Facebook’s Efforts to Squash Scrutiny of the EU-US Privacy Shield

Currently, Facebook is before the Supreme Court in Ireland asking to curtail judicial powers that allow courts to refer questions on the EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement to the CJEU. This is part of an ongoing litigation of Max Schrems, who was still an Austrian law student at the start of the litigation, against the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) in the jurisdiction of Ireland where Facebook currently holds its EU headquarters for tax and company law purposes. The litigation has the capacity to change the face of the transatlantic relationship, not least now, at a critical juncture of fragility and uncertainty and represents an extraordinary step.

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New Paradigms for the European Parliament

Without strong leadership Europe’s right-wing movements will remain a disparate band at next year’s European Parliament elections. There is one man who knows this: Viktor Orbán. The real battle next year will not be centred on Potemkin-like Spitzenkandidaten, but will polarise around Emmanuel Macron and Viktor Orbán.

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Transnational Partisanship vs Transnational Democracy

The European Parliament has called for he creation of a European cross-border constituency, a transnational list of candidates from across the continent. This idea, recently popularised by French president Emmanuel Macron, has been gutted by the European People’s Party, though – a move which could itself be seen as a powerful manifestation of the importance of transnational partisanship in the EU.

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What’s (still) Wrong with Glyphosate? On Pesticides, Public Trust and Parliamentary Scrutiny

The Glyphosate saga that had been troubling farmers, regulators, activists and corporations for almost seven years, finally came to an end with the renewal of the authorization for the infamously notorious pesticide in December 2017. Or did it? Reacting to the widespread institutional and societal concern generated by the uncertainty over Glyphosate’s safety, the European Parliament has set up a special committee on the authorization procedure for pesticides, which held its first working meeting in Brussels on April 12th, 2018. With this, the first renewal of Glyphosate’s authorization became a major case of politicization of science in the European Union.

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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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Is the European Parliament Missing its Constitutional Moment?

Over the years, step by step, the European Parliament has won a share of real constitutional power. At times, Parliament has had a decisive influence on the constitutive development of the European Union. At other times, MEPs have found it just as difficult as the European Council has done to make constitutional sense of a Union which is an uneasy compromise between federal and confederal elements. If EU governance is congenitally weak it may be because its institutions are unable to manage the dichotomy between supranational and intergovernmental. Today, circumstances have thrown the European Parliament a golden opportunity to take a major step in the federal direction – but it looks as though MEPs are going to retreat again.

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European parliamentary sovereignty on the shoulders of national parliamentary sovereignties: A Reply to Sébastien Platon

We are really grateful that the Verfassungsblog has been one of the very first forums engaging the discussion on the "Treaty on the democratization of the governance of the euro area" (T-Dem). While the proposal has emerged in the framework of the current French presidential campaign, and is now widely debated in this context, it has been primarily thought of as a contribution to the ongoing transnational conversation over the future of the European Union. As authors of the proposal, we first wish to thank our colleague Sébastien Platon for launching an interesting discussion about the T-Dem.

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Democratizing the Euro Area without the European Parliament: Benoît Hamon’s “T-Dem”

On the 10th March, the official candidate of the Socialist Party for the French presidential elections, Benoît Hamon, outlined his programme for the European Union. This programme, whilst being against austerity and in favour of more flexibility as regards EU requirements in terms of public budgets and public debts, comes with a treaty proposal, the draft treaty on the democratization of the governance of the euro area (dubbed « T-Dem »). This treaty, which was prepared by the candidate together with the superstar economist Thomas Piketty (who has joined his team) is supposed to bring more democracy to the governance of the Euro area. However noble (and necessary) this ambitious idea might seem, the way this draft treaty has been engineered raises not only political but also legal questions.

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