European Union

Introduction

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.

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Bibliography

Books

Articles

Documents

 Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

Add comments -for instance if you think we missed something, or just to express your thoughts- about the bibliography in this research guide:

New titles


1. Strasbourg in Harmony with The Hague and Luxembourg over Child Abduction?
Strasbourg in Harmony with The Hague and Luxembourg over Child Abduction? / Nigel Lowe. - Bielefeld : Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking. - Page 543-554 In: Zwischenbilanz : Festschrift für Dagmar Coester-Waltjen zum 70. Geburtstag am 11. Juli 2015 / herausgegeben von Katharina Hilbig-Lugani, Dominique Jakob, Gerald Mäsch, Philipp M. Reuß, Christoph Schmid, ISBN 9783769411478: (2015), Page 543-554. - 2015
Keywords: European Union, Court of Justice of the European Union, European Court of Human Rights, Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (The Hague, 25 October 1980), Children, Abduction, Case-law, European family law,

2. Rom I und der EuGH - für die Auslegung der Rom I-VO bereits relevante EuGH-Rechtsprechung
Rom I und der EuGH - für die Auslegung der Rom I-VO bereits relevante EuGH-Rechtsprechung / Ulrich Magnus. - Bielefeld : Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking. - Page 555-569 In: Zwischenbilanz : Festschrift für Dagmar Coester-Waltjen zum 70. Geburtstag am 11. Juli 2015 / herausgegeben von Katharina Hilbig-Lugani, Dominique Jakob, Gerald Mäsch, Philipp M. Reuß, Christoph Schmid, ISBN 9783769411478: (2015), Page 555-569. - 2015
Keywords: European Union, Court of Justice of the European Union, European Court of Human Rights, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome, 4 November 1950), Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (The Hague, 25 October 1980), Children, Abduction, Case-law, European family law,

3. Gesamt- und Einzelstatut: die Koordination von Erb- und Sachstatut nach der EuErbVO
Gesamt- und Einzelstatut: die Koordination von Erb- und Sachstatut nach der EuErbVO / Heinz-Peter mansel. - Bielefeld : Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking. - Page 587-595 In: Zwischenbilanz : Festschrift für Dagmar Coester-Waltjen zum 70. Geburtstag am 11. Juli 2015 / herausgegeben von Katharina Hilbig-Lugani, Dominique Jakob, Gerald Mäsch, Philipp M. Reuß, Christoph Schmid, ISBN 9783769411478: (2015), Page 587-595. - 2015
Keywords: European Union, Regulation (EC) No 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession, Law of succession, Law of property, Community law and national law, Private international law,

4. Der Fall Weber des EuGH und der dingliche Gerichtsstands des Art. 22 Nr. 1 EuGVVO
Der Fall Weber des EuGH und der dingliche Gerichtsstands des Art. 22 Nr. 1 EuGVVO / Hanns Prütting. - Bielefeld : Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking. - Page 631-635 In: Zwischenbilanz : Festschrift für Dagmar Coester-Waltjen zum 70. Geburtstag am 11. Juli 2015 / herausgegeben von Katharina Hilbig-Lugani, Dominique Jakob, Gerald Mäsch, Philipp M. Reuß, Christoph Schmid, ISBN 9783769411478: (2015), Page 631-635. - 2015
Keywords: European Union, Council and European Parliament Regulation No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels, 12 December 2012), Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, Real property, Law of property, Law of european civil procedure, Cases,

5. Nur ein Not-Sitz des Rechtsverhältnisses
Nur ein Not-Sitz des Rechtsverhältnisses : Zum gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt im Personalstatut / Thomas Rauscher. - Bielefeld : Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking. - Page 637-650 In: Zwischenbilanz : Festschrift für Dagmar Coester-Waltjen zum 70. Geburtstag am 11. Juli 2015 / herausgegeben von Katharina Hilbig-Lugani, Dominique Jakob, Gerald Mäsch, Philipp M. Reuß, Christoph Schmid, ISBN 9783769411478: (2015), Page 637-650. - 2015
Keywords: European Union, Personal status, Habitual residence, Legal concept, European private law,

6. Unsicherheiten bei astreinte, dwangsom und Zwangsgeld im Europäischen Rechtsraum - zu Art. 55 EuGVVO 1215/2012 Art. 49 EuGVVO 44/2001 sowei der GMVO in der Rechtspraxis -
Unsicherheiten bei astreinte, dwangsom und Zwangsgeld im Europäischen Rechtsraum - zu Art. 55 EuGVVO 1215/2012 Art. 49 EuGVVO 44/2001 sowei der GMVO in der Rechtspraxis - / Oliver Remien. - Bielefeld : Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking. - Page 661-680 In: Zwischenbilanz : Festschrift für Dagmar Coester-Waltjen zum 70. Geburtstag am 11. Juli 2015 / herausgegeben von Katharina Hilbig-Lugani, Dominique Jakob, Gerald Mäsch, Philipp M. Reuß, Christoph Schmid, ISBN 9783769411478: (2015), Page 661-680. - 2015
Keywords: European Union, Council and European Parliament Regulation No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels, 12 December 2012), Civil jurisdiction, Penalty payment, Law of european civil procedure,

Librarian's choice

  • Weatherill, S., Law and Values in the European Union, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.

    Weatherill, S., Law and Values in the European Union, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.

    How does the EU function, and why does it function in this fashion? Why do States in Europe choose to co-operate, and how does the EU enable this co-operation? An authoritative introduction to the study of EU law, setting the EU's unique legal framework in the political and economic contexts of integration. The author explains complex legal arguments surrounding the integration of the EU in a clear, concise fashion for the newcomer to EU law.

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  • Prete, L., Infringement Proceedings in EU Law, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2017.

    Prete, L., Infringement Proceedings in EU Law, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2017.

    Infringement Proceedings in EU Law is a comprehensive and detailed full-length work in English on infringement proceedings under Articles 258-260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Infringement proceedings constitute a significant proportion of proceedings before the CJEU and play a key role in the development of EU law. Their immediate purpose is to obtain a declaration that a Member State has, by its conduct, failed to fulfil an obligation under the EU Treaties. The questions confronted in this book are whether infringement proceedings, as they stand, constitute an appropriate means of ensuring observance by Member States’ authorities of the EU acquis and, if not, what changes are needed to secure that end now and in coming years.

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  • Strand, M., The passing-on problem in EU law damages and restitution, Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA, USA ; Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017. Showcase item

    ‘Passing-on’ occurs when harm or loss incurred by a business is passed on to burden that business’s customers or the next level of the supply chain. In this authoritative book Magnus Strand provides the first comprehensive examination of passing-on in EU law damages and restitution. The analysis covers a broad range of contexts including competition damages and the repayment of charges.

    The book offers a systematic examination of the key questions facing parties in a passing-on situation: When can downstream claimants bring an action? How can claimants demonstrate sufficient proximity to the original harmful act or unjustified transaction? Will a possibility of passing-on be relevant to the estimation of the award? These questions are assessed for actions against the EU, a Member State and private individuals.

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  • Fletcher, M., E. Herlin-Karnell & C. Matera, The European Union as an area of freedom, security and justice, London : New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Showcase item

    Europe’s area of freedom, security and justice is of increasing importance in contemporary EU law and legislation. It is worthy of special research attention because of its high-stakes content (particularly from an individual and a state perspective) and because its development to date has tangentially thrown up some of the most important and contentious constitutional questions in EU law.

    As the AFSJ becomes more and more intertwined with ‘mainstream’ EU law, this edited collection provides a timely analysis of the merger between the two. Showcasing a selection of work from key thinkers in this field, the book is organised around the major AFSJ themes of crime, security, border control, civil law cooperation and important ‘meta’ issues of governance and constitutional law. It also analyses the major constitutional and governance challenges such as variable geometry, institutional dynamics, and interface with rights around data protection/secrecy/spying. In the concluding section of the book the editors consider the extent to which the different facets of the AFSJ can be construed in a coherent and systematic manner within the EU legal system, as well as identifying potential future research agendas.

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  • Guild, E., BREXIT and its Consequences for UK and EU Citizenship or Monstrous Citizenship, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2017.

    This book examines the result of the 23 June 2016 UK referendum on leaving the EU where 51.9% of the eligible voters who voted chose to leave. Politicians and media have stressed not only that leave means leave, but also that much of the British voting public was motivated to vote leave by issues of immigration and border control. Guild investigates how the issue of EU citizenship became transformed into a discussion about immigration through four themes: the negotiations between the UK and the EU before the referendum; the nature of and difference between British and EU citizenship; the issue of third country national family members and the fears incited by the referendum in light of the rejection of expertise.

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  • Peers, S., EU Justice and Home Affairs Law, Oxford EU Law Library, Oxford, fourth edition, 2016.

    EU Justice and Home Affairs Law  examines in detail the EU legislation and case law on the issues of criminal law and procedure, policing and security, and civil cooperation in these areas, discussing the impact and ongoing development of EU law in these complex and controversial fields. The new edition particularly covers new EU legislation, case law, and operational developments since 2010 on: fair trials legislation; the Schengen Information System; the European Arrest Warrant; the European Investigation Order; the rights of victims of crime; and data protection. The book includes comprehensive coverage of the institutional framework and related human rights aspects, in addition to the connections with other areas of EU law. It concludes with a summary of EU civil law rules, and is updated to cover new legislation on civil jurisdiction, insolvency, small claims, and cross-border family issues.

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  • Mitsilegas, V., M. Bergström and T. Konstadinides (eds.), Research Handbook on EU Criminal Law, Cheltenham; Northampton, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016.

    EU criminal law is one of the fastest evolving, but also challenging, policy areas and fields of law. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and advanced analysis of EU criminal law as a structurally and constitutionally unique policy area and field of research. With contributions from leading experts, focusing on their respective fields of research, the book is preoccupied with defining cross-border or ‘Euro-crimes’, while allowing Member States to sanction criminal behaviour through mutual cooperation. It contains a web of institutions, agencies, and external liaisons, which ensure the protection of EU citizens from serious crime, while protecting the fundamental rights of suspects and criminals.

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  • Łazowski, A. & S. Blockmans, Research handbook on EU Institutional Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2016.

    Research Handbook on EU Institutional Law offers a critical look into the European Union: its legal foundations, competences and institutions. It provides an analysis of the EU legal system, its application at the national level and the prevalent role of the Court of Justice. Throughout the course of the Handbook the expert contributors discuss whether the European Union is well equipped for the 21st century and the numerous crises it has to handle. They revisit the call for an EU reform made in the Laeken Conclusions in 2001 to verify if its objectives have been achieved by the Treaty of Lisbon and in daily practice of the EU institutions. The book also delves into the concept of a Europe of different speeds, which - according to some - is inevitable in the EU comprising 28 Member States. Overall, the assessment of the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty is positive, even if there are plenty of suggestions for further reforms to re-fit the EU for purpose.

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Database

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.

Blogs

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Essay on the Future of the European Union, by Jaap Hoeksma

    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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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’.

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  • 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.

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  • ‘Trade Talks’

    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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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”.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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’.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • 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, […]

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  • 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 […]

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See also

More Research guides on International Organizations and Relations