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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’.Read more
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.Read more
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’.Read more
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.Read more
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.”Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
If the Commission Juncker is to deserve a place in history, it may well be because of its efforts to democratize the EU. At the start of its term in 2014, the Commission Juncker included ‘democratic change’ in its ten policy priorities and towards the end of its time in office it has submitted a Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. The roadmap must lead to a meeting of the European Council in 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu and citizens are invited to participate in the debate via #EURoad2Sibiu.Read more