Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Spain's constitutional court: Power beyond legal practice
Before 2015, the CC was not a Court of Justice. However, through the Organic Law 15/2015 of 16 October 2015, it was reformed to receive new powers with which to enforce its decisions, forcing judges, courts and public administrations to act with urgency if the court asked.

This was not only met with criticism by judges of the court, but also by many external jurists and the Venice Commission which strongly criticised giving the CC the task to execute its own judgments, usually attributed to other state powers.

In consideration of EU concern about Poland's and Hungary's constitutional violations, the EC mandate increasingly appears weak and petty.
Europe Can't Remain Silent Over The Catalan Crisis
Europe's silence on Catalonia risks EU credibility
The European Commission refuses to answer
Mayor of Barcelona calls for EU to mediate in Catalonia

"It is my obligation as mayor... to call on the European Commission to open a space for mediation between the Spanish and Catalan governments to find a negotiated and democratic solution," she wrote.

Barcelona "does not want a collision with unforeseen consequences. I am convinced most of our European partners do not want that either," she said.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 29th, 2017 at 08:55:56 PM EST
Calls for the EU Commission to intervene in the internal affairs of it's member states ignore the very important point that the EU is primarily a Union of 28 member states and not of regional or other entities. Spain is a member.  Catalonia is only part of the EU by virtue of it's incorporation into Spain. If Catalonia (or Scotland) were to achieve independence they would still have to apply for membership in their own right.

The EU has indicated they would have no problem with Catonia (or Scotland) becoming part of the EU in their own right provided they had achieved independence by legal means. The EU cannot be seen to be furthering the disintegration of their own members. It must respect their domestic political arrangements.

That is not to say that member states don't have Treaty obligations, enforcible through ECJ rulings, to observe democratic norms and recent infringements of those norms in Poland and Hungary deserve a more robust EU response.

But we are in unproven territory here, as those democratic norms are poorly defined and as yet untested by any enforcement proceedings. The EU expanded it's membership to include former dictatorships like Spain, Portugal and Greece and former members of the Warsaw Pact partly as a means to reinforce the development of democratic norms and institutions in those countries.

It is an open question the degree to which the EU could and would respond if any member state reverted to fascism or communism. However refusing to grant independence to a regional entity hardly qualifies for such intervention. The EU Commission/ECJ could intercede if invited by both parties to do so, or intervene if there were gross violations of human rights by Spanish authorities in Catalonia, but the mechanisms for doing so - other than ECJ findings in individual cases - are unclear to me.

Perhaps those with greater knowledge of EU Treaties could comment on this.

The question is also particularly relevant to N. Ireland. Under the Good Friday agreement all citizens there are entitled to either or both British or Irish (and therefore European) citizenship.  What happens if the UK violates their European Citizenship rights post Brexit?

It is important to note, in this context, that they have the right to fully express and exercise their rights as Irish (and EU) Citizens within Northern Ireland, and not simply as ex-pats livings in a foreign state who could be expecting to adapt to local (UK) norms. They are by definition not expats but residents fully entitled to vindicate their EU citizenship rights within N. Ireland. Could they appeal to the ECJ if unhappy with a local court ruling? Could the Irish Government act on their behalf?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 1st, 2017 at 11:40:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"(and EU)" exactly: Conceptualizations of a political union of the member-states --not merely an assemblage of mutual yet competing interests in marketing among the so-called sovereign member-states-- instituted in one supranational authority is emerging through popular praxis. A question remains whether or not this evolution will be settled by civil war (again).

I hasten to add, I do not anticipate witnessing such an adversity at any time in my life. The "federalists" of Europe have proven themselves (in spite of compulsion to expand, or acquire NEW! territories ) to be more shrewd than their antecedents in selection of battles with "the people".

archived: Articles of Confederation

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 1st, 2017 at 02:07:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Junker, Rajoy hold phone conversation over Catalonia
According to the Spanish media, Junker and Rajoy held a telephone conversation in which Junker expressed his support for constitutional order in Spain following the independence referendum held in the Catalan region of Northeast Spain on Sunday.
Rajoy Monday also held meetings with Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Party and Albert Rivera, the leader of center-right party Ciudadanos to discuss possible future action and government response to the crisis.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 06:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Statement on the events in Catalonia, Brussels, 2 October 2017
Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday's vote in Catalonia was not legal. For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain....

Sovereignty of the member-states prevails.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 06:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The question every citizen of Serbia has for the European Union today is: How come that in the case of Catalonia the referendum on independence is not valid, while in the case of Kosovo secession is allowed even without a referendum," B92 quoted Vucic as saying during a news conference.

"How did you proclaim the secession of Kosovo to be legal, even without a referendum, and how did 22 European Union countries legalize this secession, while destroying European law and the foundations of European law, on which the European policy and EU policy are based?"

No, I don't expect Juncker to answer.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 07:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Because shut up," he kindly explained.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 07:33:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good point; let's hope Catalonia doesn't descent into civil war and ethnic cleansing like it happened in Kosovo 18 years ago.
by Bernard on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 08:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 01:58:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Against NATO. Which has a significant overlap with the EU.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 06:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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