Carte Blanche for Political Abuse

Bulgaria has established one of the most aggressive confiscation regimes in Europe, allowing seizure of assets without a criminal conviction and putting the burden of proof in the procedure on the owner. Bulgarian law, as it stands, has no specific safeguards to prevent misuse, and has been criticized by the European Court of Human Rights in cases like Dimitrovi v Bulgaria. Furthermore, questions have been raised as government opponents and critics seem to be prime targets of these confiscation measures. In a preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union from Sofia’s City Court on that issue, Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston has recently delivered her opinion which leaves the door wide open for political abuse by Bulgarian authorities.

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The Impossibility of Upholding the Rule of Law When You Don’t Know the Rules of the Law

On October 28 2019, it became known that the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration has been systematically breaching the rule of law for years when it applied the EEA legislation incorrectly in cases of unemployment and sickness benefits and work assessment allowances. According to the Attorney General, at least 48 people have been wrongly convicted of social security fraud, 36 of whom have been sentenced to prison. Later investigations have revealed that the number is much higher. This blatant disregard of the rule of law illustrates what happens when political pressure meets legal professionals, judges and an administration who are blissfully ignorant when it comes to European law.

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Article 50 TEU as Legal Basis for Future Relations?

Whatever form Brexit takes (if it takes place), it will have major legal, economic, practical and political consequences. An extension of the withdrawal date will probably provide sufficient time for much needed scrutiny of the new Brexit Deal negotiated between UK and the EU. It is in that light welcome that calls for examination by both the House of Commons and the European Parliament are now raised. An issue that has however not come up yet is whether the Withdrawal Agreement complies with Article 50 TEU – a failure which might have profound consequences.

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Asyl und Migration – Recht und Wirklichkeit

Vernünftige und angemessene Reaktionen in Gesetzgebung und Rechtsanwendung sind, wie so häufig, auch in der Asyl- und Migrationspolitik zugleich die kompliziertesten, unbequemsten und langwierigsten, aber letztlich doch die einzig möglichen Wege, auch wenn sie die Ziele nicht immer zu vollster Zufriedenheit erreichen werden. Leider ist viel Zeit durch gut gemeinte Appelle, auch solche an die gesamteuropäische Solidarität, durch halbherzige bis völlig ungeeignete Reaktionen und teilweise durch abstruse, jenseits des rechtlich Möglichen und des tatsächlich Vollziehbaren liegende Reaktionsvorschläge vergeudet worden. Je länger dieser Zustand andauert, desto schmerzlicher für alle wird das schlussendlich unausweichliche Umsteuern.

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