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  • The case BVerfG v EUCoJ

    May 26, 2020

    Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma.

    The clash between the BundesVerfassungsGericht (BVerfG) and the European Court of Justice (EUCoJ), which erupted at the height of the corona crisis in the first week of May 2020, may be interpreted as a collision between two visions on the principles and functioning of international law.

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  • The Autonomous Democracy of the EU

    March 3, 2020

    On the eve of the Conference about the Future of Europe the EU Court of Justice (CoJ) has made a significant contribution to the forthcoming debate by clarifying the concept of ‘European democracy’. In a similar way as the CoJ established in 1963/4 in the cases of Van Gend en Loos and Costa v ENEL that the Communities formed an ‘autonomous legal order’, the Court explicated in 2019 that the European Union has an ‘autonomous democracy’. This finding is of great importance for the other EU institutions in their endeavour ‘to give new impetus to European democracy’.

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  • Refugees - Research Guide International Law

    The Alleged Replacement of Peoples

    February 26, 2020

    A Dutch politician is addressing the Court in The Netherlands in summary proceedings in order to obtain rectification by the editorial staff of a talkshow, which has attributed some statements about the policies of the EU to him, which he adamantly denies. According to the hostess of the talkshow the politician concerned has argued in parliament that the EU aims to replace the populations of the member states with immigrants in order to weaken their national identities and to undermine their existence. The talkshow refuses to give and states to have paraphrased the views of the politician in a balanced manner.

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  • Brexit and European Democracy

    February 10, 2020

    Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma.

    On the face of it, it appears to be a mere coincidence that the Conference about the Future of Europe is to start shortly after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. The decision to convene a conference was taken in reaction to the nomination by the European Council of a candidate for the post of President of the European Commission, who had not participated in the May 2019 elections for the European Parliament. This intergovernmental disregard for the democratic procedures practised by the EP caused such an outcry with the citizens of the Union that the Conference will be tasked to ‘give a new impetus to European democracy’.

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  • The EU as Guardian of the Rule of Law

    January 22, 2020

    The March of the Magistrates, which took place in Warsaw on January 11 2020, heralded a new stage in the process of European integration. Judges from various EU member-states gathered in the Polish capital in order to lend support to their colleagues, demonstrating against the erosion of the rule of law in Poland. In doing so, the judges highlighted that respect for the rule of law is no longer an internal matter for EU member-states. Instead, the March of the Magistrates confirms that the EU has become the guardian of the rule of law.

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  • Defining European Democracy

    December 17, 2019

    At the start of the new millennium the federalist philosopher Michael Burgess launched the aphorism that the EU cannot function in theory and yet works in practice. This ambiguity was recently underlined by the President-designate of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, who stated in her political guidelines: ‘’Our Union’s democratic system is unique, bringing together directly elected parliamentarians at local, regional, national and European level with elected Heads of State or Government.”

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  • By European Parliament from EU - Outside the European Parliament in Brussels, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79365630

    European Democracy Coming of Age

    June 7, 2019

    The process of cooperation in Europe, which started in the aftermath of World War II, has resulted in the emergence of an unprecedented political construction on the old continent. Initially, the debate about the nature of the European Communities and their successor the European Union, was dominated by the dilemma as to whether the integration should lead to the creation of a federal state, to be described as the United States of Europe, or to the establishment of a Europe of Nation-States, proudly portrayed by President de Gaulle as ‘l’Europe des Patries. After decades of deadlock, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty overcame the conceptual stalemate by constructing the EU as a democracy without turning the Union into a state.

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  • The Maastrichtian Model of Transnational Relations

    October 31, 2018

    Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht a new model of inter- or transnational relations has come to light. It has been discerned by our guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma and it is based on the Theory of Democratic Integration, which he has developed in his blogs on this website. The new model has emerged in deviation of the prevailing Westphalian System of International Relations and may be described as the Maastrichtian Model of Transnational Relations.

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  • IALL 2018 – Law in Luxembourg – Where Local Tradition Meets European and International Innovation

    October 11, 2018

    From Sunday September 30th to Wednesday October 3rd, 2018, the annual conference of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) took place in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law (MPI LUX). The city of Luxembourg is home to many EU institutions. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the best-known EU institution and iconic for the development of European legislation. Luxembourg was a forerunner and a strong supporter of European political and economic integration. Robert Schumann, the famous Luxembourg citizen, stood at the cradle of European unity. The theme of this year’s IALL Conference was “the law in Luxembourg where local traditions meet European and international innovation”. On Sunday 30 September the program started with a pre-conference workshop on robots in libraries.

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  • The Theory of Democratic Integration as Philosophical Foundation for European Democracy

    September 13, 2018

    On the eve the 2019 EP-elections the European Council will meet in the Romanian city of Sibiu in order to address the most pressing challenges for the EU-after-Brexit, notably the question as to how the democratic character of the Union can be strengthened. Is it at all possible for international organisations to function on a democratic footing? Against this background the collection of essays and articles about political theory and the European Union, which Richard Bellamy and Joseph Lacey have edited, has been published at a most convenient time.

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