Constitutional Innovation, Democratic Stagnation?

The recovery plan of the Commission entitled “Next Generation EU” proposes a compromise that goes beyond the ominous lowest common denominator. With a package of EUR 750bn in total, comprising EUR 250bn in loans and the rest in grants, the Commission paves the way for both forward-looking public finance and constitutional innovation. The proposals are masterpieces of high-tech legal engineering. Again, European constitutional law evolves through crisis. Yet, again, it stands to reason how far the proposed instruments will shift the European Union towards enhancing solidarity and democracy.

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The Junqueras Saga Continues

Notwithstanding the clear message from the ECJ, the Spanish Supreme Court has decided that the Catalan separatist leader and MEP Oriol Junqueras will not be released from prison. The contradiction between the logic of the ECJ’s judgment of December 2019 and the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court of 8 January 2020 forms a new challenge for the EU legal order, in the sense that it puts the relationship between EU law and Spanish national law under strain.

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Should the EU Think Twice Before Dumping its Spitzenkandidaten?

With the dust barely settled from the European elections, the horse-trading for the most important EU-level positions has begun. Much of the analysis has focused on one aspect of the election result: the fragmented European Parliament it leaves in its wake. This will be a ‘coalition’ Parliament, with the support of several pro-European groupings necessary for the EU’s legislative agenda to progress. In this sense, the result gave ammunition to those eager to dump the 2014 Spitzenkandidaten system. Another aspect of the election result, however, seems just as important.

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