POSTS BY Alberto Alemanno

Holding European Political Parties Accountable – Testing the Horizontal EU Values Compliance Mechanism

The rather obscure horizontal EU values compliance mechanism shall give groups of EU citizens the possibility to hold European political parties accountable for non-compliance with EU values. Actually trying do so, however, may turn out to be just as unsuccessful as the Article 7 TEU procedure.

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The Birth of Political Europe

With just 90 days to go before the European Parliament elections, the EU political and societal landscape is undergoing a profound and historical shake-up. This goes well beyond the reductionist and highly-polarized depiction of the pro-EU vs anti-EU / open vs closed society debate championed by our political class and magnified by the media. The effects of EU policies on citizens’ lives as further amplified by the Brexit collective journey have gradually led to the emergence of a timid, yet evolving, common pan-European debate. Yet, as epitomized by Emmanuel’s Macron multi-lingual op-ed unparallelly addressed to the whole EU electorate, this Europeanisation of the political conversation is unveiling an inconvenient truth.

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EU Judge Dehousse’s Farewell Address, with a short introduction by Professors Alemanno & Pech

Readers of this blog will find here the English translation of Judge Franklin Dehousse’s farewell address, which he had hoped to give on the occasion of his departure from the EU General Court last month. In an apparent break with tradition, no public ceremony was organised for the departing EU judges, and an internal meeting was arranged instead. While regrettable, this is perhaps not surprising. Indeed, Judge Dehousse has been among one of the most outspoken critics of the controversial reform of the EU’s court system.

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Where do we stand on the reform of the EU’s Court System? On a reform as short-sighted as the attempts to force through its adoption

Last October, the CJEU has proposed to double the number of judges at the General Court to help tackling its growing workload. The legislative process this proposal is currently undergoing appears to be marred by a pattern of procedural irregularities whose only aim seems to be the speedy adoption of the reform and – more troublingly – may also be construed as a joint advocacy strategy designed to systematically eliminate any opportunity for a public, well informed and evidence-based debate. Should this reform go through (as it appears likely), damaging evidence might yet come to light and the authority and legitimacy of relevant EU institutions will be further undermined at a time where they have little to spare.

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Where do we stand on the reform of the EU’s Court System? On a reform as short-sighted as the attempts to force through its adoption

Last October, the CJEU has proposed to double the number of judges at the General Court to help tackling its growing workload. The legislative process this proposal is currently undergoing appears to be marred by a pattern of procedural irregularities whose only aim seems to be the speedy adoption of the reform and – more troublingly – may also be construed as a joint advocacy strategy designed to systematically eliminate any opportunity for a public, well informed and evidence-based debate. Should this reform go through (as it appears likely), damaging evidence might yet come to light and the authority and legitimacy of relevant EU institutions will be further undermined at a time where they have little to spare.

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The EU elephant in the Greek room: What would EU citizens have voted for in the referendum?

July 5, 2015 will go down in history as a game changer for Europe, regardless of what you think, or would have voted for, in the Greek referendum. The future of the Eurozone is no longer a private affaire by EU leaders and creditors but – amid an ill-designed and largely unanticipated referendum – suddenly became the object of a transnational and pan-European political conversation about our collective future. For the first time, no single EU citizen – regardless of her passport – could credibly claim not to care about what was going on in another Member State.

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Reform of the EU’s Court System: Why a more accountable – not a larger – Court is the way forward

The European Court of Justice and its President Vassilios Skouris have been subject to unprecedented media scrutiny following intense internal infighting about a contentious proposal which officially aims to ‘reinforce the efficiency of justice at EU level’ by doubling the number of judges working at the General Court. The real challenge facing the Court today, though, is more qualitative than quantitative in nature. The proposal to double the number of GC judges appears to be ‘yesterday’s solution for yesterday’s problem’.

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