Some conceptual clarifications concerning EFTA and the EEA

Dr. Michael Sánchez Rydelski and Cath Howdle* *Respectively Member and Deputy Director of the Legal Service of the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Nothing in the present article binds or necessarily reflects the views of the EFTA Surveillance Authority. 1. Introduction This contribution does not intend to offer a solution to the Brexit conundrum: that is a matter for governments and negotiation teams. The following comments are merely intended to serve as a guide to some of the more important aspects of the European Free Trade Association (“EFTA”) and the European Economic…

a proposal for a Protocol

Stijn Smismans, Professor of Law, School of Law and Politics, Director of the Centre for European Law and Governance, Cardiff University Since the EU and UK presented a (partially) agreed draft version of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) in March 2018, many seem to assume that the post-Brexit status of the more than 3 million EU27 citizens in the UK (and more than a million British citizens in the EU) is resolved.  The EU has indeed made an important effort to define and obtain a status for those citizens that comes…

Same Sex Marriages and EU free movement law

Professor Steve Peers, Law School, University of Essex Today’s CJEU judgment in Coman was the Court’s first ruling on same-sex marriages for the purposes of EU free movement law.  (For a discussion of the background, see the earlier blog post by Alina Tryfonidou). Mr Coman, a Romanian citizen, had married his husband, a US citizen, in Belgium while residing there. He tried to return to Romania with his husband, but Romania refused residence to the latter, as (like about half of the EU Member States) it does not recognise same-sex…

Revision of Audiovisual Media Services Directive – Video-sharing Platforms

Professor Lorna Woods, University of Essex The revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive has been discussed since 2016.  There were significant differences between the responses of the Council and the European Parliament to the Commission’s proposal.  There have been 9 informal trilogue meetings up to and including that of 26th April 2018.  Although the institutions state progress has been made, the text has not yet been finalised – ‘technical details’ remain to be agreed in June. In response to a request to see the preparations for trilogue negotiations, the…

Right to erasure (right to be forgotten) under the GDPR – the danger of “rewriting history” or the individual’s chance to leave the past behind

Ketevan Kukava, PhD Student in Law, Tbilisi State University In the internet age, when vast amount of information can be stored indefinitely and can be easily retrieved by means of a mouse click, controlling one’s personal data seems a particularly difficult task to do. Complete erasure of data from digital memory once it becomes publicly available is questionable from technological and practical point of view. As a result, the burden of remembering past events and behavior after they have lost their relevance and permanent digital accessibility of information can have…

no sympathy from the ECJ

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex If an EU citizen (or his or her family member) has been excluded from being a refugee, in what circumstances can he or she be expelled from a Member State? The ECJ clarified this issue in its K and HF judgment last week: its first ruling that touches on the relationship between EU (and international) refugee law and EU free movement law. There’s a good reason why these two areas of law haven’t interacted previously in the Court’s case law: EU law itself tries…

Brave new world? the new EU law on travel authorisation for non-EU citizens

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex Introduction Yesterday it was announced that a new EU law on travel authorisation for non-EU citizens to visit the EU had been agreed. This will affect millions of travellers a year, probably including British citizens after Brexit. In fact, as a UK citizen who often travels to the continent, it’s the first EU law on non-EU immigration that will have a direct impact on me. The law won’t apply for awhile, but in light of its future significant impact and some public confusion about…

Torture victims and EU law

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex What happens if an asylum seeker faces severe mental health problems that cannot be treated in the country of origin?  Today’s judgment of the ECJ in the MP case, following a reference from the UK Supreme Court, goes some way towards answering this question. Background The issue what we might call “medical cases” for asylum first of all arose before the European Court of Human Rights. In a series of judgments, that Court clarified whether the ban on torture or inhuman or degrading treatment,…

Violating data protection law under the guise of protecting it

Matthew White, PhD candidate Sheffield Hallam University. Introduction There have been numerous reports of Windrush Generation Commonwealth citizens being denied health care, detained, losing jobs and threats of deportation. Nick Nason describes the Windrush Generation as Commonwealth citizens from the West Indies who were invited to the UK after WWII to address the shortage of workers at the time. There was a time when West Indians enjoyed total freedom of movement. Nason notes that s.2(2)(b) of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 exempted from immigration controls those who arrived with their…

Salvation outside the church? The ECJ rules on religious discrimination in employment

Background The Court of Justice has issued its first major ruling on the reconciliation of the autonomy rights of religious organisations with the right of employees (or potential employees) of such organisations to be free of discrimination. In 2012 Vera Egenberger applied for a fixed term post advertised by the Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung, which is a body associated with the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (a German Protestant church). The post advertised sought a person who could prepare a report on Germany’s compliance with the United Nations International Convention…