A (Uniquely Unqualified American) Reflection of the EU&ME Summit

fullsizerenderThe EU&ME Summit (part of the Europe Calling! initiative) held on 9 December 2016 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty was the event of the season. As an American that somehow wandered into this event, I was quite amused by Maastricht’s Mayor, Annemarie Penn-te Strake, and her welcoming speech that – among other delights – quoted former US President George Bush, who stated that the birth of the EU was something that was great for the entire world. As a happy migrant living in the Netherlands and working in the EU, I wholeheartedly concur with our former President and I feel extremely privileged – not just for having attended the summit, but more generally – to be living and working in Maastricht, the birthplace of the EU.

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Black Piets, Burqa Bans, and Radical Populism in a Kakistocracy

KakistocracyHere is a fun word that you may have come across recently: Kakistocracy. Based on the Greek word kakistos (meaning “the worst”), kakistocracy is a system of governance run by the least qualified, most “deplorable” citizens that the State has to offer. Fair or not, this term has been used in conjunction with the Brexit (as a movement that was cajoled by UKIP) or the Trump presidency (that materialized – in part – with the supposed support of the empowered radical right wing).

Kakistocracy might be a good word to have handy in our collective word bank given that we may soon bear witness to Prime Minister Wilders, President Le Pen, the rise of AfD, and depending on how the Italian referendum goes and whether Prime Minister Renzi stays, a potential Italian exit from the EU (colloquially referred to as ItaLEAVE, which would be worth a chuckle, if only the consequences for it weren’t so dire).

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Brexit & Heartbreak

The Whig party’s aversion to absolute monarchy in the early 18th Centrvl0002-01_0tury coined the term vox populi vox dei, which declared that the voice of the people is the voice of God. On June 23rd, the people of Britain spoke out and opted for the so-called Brexit, with the populist charlatan Nigel Farage characterizing the exit as a brave act of independence from the EU, as if the British people were suffering under a repressive, tyrannical reign for decades.

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Workshop on “Optional Instruments of the European Union: A Desirable Method of Regulating Diverse Areas of European Private Law?”

 

 

OI in the EU

 

 

 

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William A. Bull’s PhD Defense on “Optional Instruments of the EU”

WAB PhD Defense Invitation

Details:

  • Maastricht University – Minederbroedersberg (Aula)
  • 12 May 2016 at 14:00

Summary of the Thesis:

This rise of a particular kind of European Union legislation known as the ‘optional instrument’ is a novel trend in the context of EU law, and one that until now has not been comprehensively mapped or explored. This study examines and discusses existing and proposed EU Optional Instruments (OIs) in different fields of European law, including company law, intellectual property law and procedural law (such as the European Company, the Community Trade Mark and the European Small Claims Procedure, respectively), as well as contract law. The study identifies the core elements that define Optional Instruments of the EU and distinguish them from other kinds of EU legislation, especially so-called approximating measures. It provides a detailed overview of a total of twelve OIs in the aforementioned policy areas, charting their development, characteristics and (where appropriate) usage in practice. It investigates the case for and against the use of optional instruments as an alternative means of EU law-making, by analyzing and evaluating the principal arguments in the debate surrounding the use of this legislative method. Finally, it offers an explanation of the varied degree of ‘success’ of EU OIs already in existence, by identifying possible factors that play a role in this respect and testing the significance of these factors with reference to available empirical data. In doing so, the author provides a framework for future research into this developing phenomenon, as well as guidance for the elaboration of future Optional Instruments of the European Union.

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