Council of Europe

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The Spitzenkandidaten Exercise One Year Later – The Unsung Hero

A year has gone by since the last elections to the European Parliament. One significant innovation in those elections was the Spitzenkandidaten exercise. At the recent fifth edition of the ‘State of the Union’ organized by the European University Institute I conducted a public interview with Vice President of the European Commission Franz Timmermans. Vice President Timmermans and I reached the point where we touched on that perennial topic of the still existing deficiencies of European democracy, resulting, inter alia, in widespread indifference as expressed in the low turnout to the last European elections – 2014 scored the lowest turnout ever. Here is an edited transcript from the interview. Weiler:  […]  Part of the problem is that when people go and vote for  the European Parliament, they are not really being offered a real political choice (the way, for example, yesterday they were offered in the United Kingdom – Labour or Conservative.), neither as regards the policies that will be pursued nor as regards who…

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Are Human Rights Hurting Migrants at Sea?

Every year hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees, cross the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe. More than 200.000 are thought to have crossed in 2014, reaching the coasts of Italy, Greece, Spain, Malta and Cyprus. The reasons for the crossing are obvious. Some migrants flee conflict and persecution; others simply…

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Business and Human Rights Law in the Council of Europe: Noblesse oblige

Daniel Augenstein Nicola Jägers Willem van Genugten Daniel Augenstein is Assistant Professor at Tilburg Law School. Willem van Genugten is Professor of International Law at Tilburg Law School and at the North-West University in South Africa (extraordinary chair). He also is President of the Royal…

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Council of Europe Ministers adopt declaration to address libel tourism

For those interested in matters of jurisdiction and cross-border litigation, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has now adopted a declaratory text alerting its 47 member states to what it termed the “serious threat to freedom of expression and information” posed by the practice of libel tourism – a practice where one chooses a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction…

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