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Showing papers in "German Law Journal in 2016"


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The study describes Hungary's policy towards asylum seekers and refugees in the tense period of 2015–2016 before and after the erection of fences at its southern borders of Hungary. It offers a theoretical explanation of the legal measures and practical actions. After briefly reviewing the factual basis, that is the magnitude of the movements and the number of decisions taken in the EU and in Hungary and the pertinent legal changes in 2015–2016 it elaborates the theoretical fundaments. Securitization majority identitarian populism and crimmigration are invoked as explanatory frames. The paper then reassembles the factual elements under six headings showing them in a new light. These are: denial, deterrence, obstruction, punishment, free riding constituting lack of solidarity and breaching the law (international, European, domestic). Finally the question is raised if all these moves are compatible with the duty of loyal cooperation of Member States with each-other and the EU as prescribed by article Article 4 (3) TEU.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In response to the many facets of corruption, many scholars have produced interdisciplinary research from both the theoretical and empirical perspective. This paper provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art survey of existing literature on corruption, utilizing these interdisciplinary in-sights. Specifically, we shed light on corruption research including insights from, among others, the fields of economics, psychology, and criminology. Our systematic discussion of the antecedents and effects of corruption at the micro, meso, and macro level allows us to capture the big picture of not only what drives corrupt behavior, but also its substantial ramifications.

26 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Corrupt practices in organizations are commonly explained via the rational choice of individual employees, with the benefits of deviant actors at the heart of the theoretical approach. This Article challenges the rational choice perspective with reference to cases of corruption in which the organizational benefits are crucial and personal gains negligible. The authors propose to embed the concept of “useful illegality” (Luhmann) into an institutional theory framework and develop a set of indicators for the systematic comparison of individual case studies. Exemplary analyses of two landmark cases of corporate bribery on behalf of German corporations' subsidiaries abroad (Siemens Argentina and Magyar Telekom) show that active corruption was neither simply a function of individual deviance, nor of personal gain. In contrast, institutional theory allows the modeling of organizational deviance as a function of unwritten rules that lend legitimacy to the deviant behavior of bribe payers. Despite plentiful opportunities in the periphery of these two multinational corporations, the few instances of personal gain were either in line with the organizational incentive structures (as in Telekom) or attributable to the loss of membership (as in Siemens). Mostly high-ranking employees, loyal to their organization, committed those crimes at high personal risks. The discussion of factors that explain why these “company men” nonetheless complied with the unwritten rules, in support of organizational benefits, leads the authors to conclude with likely consequences for effective regulation. They argue that it is the usefulness of the illegal behavior for the organization, its entrenchment in organizational cultures, and amplified adaptation problems with regard to changing institutional environments that explain what makes corrupt practices so hard to control and to regulate in a formal legal organization.

19 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The financial services industry is of central importance to the UK economy. It represents some 7% of GDP. It also generates major exports for the UK - in the region of one-third of UK financial services are exported to the EU. News reports in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result included the sharp drop in banking stocks; the overtures being made to attract UK financial business away from the City to other EU centres; and plans by leading financial institutions to move some operations away from the City. Vivid illustrations all of the importance of the Brexit vote for the City and the UK financial services industry. The financial services sector is one of the most heavily regulated sectors of the modern economy, reflecting the need to protect the public interest in a strong and stable financial sector. The EU has, up to now, provided the framework within which UK regulation of the financial sector has been designed, applied, and supervised. The nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU following its exit from the EU has yet to be determined. But the consequences of the extraction of the UK from EU financial governance are likely to be disruptive in nature and long term in duration. This short note highlights some of the many implications from a regulatory perspective.

14 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016, the question of migration has been at the forefront of attempts to understand what happened, and in particular why working class communities in many of the regions of England, and in parts of Wales, voted predominantly for the Leave side. Polling data show a weak correlation between areas of the country that voted for Leave and high levels of inward migration from the rest of the EU. The link between immigration and Brexit is very clear in East Anglian agricultural towns like Boston and Wisbech, but otherwise is weak. South Wales and the North East of England, which also saw clear majorities for Leave, are not areas of high EU migration. Instead, they are regions that have experienced successive waves of deindustrialisation since the 1980s. The overriding issue raised by the Brexit vote, in my view, is not migration as such (although that is part of the story), but a wider phenomenon of deepening economic insecurity, and the dangerous political dynamic it has created.

7 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The result of the Brexit referendum sends shockwaves through the political fabric of the UK, Europe and beyond. It is the latest instance in a series of anti-systemic shocks to hit the EU, but will almost certainly not be the last, as discontent with the status quo and a disconnected elite continues unabated across the Continent (and is replicated across the Atlantic), and the European Union provides a convenient target for voters to express their anger and resentment.

6 citations


Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: This chapter discusses the significance of law in neoliberal theory and practice. Prefaced by a brief look at the role that law plays in the theories of the ordo- and neoliberal thinkers Franz Bohm and Friedrich August von Hayek, the subsequent sections focus on the work of James Buchanan and his brand of neoliberalism, which combines constitutional economics public choice theory. Buchanan’s core demand is a balanced-budget amendment to the constitution. The following sections examine this measure in its various aspects before the final section switches to the world of “actually existing neoliberalism” with a discussion of the various reforms of the economic governance structure of the European Union in recent years, particularly the “Fiscal Compact”, which amounts to the real world equivalent of a balanced-budget amendment.

6 citations


Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: There is a fundamental disconnect between the public discourse about sovereign and external debt in comparison to private domestic debt. The latter is predominantly viewed through a Humean lens, which sees economic morality in terms of contingent social institutions, justified by the valuable goods they realize; while sovereign and external debt is viewed through a Lockean lens, which sees property, contract, and debt as possessing an intrinsic moral quality, independent of social context or consequences. This chapter examines whether this Lockean perspective on sovereign and external debt is compatible with the dominance of Humean approaches to the domestic economy. It considers and rejects the most plausible argument for reconciling these views, which emphasizes the different qualities of cooperation in the international and domestic economies. It further argues that many standard objections to a Humean approach to sovereign debt suggest, not the Lockean approach, but rather a Hobbesian international moral skepticism. Concluding that the Lockean approach is unmotivated, this chapter instead advances a Humean account of sovereign debt and default. It shows how taking seriously the demand for institutional justification and the idea of persons and peoples as free and equal provides an account of the duties of states—whether creditors, debtors or third parties—in sovereign debt crises. It further examines the implications of each approach for democratic choice about sovereign default.

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: After having invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the U.S. Supreme Court “dropped the other shoe” in Obergefell v. Hodges by declaring the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage at the state level unconstitutional. Written by Justice Kennedy, the majority opinion heavily relied on the dignity-bestowing character of marriage to show why this exclusion is so harmful. But this strategy comes with a cost: it inflicts a stigma even as it conveys recognition—a drawback that an equality analysis can avoid. Respondents had argued that opening marriage dangerously disconnected marriage from procreation, both the historical reason for and the essence of marriage. In finding that they had failed to provide evidence for the harmful outcomes they described, the majority not only provided the rational basis test with a new kind of “bite.” It also asserted that tradition or religious beliefs were not enough to justify exclusion. Once secular purposes define marriage and rational reasons are required to regulate access, the road to marriage equality opens wide. As the line of cases leading up to Obergefell suggests, and developments in Germany, Austria, and other jurisdictions confirm, equality works as a one-way ratchet—albeit without necessarily including polygamy and incest. Crucially, equality changes the focus: From an equality perspective, the harm lies not in the exclusion from a dignity-conferring institution, but in the suggestion that the excluded group is not worthy of participating in it and does not deserve the recognition and benefits associated with it. Instead of aspiring to achieve dignity through marriage, in this view same-sex couples claim recognition as free and equal citizens. Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation subsumes an individual under a group category whose purported characteristics are systematically devalued, thus refusing to appreciate a person as an individual. It is this denial of recognition that conveys harm to the dignity of the individual above and beyond the respective disadvantage suffered. Thus taken with equality, dignity does not have the exclusive effect it has in isolation, as struggling against degrading exclusion stresses common traits.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: While the Kadi affair has attracted a lot of attention, this Article approaches it from a rarely used contextual theoretical perspective of resolving institutional conflicts through reflexive sincere cooperation. The argument is short and simple: The institutional relationship between the EU judiciary and the UN Security Council should have been conducted not in strategic-pragmatic terms motivated by institutional power-plays, but rather by genuine pluralist institutional cooperation. The argument is preceded by an in-depth analysis of the theoretical and concrete practical shortcomings stemming from the lack of institutional cooperation between the UN and the EU in the Kadi affair. These shortcomings were not inevitable, as the EU and the UN legal and political systems are already connected with a whole set of bridging mechanisms. These should be, however, strengthened and their use should be made more common. In order to achieve that, the Article suggests an amendment to the Statute of the Court of Justice of the EU and further improvement of the safeguards in the UN Security Council sanctioning mechanisms procedures. There is no dilemma: Enhanced institutional cooperation between the institutions of the two systems will work to their mutual advantage as well as, most importantly, maintain the rights and liberties of individuals like Kadi.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This Article has a twofold aim. First, it focuses on a particular case study, which has attracted the interest of several scholars from an interdisciplinary perspective: the legalization of same-sex marriage. The Article aims to show how changes in one specific socio-cultural landscape may spill into other contexts as a result of a ripple effect. The idea is to demonstrate how the emergence of a social fact—the increasing demands made by homosexual couples for their union to be recognized in one way or another—may make the process of institutionalization natural. A legal system may sometimes be bound to recognize social facts, and transnational law may enhance this phenomenon. The second aim of the Article is to claim is that, when analyzing change, legal deterministic theories should be dismissed, as they are based upon easy assumptions that do not correspond to empirical observations. Instead, as shown by constructivist approaches, the combined effect of structure and agency in some specific circumstances contributes to social and legal change. However, constructivists perhaps underestimate the relevance of unpredictable events and the (positive or negative) influence that transnational frameworks may have in forming discourses of power. In particular, the EU and the ECtHR systems may facilitate the diffusion of ideas and norms deriving directly from the liberal paradigm that inspire them. However, the liberal paradigm is contradictory, as it does not necessarily provide an incentive for change.

Journal ArticleDOI
Ralf Michaels1
Abstract: Philip Jessup would not be pleased. Exactly sixty years after he published his groundbreaking book on Transnational Law, a majority of voters in the United Kingdom decided they wanted none of that. By voting for the UK to leave the European Union, they rejected what may well be called the biggest and most promising project of transnational law. Indeed, the European Union (including its predecessor, the European Economic Community), is nearly as old Jessup's book. Both are products of the same time. That invites speculation that goes beyond the immediate effects of Brexit: Is the time of transnational law over? Or can transnational law be renewed and revived?

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Following the article “Marriage, Same-Sex Partnership, and the German Constitution,” which was published in the German Law Journal in 2012 (see Anne Sanders, Marriage, Same Sex Partnership and the Constitution, 13 German L.J. 911 [2012]), this article provides an update on recent developments in relation to same sex partnerships in Germany. The focus of this Article is case law of the German Constitutional Court from 2002 through today, but it also discusses other court decisions in relation to the rights of same sex parents. The Article concludes with an examination of a recent draft law which—if successful—will open marriage to same sex couples. While its chances for success are extremely slim, this Article argues that same sex marriage will eventually be introduced in Germany.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: While the Dublin System was meant to create a clear and fair division of responsibilities for the examination of applications for international protection, the recent refugee crisis highlighted the extent to which normative aspirations and political realities can diverge. That said, the Dublin System does allow for a certain degree of flexibility: By exercising the discretionary right to assume responsibility under the so-called “sovereignty clause” of Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Dublin III Regulation, Member States can examine asylum applications even when they would not formally have jurisdiction for doing so according to the criteria established by the Dublin System. Germany has relied upon this right extensively during the refugee crisis. Against this backdrop, the following contribution analyzes the reasons for, and limits of, multilevel administrative discretion in the Common European Asylum System. It argues that when a Member State exercises the right to assume responsibility in a sweeping manner, i.e. in hundreds of thousands of cases, it runs the risk of overstretching the legal limits of its discretionary powers. National administrative bodies can only invoke the right to assume responsibility insofar as this does not amount to game-changing decisions by the executive or unilateral decision-making without transnational coordination – particularly when such decisions have severe transnational consequences.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This Article engages the debate over the free movement of same-sex couples and explores what can, and should, be learned from the case law on the recognition of names. These “name cases” provide valuable lessons for both the proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage recognition. These cases show, first, that Member States are under the presumption to recognize marriages performed in other Member States. This Article also considers the importance of the national and constitutional identities of the Member States and suggests that there remains a possibility that Member States may justify the non-recognition of a marriage or deprive same-sex couples of some of the rights heterosexual married couples benefit from. The Article explores how the EU is confronted with a federal clash of values and offers some suggestions on how to solve this clash.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This Article takes a preliminary look at some distinct, unintended effects of anti-bribery law. In an exemplary and exploratory way, it intends to examine structural socio-legal problems and dilemmas of designing and implementing legislation against corruption. Firstly, it outlines four ideal types of legal norms that are meant to combat corruption but display significant negative features. Secondly, the typology is briefly applied to selected recent developments in German federal anti-bribery legislation. The Article concludes, inter alia, that the design, implementation, and interpretation of anti-corruption law is full of functional, legal, political, and moral pitfalls.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The British vote on 23rd June, opting by a rather slim majority to leave the European Union, has sent waves of uncertainty rippling through the island and the continent, as well as through some milestones of European integration. One of these is European citizenship. Paradoxically, it receives a hard shake at the hand of national citizenships, exercised through a referendum.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: I can hardly begin to express what Brexit means for Britain and Scotland. Like many, I am shocked. I am shocked in part by the result itself, and in part by the very fact that I am shocked by the result, despite all the warning signs. Denial and wishful thinking affect us all, so before Remainers place too much blame on complacent, arrogant, elitist politicians, we should look to ourselves. They are but our mirror.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This Article analyses, through the lens of comparative law, the Oliari and others v. Italy judgment, which was issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in July 2015. The Oliari case is important for being the first judgment in which the ECtHR established the granting of legal “recognition and protection” to same-sex couples as a positive obligation for the Member States of the Council of Europe on the basis of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In order to understand the role of judicial bodies in the progressive protection of homosexual rights, this Article combines an analysis of European case law with the national perspective. As it concerns the supranational facet, the authors illustrate Oliari's reasoning and situate the case in the jurisprudence of the ECtHR. Elements of both continuity and innovation emerge from the analysis, as well as a relevant dimension of judicial dialogue supporting the incremental recognition of gay rights in Europe. As it concerns the national facet, this specific case was initially dealt with at the domestic level and was the object of judgment 138/2010 by the Italian Constitutional Court. The judgment is critically put into perspective through the examination of the jurisprudence of other European Constitutional Courts (France, Portugal and Spain) that were called on to decide similar cases in the same period. Therefore, the Article offers a comparative analysis of the Oliari judgment clarifying its relevance and speculating on the potential value of this case for the future recognition of the right to a “gay” family life in Europe.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: There is a certain degree of irony in writing about Brexit for a law journal- a read put together, hosted and read mostly, if not exclusively, by ‘experts’. The irony lies in the fact that the outcome of the UK referendum on the EU was, amongst other things, a rejection of experts; or rather, of current mobilizations of expertize and the political allegiances of a large number of experts. Despite this irony, or precisely because of it, I will reflect on three interrelated questions that, in my mind, determined the content and outcome of this historic referendum. First, I will discuss the discourse of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘control’ at the centre of the Leave campaign. Secondly, I will focus on the role of expertize and (technocratic) knowledge both in the construction of the European project and in the revolt against it. Finally, I will argue that given neoliberal hegemony and its heavily unequal distributive outcomes, revolts against contemporary structures of power, both national and inter/supranational are to be expected. Therefore, the question for progressive lawyers is how to mobilize our expertise so that these revolts do not become the exclusive playing terrain of the extreme right with unforeseen consequences.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Regardless of what happens in the next few months and years in the post-referendum UK, much of the harm has been done. The uncertainty, in particular, is killing. It will have a significant impact on many of the UK's most productive economic sectors including universities and financial services. It will cast a shadow over inward investment and over the willingness to take risks of those responsible, for example, for building new infrastructure. There will be a brain drain. Already in some respects the EU is acting as if the UK were no longer a Member State. It has no Commissioner since Jonathan Hill's resignation. After the EUCO summit on 29 June which took pace without the UK's presence, EU27 conclusions were issued.

Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: This chapter asks the fundamental question of whether the concept of a market-oriented (economic) order can be reconciled with the idea of democracy from the perspective of rational choice approaches to the law. Europe has been facing great economic challenges for the past years—sovereign debt; fiscal and monetary policy; financial market regulation; trade and investment agreements. Some observers argue that prioritizing an economic rationale in the policy response to these challenges comes at the expense of democracy by undermining its most vital preconditions (such as equality and solidarity), while their antagonists state that in fact democratic decision-making is undermining financial stability and long-term welfare of societies. This contribution will establish that both positions contribute important insights and yet display too narrow a field of vision. Combining the arguments puts the cart before the horse: Democratic decision-making undermines, among other things, financial stability—and thus long-term welfare of societies—because it follows a logic that is primarily economic.

Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: The chapter attempts to explore the fate of law and democracy in the euro crisis from the sociological perspective of systems theory. It consecutively ascertains the performance, the relevance, and the function of the law with regard to the current practice of restructuring sovereign debt in the euro area. While novel forms of regulation such as the European Stability Mechanism attest a remarkable assertiveness of the law, they cannot effectively command economic recovery and must cede to economic imperatives for their part. Under such circumstances, the law can no longer adequately fulfill its function to counterfactually secure normative expectations. Nevertheless, the regulatory experiments in the euro crisis may not be regarded as undemocratic. Rather, the heterarchical processes of mutual observation, recognition, and contestation among the various constituencies involved, including representatives of governments, institutions of the European Union, central banks, national parliaments and peoples via referenda, as well as European and national courts, provide some substitute for the lack of elections and parliamentary decision-making at the European level.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: It would be unrealistic to reject secession from the doctrine of self-determination and limit the doctrine to the colonialism context. Nevertheless, the question is: What principles do states need follow in response to secession movements? Democratic principles are not the best—or only—options to address these requirements, but the secession doctrine's development and state practice has made such principles legally and practically relevant, according to many scholars. This Article proposes that the focus of the debate should be transferred to the internal dimension of the right to self-determination. The possibilities that can come from the realization of this aspect of the right to self-determination can be further explored. Certainly there is a very wide and flexible range of options and measures for addressing, protecting, and promoting diversity, and thus overcoming identity conflicts and providing a balance of social power. Those political arrangements, though imperfect, can help to avoid secession, thereby providing stability, harmony, and prosperity of democratic societies. But practice has shown that there are exceptional cases in which the current conditions on the ground make the application of tools for internal self-determination impractical. In these exceptional cases, internal self-determination fails to achieve the desired goal. This Article examines the legal arrangements for realization of internal self-determination through the examples of Basque Country and Scotland as vital quests for secession in countries with long democratic traditions.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This Article engages in an empirical analysis of the counter-majoritarian role of the Brazilian Supreme Court, the Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF), in terms of its sharp contrast with the aim of attracting wider participation from civil society in public hearings. Public hearings are an important judicial tool that have recently been introduced and that may influence foreign constitutional courts. A public hearing is a procedure in which the STF can hear experts, scientists, professors, civil servants, and even ordinary citizens when a Justice Rapporteur seeks to elucidate a specific technical aspect of a case, a controversial social issue, or an issue in a field that is generally unfamiliar to the presiding judge or judges. This research aims to address the influence of these public hearings on the deliberation process of the STF based on the democratic theory of representation. First, Section B outlines the main premises of the debate, elucidated the purposes and findings of public hearings. Next, Section C presents a theoretical approach addressing deliberation and representation to explain how information obtained in public hearings might improve the STF's adjudicative process. Section D outlines the chosen criteria and methods for the empirical research; this will demonstrate that public hearings in the STF are not working as envisioned. Lastly, to offer qualitative insight, Section E carefully examines two of the eighteen public hearings analyzed. The Article concludes that the STF has much work to do in terms of rethinking and improving the functionality of public hearings.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: For a long time, EU institutions have emphasized the connection between one of the most important concepts of the integration method, mutual recognition, and the presence of mutual trust between EU Member States. Only recently, the ECJ reaffirmed in its Opinion 2/13 that mutual trust is at the heart of the EU and a “fundamental premiss” of the European legal structure. But can law really restore, advance or even govern by trust? This question is crucial for the EU of today, which finds itself in the midst of a severe crisis of trust. For the EU as a community “based on the rule of law” generating trust through law might seem the natural, maybe the only politically viable response to a crisis of trust. Nevertheless, even if one agrees that the rule of law requires people to place trust in legal rules, and that courts and administrative agencies need to trust each other in order to work efficiently and consistently, how would legal rules be able to generate or promote trust? Moreover, isn't it deeply rooted in our ideas about constitutional government that democratic law must institutionalize mutual distrust rather than govern by trust? These conceptual and normative objections did not stop the European Union from pursuing the project of trust-building through law in one of the most sensitive areas of EU law, judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. This Article will ask whether the project to promote trust through law is a promising one, and, eventually, how to reinterpret statutory provisions and legal principles that purport to generate trust amongst their addressees.

Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: Many of the ills afflicting democratic capitalism have their source in the current legal architecture of money and finance. At the same time the reimagination of institutions of money and finance promise an avenue for reform to democratize the economy and prevent the perpetuation of austerity politics. Such institutional reimagination requires a perspective that recognizes money as an institution linking state and civil society, politics and the economy. Economics in great part eschews such a perspective and perceives of money as a medium of exchange largely independent of government and politics. Legal analysis, by contrast, should be ideally suited for the endeavor to analyse the various ways in which the institutional design of money configures political economy.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This Article aims at presenting and clarifying the Polish perspective towards the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Poland has not been directly affected by this crisis so far and this makes the Polish case significantly different from the European Union Member States that are directly affected by a large influx of people seeking protection. This Article briefly presents the Polish legal framework and its origins and analyzes the particular governmental (in)actions towards the Mediterranean refugee crisis, including references to the politicized debate on the issue. Also, the specific context of a potential future Ukrainian crisis is addressed. The Article finishes with concluding remarks and suggestions to employ temporary legal measures to address large movements of refugees and migrants, as such measures deal with the specificity of such movements in the best way that can be achieved.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Corruption necessarily involves particularistic advantages at the expense of the society as a whole. It might be, however, misleading to assume these implications are a priori negative. The moral assessment of corrupt practices depends on contemporary ethical standards, which differ from country to country and undergo change over time. As a result, some practices labeled as corrupt might become legitimate while others turn from legitimate actions to offenses. When ethical dimensions are considered, corrupt practices reveal an inherent tension between particularistic and universalistic normative standards. Particularistic standards belong to the person-specific obligations and the expectations of actors involved in corruption. These necessarily clash with universalistic standards, which are valid and applicable for everyone and are usually approved by legal provisions or codes of conduct. As a result corrupt exchanges reveal both positive social features between corruption partners—such as mutual trust—and negative societal ramifications—such as disadvantages of non-involved actors. Corrupt partners behave fairly and honestly with respect to their partners but unfairly and dishonestly with respect to anyone else.

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The outbreak of the financial and economic crisis in 2008 had a severe impact on the member states of the European Union. Countries like Greece had to ask the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) for financial aid. In return, they were obliged to reduce public spending and, as a result, national social security systems were drastically reformed. Furthermore, the EU has exercised its competences to supervise national budgets more extensively, even for countries not applying for financial aid through the Country Specific Recommendations under the European Semester. Like the decisions providing financial support, these recommendations also touch upon member states' social security systems. Moreover, the actions of the EU seem to generate a tension between the social rights provisions in (inter)national human rights instruments and the EU economic monitoring process, hence creating a possible deficit at the level of the EU. The five collective complaints against Greece under the framework of the European Social Charter (Council of Europe) illustrate this tension. This Article investigates this tension further and provides insights in possible ways to close the gap between (inter)national social rights provisions and the EU economic monitoring process by looking at the right to social security in the EU legal order. In doing so, this Article scrutinizes the judicial safeguards available at EU level, namely the right to social security in the Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFEU) and the role of general principles of Union's law for the protection of fundamental rights. It will become clear that a lot of uncertainty still remains regarding the content and scope of the right to social security in the CFEU, as well as the enforceability of this provision in the EU economic monitoring process.