Belittling the Primacy of EU Law in Taricco II

The Taricco II judgement handed down by the CJEU on 5 December 2017 is a telling and worrying example of a weakly reasoned court decision and the high price at which such weakness comes. It is a judgement that disregards legally problematic questions, seemingly subordinating argumentative consistency to the constraints of legal policy in a climate increasingly critical towards EU law and institutions. The (potential) collateral damage of this approach is considerable.

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Defusing the Taricco Bomb through Fostering Constitutional Tolerance: All Roads Lead to Rome

As Mauro Cappelletti perceptively wrote in 1986, ‘unlike the American Supreme Court and the European Constitutional Courts, the Court of Justice has almost no powers that are not ultimately derived from its own prestige, intellectual and moral force of its opinions’. In other terms, the Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) cannot take obedience to its judgments by Member States and the respective authorities as granted or constitutionally-mandated since, in Weiler’s words, this is a voluntary obedience which goes hand in hand with the exercise of constitutional tolerance in the Member States. In other words, there is a time for the enforcement of the radical primacy of EU law as in Melloni and Taricco I, and a time for internalizing the counterlimits, as in the Taricco II decision (M.A.S. and M.B. case) handed down today by the ECJ.

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Playing the Referendum Game in Northern Italy

Three weeks after Catalonia, two of Italy’s wealthiest regions are going to the polls over similar issues related to autonomy. On Sunday, the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto will vote on a one-question query on whether to demand greater autonomy from Rome. Despite their apparent simplicity, both questions are formulated in such a way as to be misleading. Few months before the national election, the referendum may be considered as a test for Northern League, or even a rehearsal in view of a political campaign based on the promise of a greater return on taxes.

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Bewunderung ohne Liebe und die Kunst des Übertreibens: die italienischen Reaktionen auf die deutsche Bundestagswahl

Dramatisierung, Angst vor neuen Härten für Italien und Abneigung gegen große Koalitionen – so lassen sich die italienischen Reaktionen auf die Bundestagswahlen im geschätzten, aber nicht geliebten Nachbarland im Norden zusammenfassen.

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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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The Opinion of Advocate General Bot in Taricco II: Seven “Deadly” Sins and a Modest Proposal

The wind of populism is blowing across Europe and courts (including constitutional and supreme courts) are not immune therefrom. Within this context, the enforcement of the constitutional identity clause to contrast the application and, sometimes, the primacy of EU law would be a powder keg waiting to be lit. In the latest act in the Taricco saga, Advocate General Bot in his opinion in Taricco II does nothing to defuse it – on the contrary.

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Das italienische Wahlrecht nach deutscher Art reformieren – oder nicht?

Das deutsche Wahlsystem soll Vorbild sein für die Reform des Wahlrechts in Italien. Was hat es mit diesem Vorbildcharakter auf sich, und wie passt das deutsche personalisierte Verhältniswahlrecht zu den Vorgaben der italienischen Verfassung?

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No Consensus – but Hope at Villa Vigoni

The Colloquium on the judgment of the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) No. 238 of 22 October 2014 could hardly have been held at a more fitting venue. It brought together German and Italian lawyers from 11 to 13 May 2017 at the Villa Vigoni Conference Centre on the shores of Lago di Como, property of […]

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Suggesting Solutions: Do the Right Thing

This short presentation distils the conclusions of the panel regarding the international law angle of the post-Sentenza scenario. They reflect some degree of consensus which was reached on certain crucial points, including the steps ahead. Keep calm… The applicable rules of international law are clear. A State’s immunity in the civil courts of another State […]

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Suggesting Solutions: A European Way?

The conveners asked the third panel of the conference to take a European law perspective, as we are dealing, after all, with a conflict between two European countries. This European perspective raises several questions, many of which you can find in the programme. These questions can be roughly organised into two main categories. First, is […]

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