What’s in a Name? The Republic of Macedonia at the Crossroads

Forming of the new Government on 31st of May 2017 marked the beginning of the end of one of the most serious political crisis that Republic of Macedonia has lived through from its independence. The country was faced with challenges both on the domestic front – the dissolution of the democratic institutions and backsliding to authoritarianism, and on the international front as well – worsening of the relations with its neighbors. One of the first steps taken by the new government was to renew the ties with its Southern neighbor – Greece and to continue the talks over the name issue. After a period of three years, the representatives from both countries started negotiating again in order to resolve the name dispute and the security implications of this prolonged dispute on the Balkan region. But by all means the renewal of the negotiations is only just a beginning of the lengthy path of rebuilding the trust and solving the issue that has been a huge burden especially to the R. Macedonia’s integration in EU and NATO.

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The Teething of EU’s Mutual Defence Clause

France was the first member state to call for mutual assistance under Article 42(7) of the Lisbon treaty. The move came as a surprise. Most of the discussions in previous days were focused on the possibility to use the much heftier Article 5 defence clause of NATO. Compared to the tangible military assistance that NATO partners can offer, Europe’s obligation to assist has so far been seen as toothless and symbolic. While the EU’s mutual defence clause is still limited in its effect, its use is a timely reminder that there is strong interest within the EU to work closer together on defence.

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Transnationales Staatshaftungsrecht? Kundus vor Gericht

Nächste Woche beginnt vor dem Landgericht Bonn die Beweisaufnahme in der Verhandlung über die Schadensersatzklagen der Opfer des Kundus-Angriffs. Nur wenige Wochen zuvor hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht seine Kammerentscheidung zu den Verfassungsbeschwerden der Opfer der Bombardierung der Brücke von Varvarin im Kosovo-Krieg veröffentlicht. Zwar hat die Erste Kammer des Zweiten Senats die Verfassungsbeschwerden nicht zur Entscheidung angenommen, aber sie hat doch einige entscheidende Hinweise zur Kontur eines transnationalen Staatshaftungsrechts gegeben. Vor dem Landgericht Bonn wird sich zeigen, wie die Zivilgerichte dies aufnehmen werden.

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