Both Switzerland and the EEA EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are non-EU Member States that are, nonetheless, closely linked to the EU and in particular its internal market. The present chapter focuses on the contributions which both Switzerland and the EEA EFTA States have paid to enhance cohesion within the EU. The chapter compares these cohesion payments from a historical and factual perspective, assesses the legal framework underlying the contributions and examines conditionality elements in this context, namely the practice of contributing States to make their payments conditional upon certain facts, be they adherence to common values or the state of relations with the EU. Overall, cohesion payments are marked by significant political room for action within the legal framework. The perspective on the relations with the EU of a contributing State seems to influence the use made of this room for action, with, e.g., Norway treating its contributions more as a part of an overall, durable integration structure, whereas Switzerland seems to perceive cohesion payments predominantly as a political bargaining chip in the relations with the EU.
The interaction between arguments developed under the different means of interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties is often described in language evoking balancing. The present paper offers a linguistic perspective on this phenomenon. First, it aims to clarify in what situations balancing is actually taking place during an interpretive exercise. Then, it demonstrates how linguistic knowledge can sharpen our assessment in this context. It is shown with examples that help to establish the adequate weight of interpretative arguments developed under the means of interpretation of ordinary meaning. International law and its rules are not displaced in this exercise, but merely better understood by examining their operation through language.
Building on earlier research, the present article integrates linguistics and pragmatics into the study of interpretation of treaties in international law. This approach aims to make the reasoning of interpreting agents and their appeals to interpretive canons more explicit and transparent. This is consequently demonstrated with a number of practical examples in which the process of legal interpretation and its accommodation of the mentioned norms of interpretation can be adequately described and modelled. At the same time, it is shown that legal language possesses certain particularities, but nevertheless ultimately follows the basic pragmatic rules of communication. Nonetheless, linguistics and pragmatics can only provide an ultimately descriptive account of interpretation, so that evaluative judgements on the normative questions of how to respect the norms of international law still need to be made and – from a normative perspective – the rules of international law are not replaced or abrogated.
The present contribution assesses the case law of the European Court of Justice interpreting the provisions of the Aarhus Convention relating to access to justice. Cases have dealt with the temporal scope of application of provisions on access to justice, projects implemented by specific acts of national legislation and their exclusion from the obligations under the Convention, interim relief and the effet utile of provisions on access to justice, the range of possible pleas for judicial review, the role of procedural errors, permissible costs of proceedings, access to justice for environmental associations under different provisions of the Convention and the annulment of a permit and its relationship with the right to property. As is also shown, this case law is at the same time relevant – though not binding – for Switzerland as a non-eu Member State, but party to the Convention.