European Union

ECJ delivers ruling on the incompatibility with EU law of “lex CEU”

New market surveillance framework in the EU

  • New market surveillance framework in the EU

    Many things have changed in the global economy over the last 40 years. The trade of goods used to be carried out through relatively controllable and predictable routes, so the market surveillance measures, institutions and powers that could form the foundations of an efficient system are now not necessarily capable of providing the same high level of consumer safety. Rules created in the context of identifiable manufacturers, distributors established in the internal market, physical shops and markets are no longer suitable for facing the market surveillance challenges of the online market. Read more... (Zsolt Hajnal)

ECJ: Hungary’s restrictions on the foreign funding of civil organisations do not comply with EU law

  • ECJ: Hungary’s restrictions on the foreign funding of civil organisations do not comply with EU law

    In its judgment in Case C-78/18 Commission v Hungary, delivered on 18 June 2020, the European Court of Justice condemned Hungary for its 2017 adoption of the “Transparency Law” which imposed an obligation on civil organisations to register as “organisations in receipt of support from abroad” if the yearly sum of the donations they received from abroad exceeded a certain threshold and to publicly disclose the donations received, including the name, the country and the city of residence of the donors whose donations reached HUF 500,000 (around €1400). The Court found that, by adopting these provisions, Hungary has introduced discriminatory and unjustified restrictions in breach of its obligations under Article 63 TFEU and Articles 7, 8 and 12 of the Charter. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi) 

ECJ: the Commission failed to provide proper reasons for suspension injunctions against Hungary

  • ECJ: the Commission failed to provide proper reasons for suspension injunctions against Hungary

    The European Court of Justice recently published its judgment in Case C‑456/18 P Hungary v European Commission, bringing an end to a five-year legal dispute. According to the judgment, the Commission failed to provide proper reasons as to why it regarded as necessary to order that Hungary suspend the application of the progressive tax rates of the health contribution to be paid by tobacco manufacturers and the food chain inspection fee imposed on certain food business operators until the conclusion of the Commission’s investigation. The Court of Justice has also set aside the judgment of the General Court at first instance which held up the suspension injunctions set by the Commission. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)

A Challenge for the EU’s Average Consumer Concept

  • A Challenge for the EU’s Average Consumer Concept

    To a certain degree, owing to informational asymmetry, a difference in negotiating power and a relative lack of transparency, and due to the ever-present risk of falling victim to unfair commercial practices, all consumers can be considered vulnerable or disadvantaged when it comes to business-to-consumer transactions. This is especially the case in those consumer markets that involve particularly complex transactions, such as the financial products and services market. In the light of these issues, this article focuses on the European Union's concept of the ‘average consumer’ and its interpretation by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), particularly in cases concerning problematic markets. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)

Memories of the ‘Class of 2004’ – A Foretaste of Some Thoughts on the Occasion of the 16th Anniversary of Hungary’s Accession to the EU

The right to education of vulnerable groups in the European system of human rights protection

  • The right to education of vulnerable groups in the European system of human rights protection

    This blog post endeavors to briefly explore some specific approaches within the European system of human rights protection that aim to promote the access of the members of certain vulnerable groups to education and training. This human rights framework appears to react differently to specific forms of vulnerability: access to education as an important tool in countering social exclusion appears primarily in the context of people with disabilities and those belonging to national and ethnic minorities. With regard to other vulnerable groups, for instance, asylum seekers or socially vulnerable youth, legal guarantees in the field of education are significantly more scarce, and in the case of certain groups (such as irregular immigrants) they are completely absent. Read more… (Daniel Szilágyi)

Implications of a “no deal” Brexit for students at UK universities

  • Implications of a “no deal” Brexit for students at UK universities

    Following the “historic defeat” of PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal at the hands of the UK House of Commons, the possibility of a “no deal” Brexit seems higher than ever before, meaning a scenario in which the United Kingdom would leave the European Union immediately on 29 March 2019 with no agreements in place about what their relationship would be like in the future. Without further preparatory actions or commitments made by the UK government, a “no deal” Brexit would create immediate uncertainty for EU nationals in UK universities, prospective students and staff from across the EU, and for those participating in any of the Horizon 2020, Structural Funds or Erasmus+ programmes. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)

CETA’s mechanism for the settlement of disputes gets green light from Advocate General

  • CETA’s mechanism for the settlement of disputes gets green light from Advocate General

    The dispute settlement mechanism between investors and states provided for by the free trade  agreement between the EU and Canada (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA) is compatible with EU law, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concluded on Tuesday (29 January), dismissing previous concerns. The agreement does not adversely affect the autonomy of EU law and does not affect the principle that the ECJ has exclusive jurisdiction over the definitive interpretation of EU law. Read more... (Petra Ágnes Kanyuk)

Brexit: Happy Marriage and Divorce

  • Brexit: Happy Marriage and Divorce

    This article focuses on one of the most essential challenges for the European Union – Brexit, a process in motion since June 2016 and still shrouded in uncertainty. It is predicted that the UK will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. However, no one knows yet how and by what conditions this "divorce" shall take place, and even whether it is truly inevitable: according to a recent ruling of the European Court of Justice, the United Kingdom could decide to unilaterally reverse the withdrawal process. Read more...  (Giorgi Gogokhia)

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