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A Question of Competence? Current Developments in EU Law and Jurisprudence regarding MS Action
Roundtable discussion with Rodrigo Ballester (Head of Center for European Studies at Mathias Corvinus Collegium), dr. Márton Sulyok (Head of Public Law Centre at Mathias Corvinus Collegium) about the competences of the CJEU. During the discussion, several past and present cases were discussed such as one the Working time Directive with an intervention from France regarding its applicability to defense forces in time of peace, one regarding the implementation of the GDPR and the Police and e-Privacy Directives in France, and one recent case regarding the justice reform of Poland and its broader European implications. The discussion was moderated by dr. Lilla Kakuk.
Hungary, 1113 Budapest, Tas vezér utca 3
Event reportDuring the discussion, there were several topics addressed regarding the constitutional questions surrounding the future of Europe and the competences of the CJEU. The main question was whether the CJEU has “decision-making authority” over the national constitutional courts in light of the absolute primacy of EU law, or other approaches should also be considered. It was emphasized that Hungary and Poland are only minor cases compared to the most recent conflict which arose with the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC) in May 2020. Fears were expressed that this can lead to a “war of courts”, until one side emerges victorious. To avoid this, two solutions were proposed. One, a clear and exhaustive list of competences within the Article 4 (2) of TEU should be drafted framing the interpretation of the Article by the CJEU to avoid misunderstandings on its core concepts like “essential state functions”, and second, the national courts (with emphasis on constitutional courts) and the CJEU should be able to request preliminary rulings in those cases where EU law and national constitutional law interact leaving questions on both ends regarding interpretation. Finally, the CJEU’s obligation under the TEU and the ECHR to join the European Convention on Human Rights, which could thus also act in a supervisory role above them, in a competence of reviewing CJEU decisions.
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