22 July 2024

A Union of Equality?

Last Thursday, Ursula von der Leyen, the new – and […]

Continue reading >>
0
15 July 2024

Why and How the Hungarian Presidency Must Be Stopped

It took less than a week for Viktor Orbán to make the worst predictions about the Hungarian Presidency of the Council become true. Yet with a twist. If many had warned about the danger that such a Presidency would have paralysed the internal operation of the EU, nobody expected this could also cause confusion and damage to the Union’s foreign policy. How the EU Member States will react to it may define the overall credibility of the Union on the international stage, particularly at a time when it increasingly faces significant challenges both from within and the outside.

Continue reading >>
0
13 July 2024

Hate Speech on and off the Field

During the EURO 2024 in Germany, the UEFA has imposed a series of sanctions on fans and two players for inappropriate comments and gestures. Albania's player Mirlind Daku was suspended by UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) for two UEFA representative team competition matches after chanting nationalist slogans. Turkey's Merih Demiral was suspended for two matches for celebrating his second goal against Austria with a "wolf salute". These sanctions can be considered justified under the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR"). However, in order to have an effective preventive effect, they should be accompanied by criminal investigations under national law.

Continue reading >>
0
09 July 2024

How Viktor Orbán Challenges the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy

Since the start of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pursued an active foreign policy. He went to Kyiv for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made a surprise visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, attended an informal summit of the Organisation of Turkic States hosted by Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, and then flew to Beijing for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Orbán’s self-declared ‘peace diplomacy’ illustrates – once more – the challenges surrounding the EU’s external representation. His visits are nothing else than an expression of Hungarian national foreign policy. Also in that capacity, however, his actions are problematic in view of Hungary’s obligations under the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Continue reading >>
05 July 2024

Einstimmig für alle, alle für einstimmig?

Angesichts der Bestrebungen, das Bundesverfassungsgericht besser zu schützen, drängt sich unweigerlich die Frage auf, ob auf europäischer Ebene ähnliche Maßnahmen erforderlich sind. Derzeit sind rechtspopulistische und potenziell unionsfeindliche Parteien europaweit im Aufwind. Insbesondere das Verfahren zur Ernennung von Richter*innen des EuGH und des EuG weist Schwachstellen auf, die Feind*innen einer unabhängigen Gerichtsbarkeit ausnutzen könnten.

Continue reading >>
0
02 July 2024

Elektroautos, „Strafzölle“ und Klimaschutz

Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen stehen selten im Zentrum öffentlicher Berichterstattung. Zwei Entscheidungen in den USA und der EU innerhalb von wenigen Wochen haben indes weitreichende Aufmerksamkeit gefunden. Es geht um die Erhebung von Zusatzzöllen auf Elektroautos aus China. Die Maßnahmen der USA verstoßen gegen das Recht der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) und sind völkerrechtswidrig; bei den Maßnahmen der EU ist fraglich, ob Klimaschutz durch Verfügbarkeit günstiger Elektroautos hinreichend berücksichtigt wird.

Continue reading >>
0
27 June 2024

Im „Westen“ viel Neues

Der EuGH hat in seinem Urteil vom 11. Juni 2024 einen geschlechtsspezifischen Asylgrund bestätigt: Frauen, die jahrelang in einem Umfeld der Gleichberechtigung zwischen Frauen und Männern gelebt haben, können unter Umständen einen Anspruch auf Asyl haben, wenn sie diese Lebensweise in ihrem Heimatland aufgeben müssten. Das Urteil stärkt damit nicht nur die Stellung von Frauen in Asylfragen. Es könnte sich auch auf den Schutzstatus von sogenannten „Klimaflüchtlingen“ auswirken.

Continue reading >>
26 June 2024

Aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben

Der Versuch der belgischen Ratspräsidentschaft, ein Verhandlungsmandat für die Umsetzung der umstrittenen Chatkontrolle-Verordnung zu erzielen, ist letzte Woche unter anderem am Widerstand Deutschlands gescheitert. Das sind gute Nachrichten für die Grundrechte, doch trotz der Umwälzungen durch die Europawahl ist es noch zu früh für eine Entwarnung.

Continue reading >>
0

In Favour of the Hungarian Council Presidency

On the 1 July 2024, Hungary will start its second EU Council Presidency. In light of Hungary’s continuous breaches of the rule of law, questions have been posed whether the Presidency could be postponed or cancelled (also here). However, given the mere informal powers of the Presidency, I argue that the real damage is rather limited, especially because the Hungarian Presidency takes place just after the European elections. Finally, the Hungarian Presidency may even improve the connection of its citizens with the EU and show the best version of itself to the other Member States.

Continue reading >>
0
20 June 2024

Ist der Green Deal der EU nach der Wahl des Europaparlaments verzichtbar?

Im Zuge der Wahlen zum Europäischen Parlament (EP) im Juni 2024 ist der Europäische Green Deal (EGD) in die Defensive geraten. Die Stimmungslage, die noch im Umfeld der Wahlen von 2019 herrschte, hat sich verändert. Damals wurde das Ergebnis der Wahlen als Plädoyer der Unionsbürger für eine ambitioniertere Klima- und Umweltpolitik verstanden und aufgegriffen. Aktuell sind andere berechtigte politische Anliegen wie Migration, Sicherheit und wirtschaftliche Stabilität in den Vordergrund gerückt. Nicht verändert hat sich demgegenüber die Klimalage. Nach wie vor drohen die von der Wissenschaft ermittelten planetaren Belastungsgrenzen überschritten zu werden, die nicht zuletzt durch das im internationalen Übereinkommen von Paris rechtsverbindlich verankerte 1,5 bis 2 Grad-Ziel verstärkt politische Relevanz entfaltet haben.

Continue reading >>
0
13 June 2024
,

Between Continuity and a Perforated ‘Cordon Sanitaire’

Fears of a radical right-wing wave dominated the debates leading up to the European Parliament (EP) elections. As the final votes are tallied across the 27 EU Member States, it has become evident that the predictions of pre-election polls have partially come true: Far-right parties secured about a quarter of the popular vote. What are the implications? While the current results likely indicate by-and-large continuity in the European Parliament, including an ongoing shift to the right on contested issues such as migration or climate policy, they had heavily disruptive consequences on the national level, which in France has resulted in snap parliamentary elections. This will have pronounced impact on the balance of power in the (European) Council and on the EU as a whole.

Continue reading >>
0
06 June 2024

Militant Public Administration

An unprecedented scandal surrounding a Polish governmental fund established to aid crime victims highlights the role of civil servants in authoritarian state capture. The revelations surrounding the Justice Fund show broad levels of bureaucratic acquiescence with shocking abuses of power, and only belated effort to document and report these abuses. The Polish case shows it is time for a democratically militant public administration – the new vision of civil service better prepared to fend off authoritarian encroachment from elected politicians.

Continue reading >>
0
05 June 2024

From Strasbourg to Luxembourg?

KlimaSeniorinnen has established a remedy which, in EU law, is not easy to locate and may actually be unavailable in light of restrictive CJEU case law.  Whatever one’s views on this restrictive case law, it is a fact that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights now obliges the CJEU to do as much as it can to accommodate the KlimaSeniorinnen remedy and to interpret the relevant TFEU provisions flexibly.  One may assume that, sooner or later, the CJEU will be confronted with a KlimaSeniorinnen claim.  If the CJEU were to declare such a claim inadmissible, it will put itself in the corner of courts refusing to engage with climate change policies.  That would be unfortunate for a court that has long been at the forefront of legal progress.

Continue reading >>
0
31 May 2024

Unionsfeindlichkeit und Obstruktion

Am 9. Juni ist Europawahl. Mit dem zu erwartenden, starken Ergebnis der potenziell unionsfeindlichen Parteien bei der Europawahl wächst vor allem auch das Risiko für Angriffe aus dem Inneren des Europäischen Parlaments selbst. Ein Blick in die aktuelle Geschäftsordnung des EU-Parlaments (GOEP) zeigt bereits heute ein EU-Parlament, das sich im Bewusstsein dieser Obstruktionsgefahren selbst organisiert hat.

Continue reading >>
0
22 May 2024

Rechtsaußen in Europa

Die Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) ist nicht die einzige Rechtsaußen-Partei, die vor einem möglichen Wahlerfolg steht. In vielen europäischen Ländern erleben Parteien die sich vehement gegen Einwanderung, die vermeintliche „Elite“ und die Europäische Union (EU) wenden einen Popularitätsschub. Meinungsumfragen deuten darauf hin, dass sie bei den kommenden Europawahlen im Juni 2024 bis zu einem Viertel der Sitze gewinnen könnten. Bei näherer Betrachtung wird jedoch deutlich, dass es trotz ihrer augenscheinlichen Kameradschaft und gemeinsamen Ideologie bemerkenswerte Unterschiede zwischen diesen Kräften in den 27 EU-Mitgliedstaaten gibt.

Continue reading >>
0
16 May 2024

Litigating the EU-Turkey Deal

Earlier this year three Dutch NGOs sued the Netherlands for approving and carrying out the EU-Turkey deal. They argue that the Dutch government should be held responsible for the dire conditions under which asylum seekers have been held under on Greek islands since the deal has been concluded, which have repeatedly been found to violate human rights. In this blog, I sketch the context of litigation surrounding the EU-Turkey deal which has driven the NGOs to sue in the Dutch national legal system and explain the promise and pitfalls of the rise of strategic litigation in the sphere of migration and asylum law.

Continue reading >>
0
15 May 2024
, , ,

What Does the European Court of Human Rights’ First Climate Change Decision Mean for Climate Policy?

On 9 April the European Court of Human Rights issued its first ever comprehensive decision in a climate litigation case. The ECtHR has set out clear directions for member states to follow to align their climate policies with human rights obligations. Domestic legislators across Europe must give these requirements serious consideration to ensure their climate laws not only meet these minimum standards but also effectively contribute to global climate goals. This is imperative for both environmental sustainability and the protection of fundamental human rights that climate change is affecting.

Continue reading >>
0
10 May 2024
, , , , ,

Reparation for Climate Change at the ECtHR

The recent rulings on climate change by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are—as others have pointed out in this blog symposium—both “historic and unprecedented” for various reasons, not least regarding the question of reparation for climate change-related harm. While redress is a pivotal question to think through in relation to climate change, it has, somewhat surprisingly, received less attention from scholars and has not yet been directly addressed by international courts and tribunals. In this regard, Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland might be considered a missed opportunity on the part of the ECtHR.

Continue reading >>
0
09 May 2024
, ,

KlimaSeniorinnen and Gender

This blog post discusses the relevance of the KlimaSeniorinnen case to the discussion of vulnerability and intersectional gender in climate litigation. To date, very few climate cases have addressed the gendered dimensions of climate change and there was some hope that this case would. However, as this post argues, despite the fact that KlimaSeniorinnen is a case about the impacts of climate change on elderly women, the Court fails to meaningfully engage with gender as a determinant of the harms suffered by individuals. Gender remains an overlooked issue in climate litigation.

Continue reading >>