On Coins, Parallel Universes and the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism

The European Commission seems to inhabit a universe which is too distant from the realities of Bulgaria and Romania, which are the only EU members subjected to the CVM. Even worse, it is currently attempting to sweep the CVM under the carpet of oblivion for no good reason, as seen in Commissioner Vera Jourova’s presentation on the mechanism before the LIBE Committee at the European Parliament on 10 September 2020. The Commission is attempting to persuade concerned citizens and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that it would continue the monitoring of these countries under the new Rule of Law Mechanism. It insists that this be an argument to terminate the CVM, but is this justified?

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Patching a gap in the EU’s system of judicial remedies

In the judgment in case C-575/18 P last week, the Court of Justice closed a hole in the EU’s system of judicial protection: it ruled that judicial review of a Commission’s claim of own resources under Regulation 1150/2000 could be obtained through an action for damages for unjust enrichment based on analogous application of Art. 268, 340 (2) TFEU. This case shines a light both on the deficiencies in the EU system of legal remedies and on the approach of the Court of Justice in addressing them.

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Kolevi: Bulgaria’s 10-Year Cat-and-Mouse Game with the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission

A cat-and-mouse game perfectly describes Bulgaria’s stubborn refusal to comply with Kolevi v Bulgaria, which requires a reform of Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office, and it has been going on for a decade. The latest trick pulled out of the bag is quite original – Bulgaria’s government essentially asked Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court to clarify if some of the concerns raised by the Venice Commission were reasonable, and this court deemed the question admissible.

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Fairness, Trust and the Rule of Law

On October 10, 2019, the European Parliament’s Committees in charge of her proposed fields of responsibility rejected Sylvie Goulard, the French candidate for the position of Commissioner in the new Commission. It was the second hearing she had to undergo, on the basis of another around 60 pages of written Q&A. Several issues should be carefully considered.

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EU Leaders’ Agenda: Who’s Afraid of Reforms?

Last Friday’s ‘informal’ meeting of the European Council was a key moment in what its President, Donald Tusk, proudly calls his Leaders’ Agenda. Tusk wanted the event to prove that the heads of government are in charge of the EU constitutive process, and to prevent either the European Parliament or the Commission from seizing the initiative. As such it misfired.

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