Who is ultra vires now?

For decades, and until a few weeks ago, Article 310 TFEU has been seen as prohibiting the EU from borrowing to finance its expenditure. The Commission’s Next Generation EU proposal reverses that interpretation and raises fundamental questions of EU law and its dynamic interpretation. With such a sudden change of heart, are the Member States under a duty to follow? What constitutional limits remain to their membership obligations?

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Constitutional Constraints meet Political Pressure

The Finnish Constitutional Law Committee had already in April adopted a critical position towards the COVID 19 crisis measures in the EU. Last week the Committee continued its critical examination. It came to the conclusion that the Eurogroup decision to essentially remove all conditionality from the new loan facility of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is incompatible with the Finnish Constitution and expressed serious doubts about its compatibility with EU law. The Committee also repeated its concerns about the accumulation of financial risks deriving from EU membership.

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Solidarity and Constitutional Constraints in Times of Crisis

While important, European solidarity cannot take place at the expense of safeguarding citizens’ economic and social rights under the Constitution of Finland. For this reason, the Finnish Government needs to remain alert to the risks involved in the increasing financial commitments given by Finland. Depending on their exact features, the constitutional problems relating to “corona bonds” might only be overcome by a risky and time consuming constitutional amendment procedure. This is the result of two days of deliberations by the Constitutional Law Committee of the Finnish Parliament relating to the euro group agenda dedicated to the COVID19 crisis.

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Is Travel to Syrian Warfare a Terrorist Crime? The Finnish Case

On 24 January 2018, the Helsinki District Court of 24 January 2018 ruled on an alleged plan by three Muslim men, all Finnish nationals, to travel to Syria and join the ongoing armed conflict there. The prosecutor chose to base the charges on Section 2, Preparation of an offence to be committed with terrorist aim, under the construction that joining the armed opposition forces in Syria so as to engage in hostilities against the official army of the al-Assad regime, could have resulted in death or injury to members of the Syrian military forces.

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Finnish Government and the Desire to Constitutionalize Mass Surveillance: Toward Permanent State of Emergency?

The Finnish Government intends to amend the constitution to clear the path for a NSA-type surveillance scheme. The form of constitutionalism that results from this kind of change would reverse the traditional grounds of legitimacy as set forth by the constitutions and human rights treaties: instead of providing one possible but narrowly interpreted ground for restricting right to confidential communications and protection of personal data, national security would occupy the position of a main rule while the constitutional right would wither away to a narrowly applied exception. In essence, the amendment would securitize one of the key fundamental rights of our time, and create a permanent state of emergency within it.

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Soll sie halt ins Heim: Pflege für gelähmte alte Mutter ist kein geschütztes Familienleben

In unserer alternden Gesellschaft sind erwachsene Kinder, die sich um ihre kranken Eltern kümmern, zunehmend normal, und nicht nur das: sie sind auch eine sozialpolitisch dringend benötigte und ziemlich kostbare Ressource. Der EGMR hat heute eine Kammerentscheidung verkündet, die dieser Entwicklung Hohn spricht.

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Languages and EU law discourse: A view from a bilingual periphery

Typically, researchers go for impact; impact on other research, other legal practices along legal research, notably in the legislative, administrative and judicial branches. And the very idea of research includes the element of sharing – and sharing your results is easier if you are understood. In order to take part in the relevant discussions you need to go for two publication channels in parallel: national discourse and communication in foreign languages.

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