"There was truth in what the independence sectors objected to"

Saskia Sassen Will the No victory in the Scottish referendum settle the matter of independence once and for all? Is nationalism the right word for the Scottish independence movement? Was it England so many Scots wanted to part ways with - or rather the Global City of London? Five questions to the sociologist Saskia Sassen. Continue reading

News

Wed 10. September 11:01
The Timing of Dialogue: Slovenian Constitutional Court and the Data Retention Directive
Thu 28. August 16:32
Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary
Wed 27. August 16:52
"Nudging" arrives in Germany

Up for Debate

“There was truth in what the independence sectors objected to”

Saskia Sassen

Will the No victory in the Scottish referendum settle the matter of independence once and for all? Is nationalism the right word for the Scottish independence movement? Was it England so many Scots wanted to part ways with - or rather the Global City of London? Five questions to the sociologist Saskia Sassen. Continue reading

93 Saskia Sassen
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Eleventh hour thoughts on a contested subject

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

Is the ‘spectre of disintegration’ haunting Europe? Joseph Weiler fears that it is, and that, were an independent Scotland to be admitted as an EU state, this would lead to a domino effect whereby others would demand independence within the EU – testimony of an atavistic, retrogressive mentality, and adverse to the EU’s raison d’etre. This is a strongly put view, and not all will agree with it. Nonetheless, most of the papers in this highly stimulating symposium address, albeit in very different ways, the concern that lies at the base of Weiler’s argument – namely, the character of the EU, the nature of its values, its very reason for being. They also address the more workaday, but nonetheless critical, legal and practical issues that an independent Scotland’s membership pose. Continue reading

247 Sionaidh Douglas-Scott
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Comment by CHRISTOPHE HILLION

Christophe Hillion

Like many participants in this stimulating symposium, I am in agreement with several of Sionaidh Douglas-Scott’s contentions. But like some others, I am less persuaded by one of her conclusions: namely, that a treaty revision based on Article 48 TEU would suffice to codify an independent Scotland’s membership in the EU. While admittedly unprecedented, such a situation could not in itself warrant a complete disregard of EU membership rules, eg Article 49 TEU. As part of ‘the particular constitution and rules of the EU’, they should instead be applied, given their specific function in the treaties, albeit in a ‘pragmatic and purposive fashion’ in consideration of the existing and future ties between Scotland and the EU. Continue reading

256 Christophe Hillion
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Comment by CARLOS CLOSA

Carlos Closa Montero

No one disagrees that an independent Scotland qualifies for EU membership and that it would no doubt become an EU member state. Why then is there so much normative argument around “seamless transition”? It may or may not happen and, should it come it pass, I believe that it may be a good thing, albeit that I fail to see a “normative” case which supports it. Why should third parties guarantee to a self-determining self that its constitutive decision will be costless regardless of any other consideration? This would deprive citizenship of an essential responsibility for decisions taken which I consider indispensable to democracy. Continue reading

255 Carlos Closa Montero
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Comment by NEIL WALKER

Neil Walker

The presence of the EU both offers a spur to new projects of national sovereignty but also, and in my view more emphatically, it supplies a set of considerations which makes the project of new statehood less pressing, less consequential, and provided we can trust in continuing UK membership of a continuing EU (both of which statuses, of course, need careful attention) less relevant and ultimately unnecessary. Continue reading

254 Neil Walker
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Comment by STEPHEN TIERNEY

Stephen Tierney

I agree with Sionaidh that the accession of an independent Scotland to the European Union is not in any serious doubt. I develop this point in a paper written with Katie Boyle here. In this blog I argue that although accession will no doubt take time, there is unlikely to be any period within which Scotland is effectively cast out of the EU. More speculatively I would like to ask whether there might in fact a duty on the part of the EU to negotiate Scotland’s membership, and whether the Secession Reference to the Supreme Court of Canada may provide an interesting analogy supportive of this argument. Continue reading

253 Stephen Tierney
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland in the EU: Comment by DIMITRY KOCHENOV

Dimitry Kochenov

the Union cannot be possibly expected to throw its weight behind ensuring that there is no choice for the nations seeking independence within Europe – it is not the Union’s realm. The contrary would amount to turning the EU into an instrument of blackmail of the emerging states by the existing state entities which is radically deprived of any purpose and is in strong contradiction with the values of democracy and the rule of law which the Union espouses. Continue reading

42 Dimitry Kochenov

The Timing of Dialogue: Slovenian Constitutional Court and the Data Retention Directive

Samo Bardutzky

On 3rd July 2014, the Slovenian Constitutional Court struck down Articles 162 - 169 of the Act on Electronic Communications (ZEKom-1) which regulate data retention and were adopted in order to implement the Directive 2006/24/EC. The case is of interest not so much for the legal argumentation presented in the judgment but because of the positioning of the Slovenian court in the Europe-wide judicial response to the Data Retention Directive. In that sense, it’s a contribution to the discussion on the role of an individual constitutional court in a multi-level network of courts, especially in cases when a number of constitutional or other high courts in the member states are seized with issues stemming from the same piece of legislation. Continue reading

252 Samo Bardutzky
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Comment by BRUNO DE WITTE

Bruno de Witte

Whereas the Article 48 route has major advantages over the Article 49 route, and would be feasible – in my view at least – as a matter of legal principle, it would create many complications all the same, both for the Scots and for the rest of Europe. Continue reading

251 Bruno de Witte
 Focus  Scotland's EU Membership

Scotland and the EU: Comment by MICHAEL KEATING

Michael Keating

To suggest that a nation that has followed the Scottish route should not be allowed into the European family while others with more dubious pedigrees are, would violate basic democratic principles. Effectively, Scotland would be expelled from the union for exercising a widely-recognized democratic right. Continue reading

250 Michael Keating
Show all Posts

Op-ed

Will an independent Scotland stay in the EU?

2014-09-05 Schottland
(c) James Stringer, Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

In less than two weeks we will know whether or not Scotland will remain part of the UK. In the polls, the No camp still leads, but just by a slight and shrinking margin. It might actually happen what has never happened before: One EU member state becomes two. Or, will they? Continue reading

Bosnia and the problem of generalizable human rights gauges

2014-07-15 Bosnien
(c) Amanda Robinson, Flickr CC BY-BC-ND 2.0

For five years Bosnia has been digging its heels in, refusing to align its constitution to the demands of the ECHR and to grant non-bosniacs, -serbs and -croats the right to be elected to its second chamber of legislation. Now, the Strasbourg Court has once again declared this state of affairs unacceptable. But what if it would hold other constitutional systems, such as that of the European Union, up to the standard it applies in the Bosnian case? Continue reading

Burqa Ban: My Right to Be Left Alone is Your Tough Luck

2014-07-07 Trespassing
(c) Michael Dorausch, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

An often heard argument in the debate on the burqa ban decision by the ECtHR is that a minimum of "vivre ensemble" is a condition of all freedom and hence a legitimate balancing factor with the rights to privacy and religious freedom. This, though, is irreconcilable with the "right to be left alone". Continue reading

Show all posts