The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi), and an estimated population of over 510 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development. Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002, and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.
The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making. The seven principal decision-making bodies—known as the institutions of the European Union—are the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the European Court of Auditors.
The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by the Inner Six countries in 1951 and 1958, respectively. The community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union in 1993 and introduced European citizenship. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.
The EU as a whole is the largest economy in the world. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2016 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 16.477 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 22.2% of global nominal GDP and 16.9% when measured in terms of purchasing power parity. Additionally, 27 out of 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7, and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the European Union. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Public international law and subject heading (keyword) European Union are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver his State of the European Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, 13th September, setting out the Commission’s priorities for 2018. See live blog and EUI website : European Commission, State of the Union 2017 (Letter of Intent), 13 September 2017.
EU Law Analysis (Expert insight into EU law developments by Steve Peers)
If you want to read more about Brexit, please take a look at the Peace Palace Library Special Brexit
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- Bar, C. von, Clive, E. (eds.), Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law: Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Barnard, C. and Peers, S. (eds.), European Union Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Blanke, H-J., Mangiameli, S. (eds.), The Treaty on European Union (TEU): a Commentary, Berlin, Springer, 2013. [e-book]
- Blumann, C., Dubouis, L., Droit institutionnel de l'Union européenne, Paris, LexisNexis, 2016.
- Frenz, W., Handbuch Europarecht, Berlin, Springer, 2004- .
- Meyer, J. (ed.), Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union, Baden-Baden, Nomos , 2014. [e-book]
- Peers, S., T.Harvey, J.Kenner & A.Ward (eds.), The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: a Commentary, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2014.
- Bauer, M.W. & J. Trondal (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of the European Administrative System, Basingstoke, Hampshire, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
- Bergström, C.F. & D. Ritleng, Rulemaking by the European Commission: the New System for Delegation of Powers, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Birkinshaw, P.J. & A. Biondi (eds.), Britain Alone!: The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016.
- Brug, W. van der. & C. Holger, (Un)Intended Consequences of EU Parliamentary Elections, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Delgado Casteleiro, A., The International Responsibility of the European Union: from Competence to Normative Control, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Ferreira, N., T.Kostakopoulou, J.Bradshaw, J. Bradshaw & S. Gola (eds.), The Human Face of the European Union: Are EU law and Policy Humane Enough?, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Fischer, K.H., Die Entwicklung des Europaischen Vertragsrechts: Von den Römischen Verträgen bis zum Vertrag von Lissabon, 2. Auflage, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2016.
- Hamilton, D.S., J.Pelkmans & F.Baetens, Rule-makers or rule-takers?: exploring the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, London, Rowman and Littlefield International, 2015.
- Haratsch, A., C. Koenig, M. Pechstein, T. Fuchsa & P. Kubicki, Europarecht, 10. Auflage, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2016.
- Hefftler, C., C.Neuhold, O.Rozenberg & J. Smith, The Palgrave handbook of national parliaments and the European Union, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
- Łazowski, A. & S.Blockmans, Research handbook on EU institutional law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2016.
- Merket, H., The EU and the security-development nexus: bridging the legal divide, Leiden : Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2016.
- Mitsilegas, V., M. Bergström & T. Konstadinides (Eds.), Research Handbook on EU Criminal Law, Cheltenham, UK : Northampton, MA, USA, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016.
- Peers, S., EU Justice and Home Affairs Law, Oxford EU Law Library, Oxford, fourth edition, 2016.
- Schütze, R., European Union Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Talus, K., Introduction to EU Energy Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Barnard, C., "The Practicalities of Leaving the EU", European law review, 41 (2016), No. 4, pp. 484-486.
- Berman, P., "The European Union-II: External Relations", in Roberts, I. (ed.), Satow's diplomatic practice, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 421-465.
- Boele-Woelki, K., "Family Law: the Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships within the European Union", in Estin, A.L. (ed.), I International family law, 1 (2016), pp. 397-429.
- Caviedes, A., "European Integration and the Governance of Migration", Journal of contemporary European research, 12 (2016), No. 1, pp. 552-565.
- De Franco, C., Meyer, C. and Smith, K.E., "Europe and the European Union", in Bellamy, A.J. and Dunne, T. (eds.), The Oxford handbook of the responsibility to protect, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 391-408.
- Fois, P., "L' Unione Europea è ancora un'organizzazione internazionale?", Rivista di diritto internazionale, 99 (2016), No. 2, pp. 371-393.
- Haller, M., "Why Empires Build Walls: the New Iron Curtain around the European Union", in Gasparini, A. (ed.), The walls between conflict and peace, Leiden, Brill, 2017, pp. 97-145.
- Lenaerts, K., "EU Citizenship and Democracy", New journal of European criminal law, 7 (2016), No. 2, pp. 164-174.
- Lenaerts, K., "The Court of Justice as the Guarantor of the Rule of Law within the European Union", in De Baere, G. and Wouters, J. (eds.), The contribution of international and supranational courts to the rule of law, Cheltenham, UK : Northampton, MA, USA, Edwar Elgar Publishing, 2015, pp. 242-264.
- Marrero Rocha, I., "The European Union's Arms Trade Control and European Civil Society", in Eeckhout, P. and López-Escudero, M. (eds.), The European Union's external action in times of crisis, Oxford, UK : Portland, Oregon, Hart Publishing, 2016, pp. 547-571.
- Mitsilegas, V., "The European Union, Criminal Law and Human Rights", in Weber, L., Fishwick, E. and Marmo, M. (eds.), Routledge international handbook of criminology and human rights, London, Routledge, 2017, pp. 115-124.
- Prek, M. and Lefèvre, S., "Competition Litigation before the General Court: Quality if not Quantity?", Common market law review, 53 (2016), No. 1, pp. 65–90.
- Rodin, S., "Judicial Landmarks and Their Making at the Court of Justice of the European Union", The World Bank legal review: law and justice for development, 7 (2016), pp. 255-264.
- Wouters, J. and Chané, A., "Brussels Meets Westphalia: The European Union and the United Nations", in Eeckhout, P. and López-Escudero, M. (eds.), The European Union's external action in times of crisis, Oxford, UK : Portland, Oregon, Hart Publishing, 2016, pp. 299-323.
- Foster, N., Blackstone's EU Treaties & Legislation 2016-2017, 27 th edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Graig, P., & G.De Búrca, EU law: Text, Cases, and Materials, sixth edition, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Kaddous, C., F.Picod & S.Kirsch, Traité sur l'Union européenne Charte des droits fondamentaux, Berne, Stämpfli Editions, 2015.
Periodicals, serial publications
- Cahier de droit européen
- Common Market Law Review
- European Law Review
- JCMS Annual Review of the European Union
- Revue de l'Union européenne
- Revue trimestrielle de droit européen
- ZEuS: Zeitschrift für Europarechtliche Studien
- Kujath, K., Bibliography on European Integration: with Annotations, Bonn, Europa Union Verlag, 1977.
- Schmitz, Th., Bibliography (general bibliography on European law), 2010.
Add comments -for instance if you think we missed something, or just to express your thoughts- about the bibliography in this research guide:
Daniele, L., Diritto dell'Unione europea: sistema istituzionale, ordinamento, tutela giurisdizionale, competenze, Milano, Giuffrè Editore, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
Al giorno d'oggi, l'impatto del diritto dell'Unione si avverte in tutti i settori del diritto. Oltre ad ambiti per i quali il diritto unitario rappresenta da molti anni una presenza rilevantissima (diritto societario, diritto della proprietà industriale, commerciale e intellettuale, diritto del lavoro, diritto dei contratti pubblici, diritto delle imposte indirette, diritto dei trasporti e della navigazione, diritto internazionale privato e processuale, diritto dell'immigrazione), in tempi più recenti si è sviluppato un corpus di norme europee di grande importanza nel campo del diritto e della procedura penale e persino in quello del diritto di famiglia. Basti pensare al mandato d'arresto europeo e alla appena approvata Procura europea o EPPO, secondo l'acronimo inglese.
Stuart, E. and Roginska-Green, I., Sixty Years of EU State Aid Law and Policy: Analysis and Assessment, Alphen aan den Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
Sixty Years of EU State Aid Law and Policy: Analysis and Assessment provides a critical review of State aid, from its evolution to the practical implementation of current rules. If an EU industrial policy can be said to exist, its contours may be found in the complex and evolving concept of State aid. Because approaching any State aid issue can be fraught with multiple and sometimes conflicting interpretations, an in-depth analysis of the rationales, initiatives and regulations that constitute the State aid system is much needed. In response to this need, this book provides a fine-grained clarifying context through which recent reforms, policy shifts and judicial decisions concerning State aid can be understood and applied to specific situations.
Clausen, F., Les moyens d'ordre public devant la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
Le présent ouvrage fournit la première analyse des moyens d'ordre public en droit du contentieux de l'Union européenne. Sont examinés successivement la notion et le régime de ces moyens, grâce à une analyse systématique et fournie de la jurisprudence de la Cour de justice, du Tribunal et du Tribunal de la fonction publique. En passant en revue tous les moyens d'ordre public, leur relevé d'office par le juge, leur invocation par les parties et leur soumission au débat contradictoire, l'ouvrage renseigne également sur les caractéristiques et les principes directeurs des procédures contentieuses relevant des juridictions de l'Union. Cet ouvrage se destine à un public universitaire spécialisé en droit et en contentieux de l'Union européenne et, plus généralement, en droit processuel. Il intéressera par ailleurs tous les praticiens spécialisés dans les contentieux relevant des juridictions de l'Union.
Weber, K. and Ottmann, H., Reshaping the European Union, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
Das Buch schlägt eine tiefgreifende Reform der EU vor. Defekte der EU werden identifiziert. Die Vorschläge basieren auf den Konzepten begrenzter Supranationalität und einer ausgewogenen Sicht des Nationalstaats. Die EU wird vor allem gebraucht für Frieden, Wohlstand, Kompensation der relativ geringen Größe und begrenzten Macht ihrer Mitgliedstaaten und zur Bewahrung grundlegender Prinzipien der westlichen Zivilisation. Eine ausgewogene Sicht des Nationalstaats bedeutet Erhaltung der Vorteile des gut gestalteten Nationalstaats im Vergleich zur EU sowie Vermeidung von Nationalismus und Krieg.
Ege, J., Bauer, M.W. and Becker, S. (eds.), The European Commission in turbulent times: assessing organizational change and policy impact, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
Die Europäische Union durchlebt turbulente Zeiten. Die Auswirkungen der Banken- und Staatsschuldenkrisen, die aktuellen Migrationsbewegungen sowie der Austritt Großbritanniens sind nur einige der Herausforderungen, die den Zusammenhalt der Europäischen Union gegenwärtig auf eine harte Probe stellen. Vor diesem Hintergrund analysieren die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler in diesem Band die Europäische Kommission. Ziel ist eine Bestandaufnahme und Neubewertung ihrer Rolle im politischen System der EU, ihrer internen Organisationsstrukturen und Prozesse sowie ihrer Politikgestaltungs- und Implementationsfunktionen.
Cremona, M., Thies, A. and Wessel, R.A., The European Union and International Dispute Settlement, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2017.View this title in our discovery service
This monograph explores the connections between the European Union and international dispute settlement. It highlights the legal challenges faced by the principal players in the field: namely the EU as a political actor and the Court of Justice of the EU as an international and domestic judiciary. In addition, it places the subject in its broader context of international dispute settlement, and the participation of the EU and its Member States in international disputes. It focuses on horizontal and cross-cutting themes, bringing together insights from the different sectors of trade, investment and human rights, and offering a variety of perspectives from academics, policymakers and practitioners.
Closa, C. (ed.) Secession from a Member State and Withdrawal from the European Union: Troubled Membership, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017.View this title in our discovery service
This is the first book to jointly scrutinise two existential issues for the EU: withdrawal of a member state (i.e. Brexit) and territorial secession (affecting Scotland, Catalonia and beyond). The book applies normative and empirical analyses, explores new approaches and discusses the deep theoretical problems unleashed by these processes. Featuring a superb constellation of legal and political science scholars, the book combines specific legal analysis and considers the political dynamics behind the processes. It provides extensive coverage and sophisticated analysis of the interpretation of Article 50 and the possible consequences it may have. The implications of withdrawal and secession on EU citizenship are discussed in depth and there is an overview of the evolving nature of the relationship between the regions and the EU. Finally, there is an engaging normative discussion on the deeper meaning of these two processes with respect to the objective of European integration.
Vries, C.E. de, Euroscepticism and the future of European integration, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018.View this title in our discovery service
This book examines the role of public opinion in the European integration process. It develops a novel theory of public opinion that stresses the deep interconnectedness between people's views about European and national politics, and suggests that public opinion cannot simply be characterized as either Eurosceptic or not, but rather consists of different types. This is important because these types coincide with fundamentally different views about the way the EU should be reformed and which policy priorities should be pursued. These types also have very different consequences for behaviour in elections and referenda. Euroscepticism is such a diverse phenomenon because the Eurozone crisis has exacerbated the structural imbalances within the EU.
EUR-Lex provides free access to European Union law and other documents considered to be public. The collection include treaties, international agreements, legislation in force, preparatory acts, case-law and parliamentary questions.
The European e-Justice Portal implemented by the Commission in very close cooperation with EU countries, provides a wealth of information and links on laws and practices in all EU countries. The resources range from information on legal aid, judicial training, European small claims and videoconferencing to links to legal databases, online insolvency and land registers. It also includes user-friendly forms for various judicial proceedings, such as the European order for payment. The portal benefits citizens, businesses, lawyers and judges with cross-border legal questions and boosts mutual understanding of different legal systems by contributing to the creation of a single European area of justice.
The Peace Palace Library Blogs on Brexit
Major events in history tend to bring about or further major innovations in technology. The announcement of the then Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, in January 2013 that he wanted to organise an in- or out-referendum about British membership of the EU triggered the present author to start a series of blogs about Brexit on the website of this library. Blogs form a challenge for traditional academics inasmuch as they have to be short and sharp. The effect of the blog will be highlighted by the punch line in which it culminates. A blog, which solves an age-old conundrum, may turn out to be a greater leap forward in academic advancement than many contemplative books have been.Read more
Brexit progress? House of Commons says NO
Today is the set date in the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union, the United Kingdom is allowed formally to leave the European Union (Brexit).
However, the British Parliament (House of Commons) has to give her approval to Theresa May’s deal. The British Prime minister has even offered to resign, if the House of Commons would vote for her deal. Nevertheless, the House of Commons has shown many ‘NO’ ‘s even to options discussed and proposed within the Parliament.Read more
Brexit, Yellow Vests and Subsidiarity
A spectre of discontent is haunting Europe. Brexit and the yellow vests are symbolising the anger of citizens at the EU. The feelings of dissatisfaction are fuelled by the paradox that global companies are hardly paying any taxes within the EU, whereas the citizens are increasingly confronted with higher burdens, notably with more VAT, longer working years and rises in indirect taxes. At the same time, the EU has achieved unprecedented results. It has created an area of freedom, security and justice for its citizens, which is unique in the world.Read more
Brexit and the Solution of the EU Conundrum
If anything good comes from Brexit, it may well be that the bold Brexiteers have contributed inadvertently to the solution of one of the longest-standing conceptual problems of the EU, namely the conundrum concerning the nature and the purpose of the European Union. The riddle has been paralysing political thought about the EU and its predecessors for decades. Generations of theorists have argued that the EU should either become a federal state or take the shape of a confederal organisation of states. As it is obvious that today’s Union has neither assumed the form of a state nor that of an organisation of states, the conundrum appears to be perfectly insolvable.Read more
The Maastrichtian Model of Transnational Relations
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
IALL 2018 - Law in Luxembourg – Where Local Tradition Meets European and International Innovation
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
The Theory of Democratic Integration as Philosophical Foundation for European Democracy
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
European Democracy and #EURoad2Sibiu
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
Bees at Risk: Near-total Ban of Neonicotinoids Backed by ECJ
On Thursday 17 May 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union backed a near-total ban of three pesticides, also called neonicotinoids (clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid), because of their scientifically proven serious harmful effect on the health of both wild bees and honey bees. Neonicotinoids are part of a class of insecticides that damage the central nervous system of insects that result in paralysis and death.
Bayer and Syngenta, the manufacturers of these three types of insecticides went to the Court in 2013 to stop the ban of these chemicals. But the Court dismissed “in their entirety the actions brought by Bayer and Syngenta in relation to the neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid.”
After an extensive updated assessment which was based on more than 1,500 studies, involving wild bees (bumblebees, solitary bees) and honeybees, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that these three insecticides are harmful for bees. These pesticides can no longer be used in the open field but their use is still allowed inside permanent greenhouses.Read more
May We Have Your Consent?
On May 25th, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect. One of the major areas of change, is that companies will need the customer’s consent for having their personal data and sending emails about newsletters. The GDPR requires that consent should be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. The Peace Palace Library like to be in accordance with the GDPR. We are keen to continue informing you and inviting you to our lectures and events in the future, but require your permission to do so. You will receive an email for your consent. Without your permission the Peace Palace Library will not be able to send you any emails with latest news, events of lectures. So if you like us to continue informing you about our services, new titles, our latest news, lectures and events, please give us your consent!Read more
EU and Mexico Reach New Agreement on Trade
Saturday, 21 April 2018, the European Union and Mexico reached an agreement on a new free trade deal. “With this agreement, Mexico joins Canada, Japan and Singapore in the growing list of partners willing to work with the EU in defending open, fair and rules-based trade,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The EU and Mexico wanted to update a trade deal agreed 21 years ago that largely covers industrial goods. The European Union and Mexico agreed in 2015 to modernize their trade relations and held two rounds of talks last year. The election of U.S. President Donald Trump has reinforced Mexico’s need to reduce its reliance on the U.S. imports and exports.Read more
Revolutionary Breakthrough in EU Research
The debate about the future of Europe has been deadlocked ever since the start of the process of European integration in the midst of the 20th century. According to one school of thought the process had to result in the emergence of a federal State of Europe, while another theory held that the participating states should aspire to form a Europe of Nation States or a Europe des Patries. Both theories underlined that there were no other options available. The present blog aims to demonstrate that both theories are outdated and have to be replaced.Read more
As newly elected President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron has made his mark on the debate about the European Union by introducing the term European sovereignty. In his speech at the Sorbonne of 26 September 2017 he elaborated his vision on European sovereignty in detail. The reason why this term raises distrust among lawyers is that it contains an apparent contradiction. Sovereignty in Europe rests with the member states, not with the Union. According to the highest constitutional court of Germany, the member states are the ‘masters of the treaties’, not the Union. So, has President Macron merely launched a political slogan or will closer examination reveal that his approach gives fresh impetus to the smouldering debate about the future of Europe?Read more
Breakthrough in the Debate about the Nature of the EU
In January 2013, PM David Cameron delivered a speech on Europe in which he announced his decision to give the people a say on British membership of the EU. His address, which triggered a series of blogs on this website about the nature of the EU, contained a remarkable dichotomy. In the ensuing debate, the EU proved to be unable to defend itself against the accusations of its opponents that it forms a ‘Fourth Reich’, a modern Leviathan or even the reincarnation of the medieval Golem of Prague.Read more
EU General Data Protection Regulation: Privacy and Data Protection revisted!
On May 25 2018, the 1995 Data Protection Directive will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new regulation will have impact on the whole of the EU Zone which currently spans 28 member countries and half a billion citizens. The new regulation aims to harmonise how data is handled across the whole of the EU, but will affect organisations inside or outside the EU Zone. The data protection world has changed radically over the past 20 years. This new regulation will bring crucial changes. This blog is an introduction to this important new General Data Protection Regulation.Read more
The Blind Spot of the White Paper
It is conventional wisdom in Brussels and the wider European Union that a good crisis should never be wasted. Since the start of this century, however, the European Union has been besieged by such a variety of crises that it seems to be haunted by its own version of the ten biblical plagues. The constitutional crisis, which had been caused by the rejection of the so-called Constitution for Europe in 2005 by the French and Dutch electorates, was solved through the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. Hardly had the new treaty entered into force or the financial or sovereign debt crisis erupted. It pushed the euro and the EU to the brink of collapse, but the migration crisis was already pressing before the euro crisis had been brought under control. This combination of crises resulted in a Crisis of Confidence between the EU and its citizens.Read more
Essay on the Future of the European Union
The lesson of Brexit The erosion of trust in the EU has been galvanised by the Bloomsberg Speech on Europe of 23 January 2013, in which Prime-Minister David Cameron announced his intention to organise a referendum about British membership of the EU. In his speech Mr Cameron created a peculiar dichotomy, which the EU has […]Read more
The Future of the European Union after Brexit
On March 29th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Therese May triggered article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) in order to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). Just this Tuesday (April 18th) Prime Minister May called for a snap UK election on June 8th 2017 in order to give the people of the United Kingdom a say in whether or not May’s government is acting in the right way in the Brexit negotiations. This blog analyzes some possible implications of the Brexit, according to the European Commission’s White Paper on the future of Europe in 2025.Read more
A Present for the EU at 60
On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the EU seems to be besieged by problems, challenges and disasters. Recently, leading proponents of the EU expressed the belief that their Union is tormented by a modern version of the biblical plagues of Egypt. However, the EU will be well-advised to use the occasion for taking a long, hard look at itself. Notably, the way in which the EU presents itself on the Europaserver is indicative for its lack of self-confidence.Read more
European Union in 2017
2016 has been a turbulent year for the European Union and its member states. Brexit, the armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis, terrorism and the Italian referendum; all topics covered by the Peace Palace Library in several Library Specials and Library blogs.
2017 promises to be a defining moment for the continuation of the ever closing Union. This blog touches upon a couple of developments which can lead to discussion within the European Union and its members.Read more
Defending Europe with an Army?
During the U.S. election campaign Trump threatened to abandon U.S. allies in Europe if they did not spend enough on defense. Apart from undermining the deterrence-effect of NATO, this policy would be disastrous for European security. Fortunately U.S. President Barack Obama has said: “In my conversation with the president-elect he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships and so, one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the transatlantic alliance.” Although president Trump will retain America’s commitment to the NATO alliance, Europe is awake now after dozing in under the U.S. security umbrella.Read more
European Court of Auditors
A fiercely debated issue regarding the European Union (EU) is its budget and the allocation of funds, e.g. for agricultural subsidies. Every year one of the lesser-known European institutions, the European Court of Auditors (ECA), audits the Union’s revenue and expenditures. Furthermore ECA monitors if the annual facts and figures are reliable and if the transactions comply with the applicable European rules and regulations. This blog analyzes ECA’s legal position, formal tasks and its relationship with national Courts of Auditors.Read more
After Brexit a Citizens' Declaration
Although EU citizenship has become one of the most distinctive symbols of the European Union since its foundation in 1992, the majority of UK voters have decided to leave the EU and to relinquish their rights as citizens of the Union. As discontent in other member states is growing too, the European Council should shed new light on the relation between the EU and its citizens through the adoption of a Citizens’ Declaration at its earliest opportunity. Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma, author of the EU-monograph: From Common Market to Common Democracy.Read more
Wake up call for Europe
Last Thursday, June 23, the British people voted to leave the European Union in an unprecedented referendum about membership of the European Union. According to the official result 51.9% of the registered voters choose to leave against 48.1% who wanted the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union. This blog will assess certain aspects of the outcome of the referendum and will try to clarify what the next steps of the so-called Brexit are.Read more
Brexit: Countdown to a Possible Withdrawal Procedure
On June 23, the United Kingdom will vote “in” or “out” on its membership in the European Union. What is the procedure of withdrawal and the Treaty Article which governs it all if the U.K. does indeed vote for a “Brexit” from the EU? Article 50 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union outlines the procedural steps for a Member State wishing to withdraw from the EU. This provision was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon (in force 1 December 2009). The treaty foresees two options in which withdrawal can occur. The first option is the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement. The second option is that no agreement is reached.Read more
Dutch Referendum on the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine
Today, Wednesday April 6th, citizens in the Netherlands can cast their votes in an unprecedented advisory referendum. The question put to a vote is whether the Dutch government should ratify the European Union’s Association Agreement with Ukraine or not. This blog provides some background of the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine and the lead up to today’s referendum.Read more
Launching a New Article 1 Treaty on European Union
As the late Umberto Eco already suggested, a library is not merely a collection of books, but also forms an intellectual meeting place. In the past scholars used to meet each other at the lender’s desk or in the reading room. Thanks to the digital innovations of the last decades, the Peace Palace Library blogs have become a breeding place for innovative ideas in the field of International and European Law. Thousands of visitors of the PPL-website are using the opportunity to read the weekly blogs and to contribute to development of new approaches and, indeed, of paradigm shifts.Read more
From Common Market to Common Democracy
Almost twenty five years after its foundation in 1992 the EU has established itself as a new polity in international law with an own and distinct model of governance. Contrary to the expectations of the signatories of the Maastricht Treaty the EU has neither become a state nor a free trade zone. The EU is not a State because sovereignty in the polity remains with the member States. According to the EU Court of Justice the EU is even ‘by its very nature precluded from being regarded as a State’.Read more
Enforcing the Rule of Law: The Case of Poland
After the Law and Justice Party (PiS) took control over the presidency in May 2015 and won a clear majority in Poland’s last parliamentary elections in October 2015, the new conservative PiS government quickly expanded its control over the media and judiciary. They did so by introducing controversial amendments to laws, which were first passed through the Sejm: the Polish Parliament and then approved by the Senate and Poland’s new President Duda.Read more
On Thursday November 5th the Peace Palace Library, in cooperation with the Netherlands Society of International Affairs / Club Clingendael, organized ‘Trade Talks’. About 120 people attended the evening, hearing lectures and participating in discussions on international trade and the present negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA).Read more
Victory for Privacy in Europe again? ECJ 'torpedoes' Safe Harbor
Last Tuesday, October 6, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has declared the Safe Harbour Decision invalid. Mr Schrems, a frequent Facebook-user, lodged a complaint with the Irish supervisory authority because in his view leaks from Edward J. Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency, made it clear that American intelligence agencies had almost unfettered access to the data, infringing on Europeans’ rights to privacy.Read more
Welcoming a New Model of Democracy
Celebrating International Democracy Day on the 15th of September, the Peace Palace Library takes pleasure in announcing the emergence of a new model of democracy. Guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma continues his series of blogs about the European Union by submitting that the EU has overcome the deadlock in the debate about its future. He argues that, from a citizens’ point of view, the aim of the EU is neither to become a sovereign State of Europe nor to form a Europe of sovereign States, but rather to function as a European democracy.Read more
The EU Migration Crisis and Moral Obligations
The European Union is currently coping with the world’s biggest migrant crisis since World War II. A record number of 107,500 migrants reached the EU’s borders last month.Large numbers of desparate migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa are trying to enter the European Union every day. Apart from this there are also many illegal immigrants who have entered the EU undetected. A conserable number of them have died during their attempt. According to a report of the UNHCR, around 2500 migrants who were trying to reach and enter the European Union have died or gone missing in the past year.Read more
Concretizing Transnational Democracy
In his Models of Democracy, initially published in 2006, David Held submitted that in the 21st century democratic institutions must be developed at regional and global levels as a necessary complement to those at the level of the nation-state. A few years earlier Tony McGrew distinguished in his seminal essay on Transnational Democracy between four different accounts of transnational democracy rooted in the distinctive traditions of democratic thought, namely liberal-internationalism, radical democratic pluralism, cosmopolitanism and deliberative democracy. Whereas Held and McGrew discussed transnational democracy primarily as abstract concepts, Habermas suggested in 2014 that the European Union has to become a transnational democracy.Read more
Wine and... European Law?!
At first glance wine and European Law don’t have to do much with each other. However, when one analyzes the relationship in depth, the legal aspects of wine have been (and still are) significantly important for the legal integration of the European Union and the creation of the common market. This blog focuses on these legal aspects in four judgments of the European Court of Justice and its predecessors.Read more
In Want of Democratic Legitimacy: Four Presidents searching for the Soul of Europe
In the midst of the crisis concerning the place of Greece in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the European Union (EU), the European Council will discuss a report on better economic governance in the Euro Area. As the ‘analytical note’ has been drafted by the Presidents of the European Commission, the Council, the Euro Group and the ECB, the report is referred to in inner circles as the Four Presidents’ Report.Read more
The Data Retention Saga: Dutch Court Declared National Data Retention Law Invalid!
On March 11, 2015, the district court of The Hague in the Netherlands declared the country’s 2009 Telecommunications Data Retention Act invalid. This decision was a foreseeable effect because of a previous judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the annulment of the European Directive on data retention on April 8, 2014. It seems now that European Member States are starting to face the consequences of that annulment. The cause of this is the fact that the European judgement did not automatically make national data retention legislation invalid. I will briefly discuss the case of the Dutch national data retention law.Read more
A Soul for Europe
There is sincere doubt as to whether it will ever be possible to define the European Union. It depends on the perspective of the beholder, which she or he is likely to conclude about the nature of the Union. The present blogger tends to simultaneously agree and disagree with the authors. He concedes that the perspective from which one investigates the European Union, may determine to a large extent the conclusions which that person is likely to draw. The purpose of this blog is to describe the Union from various perspectives in a number of different ways.Read more
The Eurasian Economic Union as a Geopolitical and Economic Counterweight to the European Union: the Case of Armenia
The Eurasian Economic Union is the next step in Eurasian economic integration. It will function as a common market with a customs union and has the aim of providing the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce and conducting common policies in key economic sectors, such as energy and agriculture. The EEU was established in 2014 between Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. A the treaty to enlarge the EEU by including Armenia was signed in October. In this blog we’ll discuss the main reasons for Armenia to join the EEU instead of choosing the path of closer cooperation with the European Union.Read more
The Identity of the European Union
The question concerning the nature of the EU has been one of the most contested political and academic issues of the last fifty years. From the outset, the debate about European integration has been dominated by the dilemma as to whether the project should result in the emergence of a sovereign state of Europe or in the formation of a Europe of sovereign states. This line of thought leads to the suggestion that, anno 2014, the identity of the EU may be described with the following words: the EU is a Union of citizens and member states which functions as a common democracy.Read more
European Court of Justice Clarification of the Research and Private Study Exception to Copyright Infringement for Libraries
On Thursday 11 September 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled on the meaning of the research and private study exception to copyright infringement for libraries, educational establishments, museums and archives. The Court decided that libraries are allowed to digitise books and make them available to the public at e-reading points within its vicinity, without the author’s permission. The judgment was issued in Case C-117/13, Technische Universität Darmstadt v Eugen Ulmer KG.Read more
Connecting Habermas with International Law
The financial crisis has intensified the debate about the feasibility of the European Union as a new phenomenon in international law. In his essay ‘On Europe’s Constitution’, philosopher Jürgen Habermas underlines that he regards the EU as a step in the direction of a politically constituted world order. In an 2012 interview Habermas focuses on the conceptual challenges of the EU by asking the quintessential question: How should we imagine a for closer co-operation necessary, supranational association which complies with stringent demands of democratic legitimacy without assuming the shape of a state?Read more
ECJ Judgment: Private Copying Levy Cannot Include Copies Made from Unlawful Sources!
The European Court of Justice has been pretty busy the past weeks. On Tuesday, April 8th 2014, the Court has declared the Data Retention Directive invalid from the date on which the directive entered into force. On Thursday, April 10th 2014, the Court has given its verdict on a complicated Dutch case involving the home-copying exception of European copyright legislation, and the associated use of copyright levies on blank media.Read more
The Origins of EU and EMU: Towards a Post-Westphalian Paradigm
The theoretical hallmark of the European Union is its flexible approach to sovereignty. According to the Westphalian system of international relations which forms the prevailing paradigm in international law and lies at the heart of the organisation of the United Nations, sovereignty is one and indivisible. States are sovereign and without sovereignty there is no State. Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma, Philosopher of Law, Director of Euroknow and Creator of the Boardgame Eurocracy.Read more
Exit Data Retention Directive: a Victory for Privacy in Europe!
Last Tuesday, April 8, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has declared the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC, 15 March 2006) invalid from the date on which the directive entered into force. In the view of the Court, the requirement in the Data Retention Directive for mobile operators and internet service providers to retain data interfered in a “particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data”.Read more
Europe: Backwards or Forwards?
In an apocalyptic essay, written at the height of the euro-crisis in 2012, Joseph Weiler predicted that the European Union will turn on its member-states in a similar way as the Golem of Prague persecuted its creators in the 16th century. The author paves the way for this conclusion by attributing a dimension of ‘political messianism’ to the statements of the founding fathers, which turns the Schuman-declaration into a roadmap to ‘the Promised Land’. As messianic narratives are doomed to collapse, the European project is set to disappoint and alienate the populace as well. Consequently, the EU creates the conditions for its own destruction.Read more
Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm
For decades, the process of European integration has been hampered by the predominance of the Westphalian system of international relations. According to this system, which owes its name to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the process of European integration had to result either in the creation of a federal European state or in the establishment of a confederal union of states. Founded in 1992, the EU defied the Westphalian paradigm from the outset.Read more
Ukraine, Moving East or West?
Although Yanukovych has claimed many times to seek good ties with Russia and the EU simultaneously, it seems that by refusing to sign the Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU last November, the power balance is tipping towards Russia. As an alternative to further EU integration, Russia has been actively promoting Ukraine to join the Russian-led Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, which in the future could progress towards a further integrated Eurasian Union.Read more
Back to or Beyond Westphalia?
The Italian banker and politician Padoa-Schioppa used to describe Great-Britain as the Venice of Europe. Drawing a comparison between the Italian unification in the 19th century and the present process of European integration, Padoa-Schioppa suggested that the UK is and will remain as reluctant to give up the pound in favour of euro as Venice has been to join the Italian lira. The implication of the comparison is, of course, that, however grudgingly, in the end the UK will accept the common European currency as well.Read more
The European Union as a Common Democracy
As a young democracy the EU urgently needs to strengthen its legitimacy and accountability. The transition from a traditional union of nation states to a polity of citizens and member states requires a fundamental adjustment of governance structures. The primordial challenge for the coming decades is therefore to address the democratic deficit and to turn the EU into a living democracy.Read more
A Union of States and Citizens: The Emergence of a New Term in International Law
On June 28th 2011 Peter Kooijmans participated in a conference about the place of the EU in international law, which was held in the Academy Hall of the Peace Palace under the auspices of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Carnegie Foundation. According to a blog on this website, one of the participants started the debate on the presumption that ‘the EU is a thing for which lawyers have no name’.Read more
Cameron and the Intricacies of the Westphalian System of International Relations
In his long-awaited speech on Europe British Prime Minister David Cameron criticised the EU for its lack of democracy. PM Cameron is right insofar as the citizens of the EU can’t elect their own European government and miss the power to vote their leaders out of office. However, Cameron’s criticism would only be justified if the EU were to be considered as a sovereign state like the UK, France or Germany.Read more
The EU and the Nobel Peace Prize: Who will say thank you?
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy or Jose-Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission or Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament? Together they will fly to Oslo on December 10 to represent the main institutions of the EU at the acceptance ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize 2012.Read more
The Novelty of the EU
For decades, the debate about the future of the European Union has been dominated by the dilemma whether the EU was to become a federal state or should establish itself as a union of states. After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, however, it may be suggested that the deadlock in the debate about the finalité politique has been broken. The gist of this blog is to argue that the Lisbon Treaty construes the EU as a democracy without turning the Union into a state. This conclusion can be underpinned as follows.Read more
Internet governance 2012: Who should control the Internet?
In the last twenty years, the Internet has had a tremendous impact on society and the term “Internet governance” was introduced. At first it was mainly used to describe the technical management of the Internet such as domain names and internet protocols. Nowadays governance refers to questions like “Do we all accept our responsibilities to safeguard the continued development of the Internet as a global, open and safe virtual environment? and Who sets the rules? In this blog I will give a few highlights of the current developments of internet governance on an International and (as well as on) an European level.Read more
The EU as a democratic polity in international law
On June 28, 2011 a conference was held about The European Union (hereafter EU) as a Polity in International Law at the Academy Hall of the Peace Palace, The Hague, The Netherlands. The conference was held at the initiative of Mr. Jaap Hoeksma, Director of Euroknow. This initiative was supported by Dr P. H. Kooijmans, Prof Dr L-J Brinkhorst, Dr W.F. van Eekelen, Dr W.van Gerven and Dr Th. van Boven.
The theme of the conference was the legal status of the European Union and its relationship with international law.From its inception, the main goal of the European Union and its integration in the legal as well as political systems of the Member states has been faced with conceptual problems regarding the final goal of the establishment of the European Union. The purpose of the conference was to discuss whether the Lisbon Treaty has overcome the problems by constructing the EU as a democratic polity without turning the Union into a state. If so, what are the consequences for the place of the EU as a polity in international law and for its role in international relations?Read more
European nuclear safety after the Japanese Fukushima disaster
On Friday 11 March 2011, Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, also known as the Tōhoku earthquake. Japan’s nuclear crisis that was caused by the earthquake and tsunami has so far evoked many questions and worries about the safety of nuclear energy just like the Chernobyl disaster evoked responses in the 1980s. It raises questions about the possible impact of nuclear energy industry on safety and health. Several European countries have discussed the use of nuclear energy and safety measures or have temporarily shut down nuclear reactors since the Japanese earthquake of 11 March 2011.Read more
International and European criminal measures on intellectual property rights
On October 2, 2010, the 11th and final round of the negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was concluded successfully in Tokyo, Japan. The Government of Japan hosted the negotiations. Participants in the negotiations included Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU) – represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency (Belgium) and the […]Read more
Roma Rights in the European Union.
In July 2010, The French government decided to begin to expel Roma’s, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, as many of them were living in France illegally. This decision caused much controversy within the Institutions of the EU. This blog will briefly discuss in what way EU institutions have responded to recent Roma issues and what can be done to improve the position of this marginalized community in Europe.Read more
EU Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2009
On 14 October 2009 the European Commission adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential candidate: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, […]Read more
The European Union’s ‘ContraFake’ policy
Counterfeiting, which represents 5 to 7% of world trade, has implications on the competitiveness of EU companies, on jobs and on the health and security of EU citizens. László Kovác, European Commissioner in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, states his vision on the fight against counterfeiting as follows. ‘Customs have a vital role to […]Read more
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