Yesterday, a political agreement was reached by the European Parliament and EU Member States on a set of European rules on business insolvency. The text must now be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Following final adoption, the Directive will be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. Continue reading “Agreement on a new approach to business insolvency in Europe”
1.745 Germans turned to the Bundesverfassungsgericht claiming that the European Central Bank (ECB) undermined democratic control of the use of state power in Germany. They believed that the new policies of the ECB usurped economic competences that should, according to their constitution and the Treaties, stay in the hands of the national parliament where they can be influenced by the voters. The German court followed the reasoning of the plaintiffs and asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) to review the validity of the public sector purchase program (PSPP) that was established by the Governing Council of the ECB. The ECJ recently delivered her ruling in that case. It found that there was no reason to invalidate the program.
The alleged threat to democratic control of government is only mentioned once in the judgement, namely in the description of the claims before the referring court. The ECJ nowhere considers the principle of democratic control of government (in article 2 and 10.1 TEU) for the interpretation of the powers transferred to an independent central bank. The concerns of the Bundesverfassungsgericht remain unaddressed. The ECJ chose other methods of interpretation. This blog will provide a critical review of those choices made by the Court when trying to develop and enforce a standard of review for the compliance with the substantial constraints on monetary policy.
Although those choices of the Court are understandable when viewed separately, they lead to an overall unsatisfactory outcome. They transform substantial constraints into formal constraints, make judicial review of substantial constraints ineffective and undermine the capacity of a treaty to be used as a trust building commitment device. In so far as the participation in the Union, the transfer of powers to the Union and application of EU law in the Member States is conditioned on those substantial constraints by the political or legal constitution of the Member States, the Court, that seems to be unable or unwilling to grant effective protection to those substantial constraints, undermines the full effect, uniform application and further integration.
Continue reading “On the reasoning of the ECJ in the PSPP-case”
The Conference of European Restructuring and Insolvency Law (CERIL) published its report on cross-border restructuring and insolvency post-Brexit today. In its report, CERIL highlights the relationship between the EU and the UK after Brexit in the area of restructuring and insolvency law and seeks to formulate a position on the nature and content of a possible future instrument governing that relationship. The report can be found here.
Can tax avoidance be anticompetitive?
Google has been in the news for more than one reason. For one, its tax planning has attracted the attention of the public media, and prompted European officials to charge Google with tax avoidance or even tax evasion. The record fines imposed on Google pursuant to the EU’s competition law have made at least as many headlines; Google has appealed, but more cases are pending. These seemingly unrelated events under different legal regimes may be connected, however. The fines levied against Google under EU competition law can be seen as making Google pay its ‘fair share’ to compensate for exploiting loopholes in tax law. However, if the objective is to make Google pay its ‘fair share’, why couldn’t this objective be achieved under tax law?
Continue reading “EU Competition Law as a Taxation Regime”
On November the 26th of 2018 a debate on the added value of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) took place in Leuven. Both prof. dr. Marieke Wyckaert (KU Leuven) and em. prof. dr. Viktor Vanberg (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and Walter Eucken Institut) gave a short lecture and subsequently comment on each other’s point of view. Prof. dr. Joeri Vananroye moderated the debate. You can find the video of this debate below.
Continue reading “Corporate Social Responsibility Debate”
A post by guestblogger Jochem Hummelen (NautaDutihl)
On 1 January 2019, the Modernisation of Bankruptcy Procedure Act (MBPA) (in Dutch: Wet Modernisering Faillissementsprocedure) is set to enter into force in the Netherlands. This act, which will apply to bankruptcies opened on or after 1 January 2019, is aimed at updating Dutch bankruptcy law to bring it more in line with modern practice. In this blog post, I give an overview of the background to the MBPA and the most important measures provided for in this law. Continue reading “Modernisation of Bankruptcy Procedure Act to enter into force in the Netherlands”