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European Union

  • The Origins of EU and EMU: Towards a Post-Westphalian Paradigm 02

    The Origins of EU and EMU: Towards a Post-Westphalian Paradigm

    April 18, 2014

    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!

    April 11, 2014

    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?

    Europe: Backwards or Forwards?

    March 14, 2014

    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

    Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    January 3, 2014

    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?

    Ukraine, Moving East or West?

    December 20, 2013

    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?

    Back to or Beyond Westphalia?

    October 25, 2013

    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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  • You’ve been Framed: Hyperlinking and European Copyright Law

    You’ve been Framed: Hyperlinking and European Copyright Law

    July 12, 2013

    One of the central features of the internet is the ability for each webpage to offer connections to other webpages in a click of a button. However in the copyright world there has been much discussion about website operators infringing copyright in a work by providing a link to another website containing that work. Can hyperlinking be a copyright infringement? What kind of linking is a communication to the public and the making of an authorized copy? In this blog I will discuss this issue in a European perspective with references to some recent cases of the European Court of Justice but first let me explain to you in short the relevant forms of hyperlinking.

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  • Paix, l’Europe unie construit la paix

    June 12, 2013

    Poster to promote the European Union with the slogan “L’ Europe Unie construit La Paix” by the French movement Paix et Liberté. Image: Painting of a group of figures that is carrying a large white cube with the text “Paix” on it.  The figures represent European countries: West-Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Brittain and Italy.

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  • As common democracy the EU forms a union of democratic states based on the rule of law, which also constitutes a law-based democracy of its own.

    The European Union as a Common Democracy

    May 2, 2013

    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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  • Cyprus Crisis: Troika go Home?

    April 19, 2013

    Lately everyone is turning their eyes to Cyprus. The small Mediterranean country is the latest victim of Europe’s debt crisis, in which several members of the Eurozone were brought to the brink of bankruptcy by a combination of highly indebted banks and unsustainable sovereign debts. Last month, a troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a rescue plan in respond to Cyprus’ need for a bailout.

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