FEATURED: BIICL Annual Grotius Lecture 2015, 26 March 2015

Thursday 26 March 2015
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

Annual Grotius Lecture
17:30-18:30 (followed by drinks reception)

Eleanor Sharpston QC will deliver the 2015 Annual Grotius Lecture on the subject

‘Squaring the Circle? Fighting Terrorism whilst Respecting Fundamental Rights’

Eleanor Sharpston QC has been Advocate General at the Court of Justice since 2006. After serving as a référendaire (judicial assistant) to Advocate General, subsequently Judge, Sir Gordon Slynn, she taught and researched what was then EC law, together with comparative law, at University College London and then at King’s College Cambridge. In parallel, she pursued a career at the Bar specialising in EC law and the ECHR, becoming a Queen’s Counsel in 1999. She has published widely on European Union law and comparative law.

She brings her extensive experience as an academic, practitioner and now Advocate General to this prestigious Annual Lecture of BIICL.

The Lecture will be of great interest to barristers, solicitors, judges, arbitrators, government officials, intergovernmental officials, academics, students and all with an interest in European law.

For further information and to book online, please visit www.biicl.org/event/1082

Sponsored by Shell and Carter-Ruck

Join in the conversation for this event @BIICL #Grotius2015

Become a member of BIICL
Find out more about the different membership packages that we offer.

Call for papers, featured

King’s Student Law Review (KSLR) Call for Papers 2015

For the attention of LLB, LLM/MA and PhD students

Dear all,

The King’s Student Law Review is currently looking for students to submit articles between 5,000 and 7,000 words (excluding footnotes). The King’s Student Law Review (KSLR) is a King’s College London publication. It is edited by King’s College London PhD students, and seeks to publish the very best of legal scholarship written by students at King’s and other leading law schools. The KSLR is a prestigious publication that has a wide online presence and is listed in the international database HeinOnline.

The KSLR is an exclusively student-run enterprise, with emphasis on improving academic writing and legal knowledge amongst students. As such, the KSLR aims to provide detailed feedback and comments towards the improvement of the articles received and considered for publication.

Submissions are welcome from all law students, whether at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. It is possible to submit appropriate work that was written as coursework.  Students from all universities are invited to submit papers for consideration by the Editorial Board in the following areas:

Public and Constitutional Law, Human Rights, Tax Law, Financial Law, Commercial Law, Business Law, International Public Law, International Private Law, Legal Theory, Criminal Law, Criminology, EU Law, Tort Law, Competition Law, and Intellectual Property Law

Editors, based on the quality of writing, research and analysis, will make selections for the publication through a blind double peer review. The first issue of 2015 will be published in April.

Submissions for the next issue of the King’s Student Law Review are due by 6th March 2015.

Please submit one article between 5,000 and 7,000 words and an abstract (300 words maximum) using the submission form. For style guidelines and citation format refer to our website.

If you have any queries, please contact the editorial team at: kclstudentlawreview@gmail.com


FEATURED: Invitation to IGLRC 2014 EU Law Panel

International Graduate Legal Research Conference
(IGLRC) 2014
The eighth annual International Graduate Legal Research Conference (IGLRC) will be held on the 14-15 April 2014 at King’s College London, home of one of the top 25 law schools worldwide and located in the heart of London’s legal district.
This two-day conference has a reputation for being a unique platform to meet other researchers and academics from across the world. It will also give delegates a fantastic opportunity to listen to a wide variety of selected presentations from legal researchers working in highly topical areas of contemporary legal scholarship. This year, we boast two tailored workshops for early career researchers by Hart Publishing and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS).
We are pleased to announce that we will have two keynote speeches this year. The first will be by Prof. David Nelken, our new Associate Dean for Research and the second by our co-sponsor, Public International Law firm, Volterra Fietta. Amazon voucher prizes are available for best presentation and best poster!
Our marketing leaflet can be found here, with provisional programme at www.iglrc.com/programme
Several panels with King’s Law School chairs have been confirmed to take place, of most interest to the blog is the European Union Law panel chaired by Prof. Alex  Türk themed
“Balancing Different Standards of Regulation in the EU”
  • ‘Resistance to Compliance: Is there a future for ‘Golden Shares’ within the EU’ – Jelena Ganza (King’s College London)
  • ‘The institutional balance in EU financial supervision’ – Arien Van’t Hof (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • ‘EU risk regulation and its global standards: the case of pharmaceuticals’ – Sabrina Wirtz (Maastricht University)
Jelena is a regular contributor to the KSLR EU Law blog and another of her posts is due to be published in the coming weeks. This is a great opportunity to  hear her speak in person about the very topics she blogs about!
To register, follow the link to the KCL e-store: http://bit.ly/1iSXQ0j
Registration costs £50 now, £55 on the day
Current LLM students and King’s affiliated participants get a discounted rate,
email submissions@iglrc.com for the password

Visit www.iglrc.com for further information.
Be part of #IGLRC2014 on Twitter @IGLRC or by liking IGLRC on Facebook
Article, featured

Enlarging the EU ‘Club’: Dobrodošla Hrvatska!

Dr. Agne Limante

MA candidate in EU Law at King’s College London


Today, the 1st of July, right in the mid-summer heat, Croatia will become the 28th member of the European Union. It will happen 22 years and just few days after Croatia declared its independence[1] and disintegration of Yugoslavia began bringing to the region war, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

This article will take a brief look at Croatia’s accession process, highlighting its main challenges and reminding of the EU accession conditionality applied towards aspiring countries in the Western Balkans.


Croatia’s path

The relations between Croatia and the EU began developing after Croatia’s international recognition (15 January 1992). However, by the end of 1990s, Croatia was still a state with a nationalist-pattern government that did not always comply with the EU conditions the way it was expected to.[2] It was especially hard to persuade Croatia to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s.

Hence, once elected in 2000, the moderate government received pressure from the EU to change the line of politics of their predecessors. The EU openly stressed the importance of extraditing war criminals and the need to encourage repatriation of refugees. Croatia started implementing those requests.

Proceeding further, in October 2001, Croatia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU and on 21 February 2003 presented its application for membership. The following year in June 2004, the European Council granted Croatia candidate status. Accession negotiations were started only later in October 2005.

Almost six years later, in June 2011, the last four chapters of accession negotiations were closed and in December 2011 the Accession Treaty[3] was signed. After the positive outcome of the referendum in Croatia where 66.27% of voters supported Croatia’s accession to the European Union,[4] the process of ratification of the Accession Treaty by the EU Member States began. Last month, with the German Bundestag ratifying Croatia’s Accession Treaty the process was finalised,[5] opening the door to accession on 1 July 2013.


Cooperation with the ICTY and Croatia’s case

Ensuring that Croatia and other Western Balkan states[6] cooperated with ICTY[7] was part of the international community’s (US, NATO, EU) overall strategy in the Western Balkans. Nevertheless as noted earlier, it was not easy.

For the majority of people living in Croatia, the war was recent, memories were vivid and the indicted war criminals were perceived as respected war heroes who won independence for their countries.[8] Under President Tuđman, cooperation with the ICTY was not supported at all. Only after his death it started being widely discussed and a question of ethnic cleansing featured in political discourse.[9]

Unwilling to give up, the EU was strict, threatening that failure to cooperate fully with the ICTY could ‘seriously jeopardise’ rapprochement to the EU.[10] This threat appeared to be real – when Croatia was slow to arrest those indicted by the ICTY, especially General Ante Gotovina (who was indicted on a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Croatian War for Independence), insufficient cooperation with the ICTY was used as a ground to suspend Croatia’s accession talks.[11] Such strategy appeared to be effective and in 2005 Croatia finally arrested Gotovina. Interesting to note, in November 2012 he was acquitted on all charges by the appeals panel at the ICTY and the Croatian government plane flew the general home, where he was treated like a hero.[12]


Accession negotiations

The negotiations with Croatia were divided into 35 negotiating chapters (31 was in case of earlier enlargements) – some new, some just result of the re-structure.

The list of chapters to be negotiated by Croatia for the first time (with Turkey) included ‘judiciary and fundamental rights’. Such a novelty highlighted that fundamental rights is no longer regarded solely as an eligibility condition, but forms an integral part of EU acquis.[13]

This new chapter, including judiciary, the fight against corruption and organised crime, fundamental rights and the already discussed ICTY co-operation, also appeared to be the toughest of the negotiating chapters. EU Commissioner Viviane Reding in 2011 called the chapter of judiciary the “last stumbling block” of Croatia’s accession. She praised the progress, admitting that “in one year, they have completely reformed their judiciary system and have made it irreversible”.[14]

When closing the negotiations, EU officials seemed very excited. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he wanted “to applaud the Croatian authorities, in particular the current government, for their hard work over the last years”. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, meanwhile, stated that Croatia had changed “tremendously” during the EU accession negotiations, morphing into a “mature democracy based on the rule of law and into a functioning market economy”.[15]

Despite the applause, however, critics still claimed that Croatia’s reform efforts were far from sufficient. The positive attitude of the EU, they argued, represented strong pressure from Member States such as Hungary, Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic to allow Croatia to join.[16] This ‘friends and enemies trump real progress’ attitude is quite widespread in the Balkans. Adding this to the fact that Bulgaria and Romania are often seen as examples of accession with insufficient progress, this seems to further downgrade the importance of EU conditionality towards acceding countries.


Western Balkans on the rocky road into Europe’s club

The other Western Balkan States are still waiting at the EU’s door. They understand that since 1990s the EU enlargement process became much harder for the candidate states. The road to the EU is clearly marked by signs asking to jump through many hurdles and over many rocks.

It is widely accepted that in respect of the states that acceded to the EU in the 2004 and 2007 enlargement rounds, the EU imposed much more stringent accession conditions than it used to impose. However, due to bloody wars related to the fall of Yugoslavia and post-war challenges, the EU conditionality set for the Western Balkan states is even more of a multi-level phenomenon than before.

Firstly, Western Balkan countries are subject to the accession criteria set out in Articles 2 and 49 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)[17] and the Copenhagen criteria laid down at the European Council meeting in Copenhagen in 1993.[18] Article 49 TEU constitutes the legal basis for accession to the EU. It states that any European state which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union. [19] The Copenhagen criteria, meanwhile, is much more precise and require from any country wishing to join the EU to abide by the certain accession conditions, including political and economic criteria as well as acceptance of the EU acquis. [20]

Secondly, in the case of the Western Balkans, the EU significantly complemented the Copenhagen criteria by extending political conditionality and adding region-specific conditions encapsulated in the Regional Approach[21], the Stability Pact[22] and the Stabilization and Association process,[23] as well as the peace agreements and political deals. The EU listed additional conditionality including full cooperation with the ICTY, respect for human and minority rights, creation of real opportunities for refugees and internally displaced persons to return and a visible commitment to regional cooperation.[24]

Thirdly, extending the Copenhagen and Madrid Criteria, the Stabilisation and Association Agreements’ concluded with the Western Balkan states require “respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law; the establishment of a free trade area with the EU; and the achievement of rights and obligations, in areas such as competition and state aid rules, that allow the economies to integrate with the EU”.[25]

In such a way, when knocking at the EU’s door, Croatia, together with other Western Balkan states, was presented with an extensive list of conditions it needed to fulfil to be able to join the club. With ups and downs discussed above, it proceeded and, as we witness today, successfully reached the goal attaining this exclusive club’s membership card.


A happy ending?

As noted by Hillion, Croatia’s accession to the EU illustrates that the Union is a polity that continues to attract, that it is helping to turn one of the darkest pages of Europe’s recent history, and that it sticks to its commitments.[26] Indeed, admitting Croatia to the EU is a significant step towards Europe’s reconciliation and important for still continuing peace building in the Balkans.

However, apparently the Croatians do not seem to be too enthusiastic anymore. Two and a half months before Croatia joined the EU, just 21% of voters bothered to cast ballots in 14 April 2013 election of 12 new MEPs.[27] On the other hand, considering the falling turnout in EU MEPs elections in the older EU Member states where voting is not compulsory,[28] one might say that this is simply typically European.

[1] Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence on 25 June 1991. Slovenia, which did not have a considerable Serb minority, managed to secede without getting engaged into Balkan wars. Due to this reason it was faster to develop and joined the EU with the 2004 ‘big-bang’ enlargement group.

[2] See further M.A. Vachudova, “Strategies for Democratization and European Integration in the Balkans” in The Enlargement of the European Union, ed. M. Cremona (Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 120.

[3] Treaty of Accession of Croatia. OJ L 112, 24.4.2012.

[4] Data of the State Electoral Commission of Croatia. Available at http://www.izbori.hr/2012Referendum/rezultati/rezultati.html.

[5] The table with details of the ratification process is available at: http://www.delhrv.ec.europa.eu/?lang=en&content=3935.

[6] The term ‘Western Balkans’ is used as including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99. See, for example, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council “Western Balkans: Enhancing the European perspective”. COM(2008) 127 final.

[7] The list of ICTY indictees contained 94 Serbs, 29 Croats, 9 Albanians, 9 Bosniaks, 2 Macedonians and 2 Montenegrins.

[8] M. Braniff, Integrating the Balkans. Conflict Resolution and the Impact of EU Expansion (I.B. Tauris, 2011), p. 108.

[9] See further M. Braniff, Integrating the Balkans. Conflict Resolution and the Impact of EU Expansion (I.B. Tauris, 2011), p. 108-113.

[10] 2533rd Council meeting (External relations), Luxembourg, 13 October 2003, 13099/03 (Presse 292).

[11] 2649th Council Meeting (General Affairs and External Relations), Bussels, 16 March 2005, 6969/05 (Presse 44). Symbolically, this EU decision coincidence with 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

[12] See Balkan Insight “Croats Celebrate Acquittal of Gotovina and Markac”, 16 November 2012. Available at: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/croatians-celebrate-acquittal-of-gotovina-and-markac

[13] For more extensive analysis see ‘Editorial comments: Fundamental rights and EU membership: Do as I say, not as I do!’ (2012) 49 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 481–488; Gráinne de Búrca, Beyond the Charter: How Enlargement Has Enlarged the Human Rights Policy of the European Union, 27 Fordham International Law Journal (2003), p. 679.

[15] See EU Observer, “Croatia gets EU green light, despite lack of reforms” http://euobserver.com/enlargement/32474.

[16] See EU Observer, “Croatia gets EU green light, despite lack of reforms” http://euobserver.com/enlargement/32474.

[17] OJ C 326, 26.10.2012.

[18] Copenhagen European Council, 21-22 June 1993, SN 180/1/93.

[19] The values of Article 2 include respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

[20] (i) stability of the institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities (political criteria); (ii) the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union (economic criteria); (iii) the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union (acceptance of the Community acquis).

[21] Council conclusions and simultaneously adopted Declaration on former Yugoslavia. Bulletin EU 1/2-1996.

[22] See http://www.stabilitypact.org/default.asp. In 2008 the Stability Pact has been superseded by the Regional Co-operation Council, which up until now oversees regional co-operation in SEE and supports the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the WB.

[23] Conclusions of the General Affairs Council of 21 June 1999, based on the Commission Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the Stabilisation and Association process for countries of South Eastern Europe COM(99) 235 of 26.5.99.

[24] Council Conclusions of 29 Apr. 1997, Bulletin EU 4-1997, pt 2.2.1

[25] European Commission, The Stabilisation and Association Process for South East Europe: First Annual Report, COM(2002) 163 final, Brussels, 3 Apr. 2002.

[26] ‘Editorial comments: Fundamental rights and EU membership: Do as I say, not as I do!’ (2012) 49 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, p. 481–488.

[27] See EU Observer, “Abysmal turnout in Croatia’s EU vote”: http://euobserver.com/political/119799.

[28] The turnout in the 2009 European elections was the lowest ever since direct elections for the Parliament started thirty years ago, with Slovakia getting the lowest turnout for the second time in a row. See European Election Database: http://www.nsd.uib.no/european_election_database/election_types/ep_elections/.

Event review, featured

REVIEW: EU Law Panels at the International Graduate Legal Research Conference (IGLRC) 2013 at King’s College London, 8-9 April 2013

Christy Burzio and Adrienne Yong
PhD Candidates at King’s College London


It was a great privilege for the authors of this post to have been present for the seventh annual IGLRC held at King’s College London on the 8-9 April 2013. Indeed, the panels were sure to provoke a lot of great discussion chaired by Professor Alex Türk, both in the realm of the tense political, social side of the Union and in the midst of the tough economic times Europe faced and still faces. As greatly varied subjects within EU Law itself, there were two panels split accordingly, the first discussing the EU’s modern social side including issues on identity, fundamental rights and political undertones of judicial review and revocation and the second primarily focused on the financial side of the EU in austerity, agencies and supervisory authorities in banking.


The first panel consisted of Eleni Frantziou (University College London), Ana Júlia Maurício (Cambridge) and Erin O’Leary (Liverpool John Moores). It was interesting that whilst the topics of each presenter did vary greatly on the face of it, it would ultimately emerge that they all voiced a commonality. Some presented it as a concern, others as an issue to be acknowledged. They all came back to the same point regarding the un-reconciled status of the EU as lacking coherence in terms of its policy and direction. However, whilst pessimistic in nature on the outset, the three presenters each demonstrated a keen desire for there to perhaps be more room for constitutionalism within the EU legal order and structure. The presence of this trend was an interesting one to note and one certainly considered as being characteristic of the EU generally. The themes were presented from the point of view of fundamental rights and horizontal effect, from national final administrative acts and revocation and from a more socio-legal linguistic identity point of view.


The first panel began with a refreshing reference to artistic culture, entitled ‘The constitutional value of the Charter of Fundamental Rights after Lisbon: The importance of being earnest’, analogising Oscar Wilde with the constitutional value of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. After an update on the status of fundamental rights under Lisbon, the sensitive issues were tackled. The fact that there was an undermining of the Charter’s constitutional impact was lamented, which hindered the consolidation of a European identity. This was due to excessive reliance on general principles of EU Law as opposed to the Charter in governing how citizens enjoy rights. It was argued that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had to be earnest about their direction for the Charter before it could be clearly stated exactly what their intentions were. The perspective advanced was that there needed to be a new methodology for the application of human rights following the Lisbon Treaty, placing the Charter first, then the ECHR, and following that, general principles to aid in correct interpretation. This interesting methodology instigated a lively debate considering its merits and demerits leaving great food for thought as we then delved into a more technical topic.


The provisions and conditions regarding revoking national final administrative acts could be described as a niche area, certainly the thoughts of this author when reading the title of the second presentation, ‘National final administrative acts contrary to EU Law: A critical analysis of the Court of Justice’s case law’. The speaker considered the political relationship between remedies and behaviour of MS in complying with EU law. Though a topic clearly outside many of the attendees’ remit of knowledge, clarity in both delivery and content aided the audience in comprehending the specific topic separated into two parts, firstly aid (state and national aid) and then in regards to the free movement of persons. The presentation and discussion both centred round the stark difference in treatment concerning the treatment of both by the CJEU. Highlighted were the exceptional cases,[1] which seemed to be at odds with the prior line of reasoning. It was commendable to the speaker that though her topic was not widely understood before the day began, she certainly shed some light on the matter by the end of it. Ultimately again, the theme emerged of the divergence rife within the Union’s constitutional decisions. Her focus on this idea contextualised her area of expertise with that of the previous in term of the delicate balance required in both because of the EU’s constitutional nature.


The panel rounded off with a non-lawyer’s perspective on the hypocrisy in the EU’s motto in her take that it was more akin to being ‘United in diversity: the lesser of two evils’. As highlighted, to hear a fresh non-legal perspective of an idea of predominantly considered in the legal sphere was a welcome and indeed interesting debate. From a largely linguistic point of view, the notion of the diversity of languages and its consequences for the united Union was considered. The large number of both languages and cultures in the EU contribute to the difficulty in becoming such. This was due to the inherent connection between the two and the undesirability to have a lingua franca for the Union. It perpetuated the idea that there has been a failure to achieve equality, which means there is also legal certainty compromised. It seemed that there was an inevitable sphere of linguistic uncertainty. Again, identity was a key issue given that without an agreement as to one, there would constantly be a tension in the supranational order. Whilst there was significant criticism advanced as to the lack of a clear answer for why there is such hypocrisy and tension within the Union, it only served to emphasise again that this characteristic of the EU would be here to stay, and likely the source and subject of many a debate to come.


The second panel was an opportunity for one of the authors to dig deeper into a relevant debate, of which topics and presentations on offer didn’t disappoint. The EU has been epitomised in recent months as an unpredictable political playground. Solidarity and austerity are seen as two conflicting schools of thought, with a line being firmly drawn between the two. The solidarity of many countries has faltered under immense economic pressure. Germany’s resistance to guarantee funds to enable further bailouts and the UK’s proposed attempts at future renegotiations and referendums have spurred a culture of countries looking from the outside at the problems facing the EU from within. The term ‘austerity’ has become taboo to many EU citizens and only the most daring of us would ever utter these words in order to raise a debate. Luckily for us, the speakers were not worried by such a fear.


The first speaker was Luca Lionello, (Catholic University of Milan) with a presentation entitled ‘Austerity Measures, Shift of Sovereignty and Democratisation of European Institutions’. The title was intriguing given its boldness in tackling austerity and sovereignty in the same sentence. Aren’t these terms a modern day juxtaposition? The presentation dug deeper into the reality of austerity measures and the impact they have on country independence. He tackled the recent adoption of the Euro plus pact, the Six Pack and the Treaty on Fiscal Stability, as several EU members have adopted austerity measures to respect the new rules on fiscal integration. However, the question on everyone’s lips was; are these measures legitimate and can they solve anything? Luca raised three main points to question the legitimacy of the measures (1) as fiscal policy is a core competent of national sovereignty, the development of a strong European supervision on national budgets will probably oblige members states to reform their own constitution, (2) the new economic governance is managed by intergovernmental bodies that dont directly respond to the citizens in contradiction with the EU’s democratic principle and (3) the adoption of austerity measures under the new rules on fiscal integration has caused the violation in many member states of social and labour rights. The tone of the talk was hopeful that the way to remedy these illegitimacy’s was providing European institutions with the competence and the appropriate means to guarantee social protection of the EU according to the principle of subsidiary. However, with recent economic catastrophes, like that seen in Cyprus, it seems principle of subsidiarity may take a backseat on the EU agenda while we ride through the storm.


With subsidiarity at the forefront of the audiences mind, we were greeted by Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel, (University of Leuven) with a presentation entitled ‘Between Delegation and Attribution: Article 114 TFEU, Integrated Administration and the Constitutional Circumvention of the Meroni-judgement on the Establishment of new EU Regulatory Agencies’. The cynical tone of the speakers’ thoughts was presented by the notion that the Meroni judgment [2] is still repeatedly invoked to curb the regulatory powers of independent EU agencies. This powerful debate has been made even more relevant by the introduction of the institutional set up and decision-making powers of the new European Supervisory Authorities (ESA’s) in financial markets regulation. A decisional tug of war is ongoing at EU level between the Meroni delegation limits with the EU treaties’ competence attribution framework. It seems the EU has been rather inventive in delegating power as the incorporation allows it to partially circumvent traditional Meroni delegation limits and to re-qualify them as novel, thus enabling and restraining instruments governing the process of agency establishment in general rather than agency delegation in particular. After a discussion on the relevant case law and highlighting Articles 114 and 291 TFEU, the line of reasoning given by the EU was adamantly and persuasively criticised by the speaker, leaving many thinking, where do we go from here?


It was with bated breath that the audience waited for the last speaker on the Panel. Gianni Lo Schiavo (King’s College London) presented on ‘The European Financial Supervisors: A true constitutional challenge in the aftermath of the European Crisis’. This was clearly the hot topic of the panel with many audience members having prepared questions in advance for the speaker to answer. The speaker took a novel approach to his presentation and made a clear case for the introduction of the macroeconomic layer into the European economic constitution established by the Maastricht Treaty. The issues raised by the speaker covered not only the economic crisis but the underlying constitutional crisis as well.  Whilst the new European Financial Supervisors were shown to be important improvements, Gianni spent no time getting to the harsh questions of these entities. The first problem was the shaky ground that these entities seem to have been built upon. The new European delegated governance is being shaped, but it is unclear whether their role will be enhanced as standalone bodies. Secondly, and importantly, the discussion turned to sovereignty; how do these bodies relate to national authorities and their powers, could this indicate a real ‘top down’ process of market regulation and control? The presentation ended stressing the urgency of the need for clear answers of effectiveness and shared responsibilities.


Both panels presented papers that prove themselves in both relevance and content. They raised significant issues, but more importantly current issues, and like with any conference by the end both authors found themselves with more questions than they started with as to the future of the EU’s plans in many aspects, on their direction in future development on fundamental rights, identity and that ever tricky balance between sovereignty and supranationality, and on economic recovery and the agencies that could aid in its implementation.

[1] C-119/05 Lucchini [2007] ECR I-6199; C-249/11 Byankov [2012] judg of 4 Dec 2012, nyr.

[2] Case C-9/56 and 10/56, Meroni v High Authority [1958] ECR I-0133