Kosovo’s statehood has been contested by foes as well as friends. Much is known about the former and less about the latter. This contribution explores the contestation of Kosovo’s independence by the judges of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (eulex) working on privatization matters before Kosovo courts. As put by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo (kcc), eulex judges working on privatization matters, “simply continued to ignore the existence of Kosovo as an independent State and its legislation emanating from its Assembly”. The kcc stated this after eulex judges working on privatization matters had refused to respect Kosovo laws and institutions subsequent to the 2008 Kosovo Declaration of Independence. This paper explores the judicial dialogue on Kosovo’s independence between eulex judges and the kcc and identifies the limitations and risks of the ‘status neutral’ policy applied by international organizations to collaborate with Kosovar institutions without prejudging its political status. This submission suggests that ‘status neutrality’ leads to either acceptance or contestation of Kosovo’s statehood and thus brings more uncertainty than clarity to Kosovo’s position in international relations.
This contribution critically analyses the four limbs of the EU’s defence mechanism upholding the rule of law within the Union. The first being the individual post accession rule of law mechanism, introduced by the Commission in 2006 for the two new member states Bulgaria and Rumania. The second, and arguably most powerful limb, involves the EU Court of Justice conducting a judicial review of a member state’s rule of law situation, which is of far greater concern for reviewed members than the so-called “nuclear” last-resort option of Art. 7 teu ’s sanction mechanism (fourth limb) that is politically difficult to enact. With a view to the politically fraught Art. 7 teu, the Commission introduced a new “early warning” rule of law framework in 2014 which pre-emptively enables exploring dialogue-based solutions to rule-of law issues as they emerge (third limb).
The present article discusses the usefulness of indicators in monitoring not only the legal transposition but also the practical implementation of the two Equality Directives adopted in 2000. It focuses on those provisions of the Directives which have assigned a particular role to ngos, both in reacting to discrimination as well as in preventing discrimination and promoting equality. Indicators have been developed on the basis of a comparative review of transposition and implementation, including case studies on Romania, Hungary and Croatia. Considering the great potential of ngos in contributing to achieve the aims of the Directives and the current worrying trends as to how they are supported in (or obstructed from) taking up their role, the article proposes using these indicators not only in the pre-accession context but also for regular monitoring of all EU member states.
With all eyes on the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, another pandemic has been growing in the shadows: violence against women. The Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention creates a legal framework in order to protect women against all forms of violence. Its ratification process, however, has faced considerable challenges, particularly in the Central and Eastern European Member States. This article discusses the basic elements of the Istanbul Convention, reflects on the ratification process in the EU and its Member States, and sets out the main legal issues raised in the European Parliament’s request for an opinion (A-1/19 of 22 November 2019) to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Special focus is put on the choice of the correct EU legal basis and the practices of ‘splitting’ and ‘common accord’. This article argues that the European Parliament’s request for an opinion provides the perfect opportunity for the Court of Justice of the European Union to further clarify the law and the practice of concluding mixed agreements by the EU and its Member States.
The boundaries of EU waste legislation are drawn by the definition of “waste”. This is also true of the Waste Shipments Regulation. What if the authorities of dispatch and destination disagree on the classification of a particular substance? A recent judgment of the EU Court of Justice shows that the rule according to which, in case of such a disagreement, the substance “shall be treated as if it were waste” is in the end of limited value. There is no way the European Commission or the Member State of (typically) destination can win their case on this basis.