News & Comments

We welcome short entries about relevant European or national developments for this News and Comments section. You are invited to use the contact form for this or to directly contact Thomas Beukers ( or Viorica Vita (

Latvians do not trust Greeks or how Latvia approved the Third Greek Bailout: Parliamentary involvement – by Zane Rasnača

December 5, 2015

Zane Rasnača is PhD Researcher in Law at the European University Institute and author of the ‘Report on Latvia’ on this website. The tumultuous road towards Latvian support for the Third Greek Bailout was marked by strong scepticism from both politicians and the general public. Already in late 2013 when Latvia was in the process […]

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The Greek Referendum: is it Unconstitutional? – by Afroditi Marketou

July 3, 2015

Is the Greek referendum unconstitutional? Afroditi Marketou,[1] 3 July 2015 It would be shocking if the Greek government announced an unconstitutional referendum. They, who had so much emphasized the need for constitutional legality in their critique towards previous governments and in their electoral campaign, they would now so violently and profoundly violate the Greek Constitution […]

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Further development of the EMU: should legitimacy come first or last? – by Päivi Leino-Sandberg

November 2, 2015

Païvi Leino-Sandberg is Adjunct Professor of EU Law, Academy of Finland Research Fellow, University of Helsinki and co-author of the Report on Finland available on this website. (This comment first appeared on the EU Law Analysis Blog: The June 2012 the President of the European Council presented a report to the European Council setting out […]

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Can the Euro Work without Schengen?

January 22, 2016

German Chancellor Merkel and Commission President Juncker recently both made a direct link between the survival of Schengen and the euro. "Nobody should pretend that you can have a common currency without being able to cross borders reasonably easily", Merkel remarked. Similary, Juncker has stated that "Without Schengen and the free movement of workers, of […]

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How Europe’s least controversial rescue fund became controversial – by Nik de Boer and Chris Koedooder

August 20, 2015

Nik de Boer and Chris Koedooder are both PhD Researcher at ACELG. (This comment first appeared on the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) blog: Note: This comment was first published on 20 July 2015 at the ACELG Blog. On 11 August 2015, the third Greek rescue package, to be provided by […]

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Court of Auditors Report on Financial assistance: Lessons from the Initial EU Crisis Response for the Future of EU Economic Governance – by Agnieszka Smolenska (EUI)

January 28, 2016

Agnieszka Smolenska is a PhD Researcher at the EUI studying the application of state aid rules to banks from 2007 in the context of the emerging frameworks for EU and Eurozone financial regulation and supervision On 26 January the Court of Auditors published a Special Report on “Financial assistance provided to countries in difficulties”, a […]

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Greek Council of State (Plenum) Decision on Labour Measures Implementing 2nd Greek MoU – by Matina Yannakourou (European University Cyprus)

April 7, 2015

Matina Yannakourou (European University Cyprus, On 27 June 2014, the Greek Council of State in Plenum issued Decision 2307/2014 declaring all labour law measures implementing the second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in compliance with the Greek Constitution, the TFEU (arts 125 and 136), the ECHR (art 11 and art 1 of its 1st Additional […]

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Privatising state intervention for financial stability: the Italian case – by Agnieszka Smolenska (EUI)

February 13, 2016

Agnieszka Smolenska is a PhD Researcher at the EUI studying the application of state aid rules to banks from 2007 in the context of the emerging frameworks for EU and Eurozone financial regulation and supervision On 10 February Italy passed a series of laws intended to improve the soundness and stability of its banks (Misure […]

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On 10 September 2014 the Spanish Constitutional Court has admitted an action of unconstitutionality for breach of local competences (conflicto en defensa de la autonomia local) brought by nearly 3000 municipalities – by Leticia Diez Sanchez (EUI)

January 16, 2015

The actions of unconstitutionality for breach of local competences can only be brought by 1,160 municipalities representing at least one-sixth of the Spanish population (about 7,8 million inhabitants), having been the first time that a sufficient number of local governments manage to lodge such an action – notably, about 850 of these 3000 municipalities are […]

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Is the IMF necessary for the 3rd Greek Program? – by Alexandros Kyriakidis (University of Sheffield)

April 20, 2016

Alexandros Kyriakidis is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Politics of the University of Sheffield Tensions have been growing between Greece and the IMF, including a highly controversial Wikileaks leaked conversation between the IMF Mission Chief for Greece and the Head of IMF’s European Department that raised issues at the highest level, with letters […]

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Brussels, French Politics and the “Macron Law” – by Robin Gadbled

March 31, 2015

By Robin Gadbled (EUI) Intense debate and media attention surrounded the adoption of the French law on Growth, Economic Activity and Economic Equal Opportunities[1], more famously known under the name of its promotor: France’s new Minister to the Economy Emmanuel Macron. Read the whole comment here.

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The ECB in check: a case from Portugal on the new Single Supervisory Mechanism – by Nelson Coelho and Diane Fromage (Utrecht University)

June 10, 2016

Nelson Coelho is a PhD Researcher at Utrecht University School of Law; Diane Fromage is an Assistant Professor at Utrecht University School of Law and co-author of the Report on France on this website (This comment first appeared on the blogdroiteuropéen, European Central Bank (ECB) Vice-President Vítor Constâncio was recently invited by the Portuguese […]

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Judgment 70/2015 of the Italian Constitutional Court: comment by Gabriele Pepe (in italian)

May 19, 2015

Read the extensive comment on the recent Italian Constitutional Court Decision on pension cuts (Judgment 70/2015) in the Italian Journal Amministrazione e Contabilita (in Italian only). The comment is written by Gabriele Pepe, researcher in Administrative Law at Guglielmo Marconi University, and entitled "Necessita di un'adeguata motivazione della legge restrittivamente incidente nella sfera guiridica dei […]

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OMT’s Inevitable Legality. Comment on AG opinion – by Giorgio Monti (EUI)

February 24, 2015

OMT’s Inevitable Legality? Giorgio Monti (EUI) Two sets of considerations on the Advocate General’s Opinion delivered on 14 January 2015 in Case C-62/14, Gauweiler et al v Deutscher Bundestag. 1. Inevitable legality The first starts from the premise that there are certain cases when a court cannot but give one kind of answer. This can […]

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Europeanizing the Eurozone – by Tomas Dumbrovsky

July 31, 2015

Tomas Dumbrovsky (J.S.D. Candidate at the Yale Law School, Assistant Professor at Charles University in Prague and author of the Reports on the Czech Republic and Slovakia) (This comment first appeared on I-CONnect: The way the Greek debt crisis was handled in the last weeks has been a public relations nightmare. The more or […]

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Judgment 70/2015 of the Italian Constitutional Court: Pension Cuts – by Giorgio Monti (EUI)

May 6, 2015

Link:;jsessionid=4AAEF7D7EC33E6839EEBC97021B33FC1   On the brink of economic meltdown in 2011, the Monti government established a number of policies to reduce spending and reset the economy (the so-called Salva Italia package); one of these affected pension payments. In brief, the measure meant that those receiving a pension three times above the minimum (so those earning […]

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The first preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the EU by the Slovenian Constitutional Court: the case of the Commission’s Banking Communication – by Samo Bardutzky (University of Kent)

January 16, 2015

The first ever request for a preliminary reference from the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), made by the Slovenian Constitutional Court (Ustavno sodišče) stems from a case contesting measures adopted in order to cleanse the country’s toxic banking system (Case U-I-295/13). Bank of Slovenia made use of the possibility provided by the […]

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The ESM and National Parliaments: France – by Diane Fromage

July 28, 2015

Update on the Third Greek Aid Package: On 15 July 2015 both French assemblies were called to vote on a governmental declaration concerning the rescue of Greece. Prime Minister Manuel Valls was present in the National assembly whereas his declaration was simultaneously read in the Senate by Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius. Before I analyse here […]

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The Greek Referendum: Unconstitutional and Undemocratic – by Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou

July 7, 2015

The Greek Referendum: Unconstitutional and Undemocratic By Prof. Xenophon Contiades and Dr. Alkmene Fotiadou (Centre for European Constitutional Law, University of Peloponnese) No democratic country should have to decide on its future through an unconstitutional, undemocratic referendum. Greece did. On Sunday, Greek citizens went to the polls to answer a question characterized by oracular ambiguity. A […]

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The Greek Referendum from Comparative Perspective: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – by Fernando Mendez

July 6, 2015

The Greek Referendum from Comparative Perspective: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Fernando Mendez, Centre for Research on Direct Democracy, University of Zurich (and co-author of Referendums and the European Union: A comparative inquiry, CUP Press 2014) The aim of this short piece is to situate the July 5th Greek referendum in comparative context. […]

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The ESM, the 3rd Greek package and National Parliaments: Germany – by Malte Kröger

December 17, 2015

Malte Kröger ( is currently legal trainee (Referendar) at the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg and a PhD-candidate at the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law at Hamburg’s Law Faculty. Malte is the author of the Report on Luxembourg and the Report on Malta on this website, and is currently also completing the Report […]

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The Greek Referendum: How Democratic is it? – by Alexander H. Trechsel

July 4, 2015

How Democratic is the Greek Referendum? Alexander H. Trechsel (Swiss Chair Professor in Federalism and Democracy at the EUI) (This comment first appeared in EUDO Café: It could hardly get any more dramatic in the negotiations between the EU and the Greek government. The clock is ticking and if no solution can be found […]

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The ESM, the 3rd Greek package and National Parliaments: Portugal – by Rita De Brito Gião Hanek

December 16, 2015

Rita De Brito Gião Hanek is a lawyer and legal consultant working with governmental and nongovernmental organizations on public law, public international law and international human rights law projects and is also co-author of the Report on Portugal on this website Parliamentary approval of financial assistance provided under the ESM is not required in Portugal. […]

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The Greek Referendum: is it Only a Question of Legality? – by Stavros Makris

July 3, 2015

Towards the Greek Referendum: Is it only a question of legality? Stavros Makris (PhD Researcher at the EUI), 3 July 2015 On 27 June, after an impasse in the negotiations with the Institutions, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, called a referendum on a potential political deal with the Institutions concerning the country’s bailout programme. […]

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