am 19. August 2015 war die Zustimmung zum dritten Hilfspaket für Griechenland. Wieder einmal hat ganz Europa auf ein nationales Parlament geschaut und sich gefragt, ob es dem Weg zustimmen wird, den die Gubernativen Europas ausgehandelt haben. Dabei stellt sich die grundsätzliche Frage, welche Rolle Parlamenten überhaupt zukommen kann, zukommen soll, wenn die zugrundeliegenden politischen Projekte gekennzeichnet sind durch Inter- und Transnationalität, große Geheimhaltung und oftmals Zeitdruck. Die These ist: Es zeigen sich widersprüchliche Tendenzen in Europa. Einerseits gewinnen Parlamente an Bedeutung – während das Bundesverfassungsgericht eine Stärkung des deutschen Parlamentarismus vorgibt, stärkt sich das Europäische Parlament aus eigener Kraft. Die Wertschätzung für das Prinzip Parlamentarismus findet andererseits aber in der politischen Realität zur Zeit dort ihre Grenzen, wo die Bürgervertretung ein „Nehmer-Land“ repräsentiert.

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