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The Europeanization of national judiciaries: definitions, indicators and mechanisms

Urszula Jaremba (University of Utrecht) & Juan A. Mayoral (University of Copenhagen)

Tasked with enforcing the rights derived from EU law in Member States, national judges play a critical role in the process of European integration. However, we still know very little about how European law shapes the functioning of EU Member States’ judiciaries, say Urszula Jaremba and Juan A. Mayoral. In their article “The Europeanization of national judiciaries: definitions, indicators and mechanisms” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Urszula and Juan offer three solutions to foster our understanding of the Europeanization of national judiciaries: a conceptualisation of Europeanization that captures the attitudes and profiles of national judges, a range of indicators that allow us to measure changes in attitudes and behaviour among national judges, and a distinction between utility-driven and socialization mechanisms that can explain these changes. Due to its complexity, mapping the effect of EU law on Member States’ courts is an ambitious exercise. Taking a step towards achieving this goal, Urszula and Juan’s contribution “opens up a whole new stream in the socio-legal research agenda that is crucial for a more comprehensive understanding of the processes of Europeanization of national courts.”

EU environmental policy in times of crisis

Charlotte Burns (University of Sheffield), Peter Eckersley (Nottingham Trent University) & Paul Tobin (University of Manchester)

Ever since expanding supranational environmental policy in the 1980s, the EU has carefully crafted a reputation as a global environmental leader. Yet, a series of recent academic contributions claim that the post-2009 economic recession and a growing sense of Euroscepticism across Member States have left their mark on the EU’s environmental policy ambition. In their article “EU environmental policy in times of crisis” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Charlotte Burns, Peter Eckersley and Paul Tobin analyse whether the past decade’s conglomerate of crises has effectively dismantled the EU’s environmental policy ambition. Identifying all environmental legislation proposed and adopted by the EU between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte, Peter and Paul show that the EU’s environmental policy output indeed dropped in the immediate aftermath of the 2009 economic crisis. Notwithstanding this short-term effect, evidence from interviews with 35 policy-makers in Brussels suggests that other factors, including an increasing diversity among EU Member States and the maturity of the acquis communautaire, played a much more consequential role in the slowing down of the EU’s environmental policy ambition. The evidence presented in Charlotte, Peter and Paul’s contribution challenges perceptions “of a crisis ridden Union intent upon rolling back its environmental ambitions, but of a surprisingly resilient environmental policy actor that in the face of enormous challenges managed to keep the show on the road.”

Victims of their own success abroad? Why the withdrawal of US transparency rules is hindered by diffusion to the EU and Canada

Bjorn Kleizen (University of Antwerp)

Existing research has provided ample evidence that in globalized markets, regulatory policies introduced by influential states often diffuse to other jurisdictions and stoke policy change beyond their own borders. In his article “Victims of their own success abroad? Why the withdrawal of US transparency rules is hindered by diffusion to the EU and Canada” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Bjorn Kleizen argues that the diffusion of regulatory rules can come back to bite legislators seeking to change them in their original jurisdiction. Bjorn provides an in-depth case study of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw payment transparency regulations for extractive industries, which had been introduced by the previous U.S. administration. He shows that the EU and Canada’s decision to emulate Obama-era practices meant that U.S. oil, gas and mineral multinationals were still faced with disclosure rules pursuant to EU and Canadian law, undermining the effectiveness of U.S. lawmakers’ attempts to reduce the regulatory burdens. Bjorn’s argument suggests that when “states co-operate to create rules that are applicable to each other’s companies, the layering of these various rules may create a difficult-to-remove multilateral framework.”

Seasons’ greetings from JEPP!

Dear members of the JEPP family:

As 2018 draws to a close, we want to use this opportunity to thank all of you – authors, reviewers, readers – for your continued support and commitment to our journal. This year, we introduced a Reviewer Prize to recognize the exceptional commitment of our reviewers and their selfless investment in helping to improve the work of our colleagues. Reviewing is the lifeblood of our profession, and we are extremely grateful to all of you for your excellent work.

We celebrated JEPP’s 25th anniversary this year, and we find it in a very healthy state: the number of submissions remains at a very high level, journal metrics continue to impress us, reaching new heights in 2018, establishing JEPP among the very top journals in the discipline. We thus very much hope to continue where we ended 2018, and are counting on your submissions, which we promise to process swiftly and fairly (which is our first and foremost goal).

Stay tuned for our upcoming issues, debate sections and special issues. Follow us on Twitter (@jepp_journal), read and subscribe to our newsletter.

Seasons’ greetings and all good wishes,
Your JEPP team


Akaroa Lighthouse (Christchurch, New Zealand) & Murphy (good boy & friend of the show)

Jeremy will, as usual, be spending Christmas with Sonia, Tessa , and Molly at their holiday home in Akaroa. Akaroa is a very pretty small seaside town, approx 75k from Christchurch (see photo). Jeremy has no intention of attempting paddle boarding again, but might kayak into the bay, simply to prove he is not really 76! This  annual ego trip will, no doubt, result in all sorts of aches and pains and a chorus of ‘we told you so’ from Sonia and the girls.

This year will be the first Christmas in Akaroa without Harvey the family dog, who passed away a few weeks ago, aged nearly 17. However, Murphy (see photo) the new family dog, will be part of the team, though seems not to be much of a beach dog. He has already shown interest in being a JEPP referee, following in Harvey’s footsteps (only joking folks!). We have no idea what type of dog he is (he was abandoned in town by his previous owner) but he is very loving and seems grateful that we adopted him.


Berthold, from JEPP’s situation room

This year, Berthold and Jess will trade Christmas under palm trees for the Swabian metropolis of Tübingen, Berthold’s home town, where they will be busy sampling regional specialties, such as g’schmelzte Maultaschen and Spätzle mit Zwiebelrostbraten.

JEPP’s situation room (photo) will be in recess for a few days over the holidays. Not that we don’t like our digs, but we believe that JEPP deserves a short break from us, too.

 

 


Michi & (hungry?) Kolja

Michi will celebrate Christmas twice: with his mother, sister and families in Bavaria and Olga’s family in Gatchina, St. Petersburg region, Russia. Most importantly, it will be Kolja’s “inaugural visit” to his Russian great-grandmother.

Apart from celebrating and eating, as usual, Michi will try to reduce his backlog of must-read fiction and continue wondering what Kolja was trying to tell him on this photo taken recently on his first birthday.

 

 


(Mesmerized) Philipp

Same procedure as every year, Philipp will swap London’s hustle and bustle for the family home in Munich over the holidays, devour the leftover Christmas cookies and do his best to get off the grid for a few days to reflect on an eventful year.

Clearly, he has also taken a recent interest in Christmas tree decorations and may (for the first time in his life!) take part in setting up the tree at home, that is if his parents trust him handling the precious Christmas baubles.

How do supreme audit institutions manage their autonomy and impact?

Jon Pierre (University of Gothenburg) & Jenny de Fine Licht (University of Gothenburg)

Over the past decades, institutions tasked with auditing public service providers have experienced a remarkable transformation of their portfolio of responsibilities. Supreme audit institutions no longer see their role confined to the identification of issues but work closely with their auditees to drive public management reform. Supreme audit institutions’ new role comes with a caveat, however, say Jon Pierre and Jenny de Fine Licht. In their article “How do supreme audit institutions manage their autonomy and impact? A comparative analysis” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Jon and Jenny highlight that auditors who engage in continuous dialogue with their auditees are at risk to compromise their autonomy from the latter. Case studies of supreme audit institutions in Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden show how these institutions try to balance autonomy with the need to cooperate with public service providers. Results from their analyses suggest that there appears to be no silver bullet to resolve this dilemma but rather “different blends and logics of auditing that are reflected in different organizational arrangements” to manage the tension between opening-up to external actors and the safeguarding of auditors’ autonomy.

Regulating European Union lobbying: in whose interest?

Adriana Bunea (University of Southampton)

The regulation of interest group participation in the EU’s policy-making process has long been the source of contention among the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. While the Council had long resisted any attempts to regulate its interactions with private actors, EU Member States recently signalled their support for an Interinstitutional Agreement on a Mandatory Transparency Register advocated by the European Commission. In her article “Regulating European Union lobbying: in whose interest?” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Adriana Bunea argues that the key to this sudden shift in the Council’s position lies with the Commission’s strategy when formulating the agreement. Following a public consultation process on the agreement’s proposal, the Commission proved responsive to the input from stakeholders speaking on behalf of the public. Adriana finds that this strategy allowed the Commission to act as a legitimate policy initiator representative of public preferences, fostering its negotiation leverage vis-à-vis the Council. Her analysis suggests that on this issue “with high public salience and visibility, the Commission was ready to trade long-standing policy collaborators for a realignment with stakeholders that better served its contemporaneous needs for democratic legitimacy.”

Explaining institutional strength: the case of national human rights institutions in Europe and its Neighbourhood

Corina Lacatus (University of Edinburgh)

National human rights institutions play a critical part in the effective implementation of human rights law at the national level. Illustrated by the pursuit of illiberal agendas of the current administrations in Hungary and Poland, national human rights institutions may have to fulfil their roles in increasingly hostile environments. In her article “Explaining institutional strength: the case of national human rights institutions in Europe and its Neighbourhood” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Corina Lacatus offers original data capturing the strength of national human rights organizations across 50 countries in Europe and its neighbourhood, and demonstrates that some human rights institutions are better equipped to withstand external pressure than others. Her data shows that EU member states generally support stronger national human rights institutions than their non-member neighbours, arguing that “the influence of the EU on institutional strength may be tied to processes of norm sharing through learning and persuasion, which are more effective once countries are integrated in the network of member states.”

Call for Paper Abstracts: The Brexit Policy Fiasco

Whatever one’s position on Brexit, Brexit will continue to preoccupy us for years to come. It will also most likely be remembered in the history books as a monumental ‘policy fiasco’ for both Britain and the EU. We are therefore calling for paper proposals focused on two main research questions: First, how did this policy fiasco come about both for Britain and the EU? Secondly, what lessons can be learned from this policy fiasco in terms of a) the future design the EU as a policy-making system, and b) the way that domestic policy systems face and process the challenges to domestic politics that EU membership presents.

Answers to these questions are likely to benefit from the extensive literature on policy failures, fiascos, blunders and crises, some of which has appeared in JEPP over the past years (Boin et al. 2009; Bovens and t’Hart 2016; Oppermann and Spencer 2016). The collection of papers would also underpin the current trend for academic analysts to use their expertise in a way that might have some ‘impact’ on the outside world. Put simply, what does the JEPP ‘family’ of scholars have to say about one of the biggest, if not the biggest crisis in the EU’s history, that might be useful to those policy actors trying to keep the EU project more or less on the rails?

The collection will be edited by Berthold and Jeremy and will be either a Debate Section, in which case papers will be 5,000 words, or a full Special Issue, in which case papers will be 8,000 words. We would expect to work to a fairly tight timeframe in view of the topical relevance . Please send your paper abstracts of no more than 500 words to Berthold & Jeremy by 15 January 2019 (berthold.rittberger@gsi.lmu.de, jeremy.richardson@canterbury.ac.nz).


References:

  • Boin, A., McConnell, A. and t’Hart, P. (2009) ‘Crisis exploitation: political and policy impacts of framing contests’, Journal of European Public Policy16(1): 81-106.
  • Bovens, M. and t’Hart, P. (2016) ‘Revisiting the study of policy failures’, Journal of European Public Policy 23(5): 653-666.
  • Oppermann, K. and Spencer, A., eds. (2016) Fiascos in Public Policy and Foreign Policy, Journal of European Public Policy (Special Issue), 23(5).

The paradox of human rights conditionality in EU trade policy

Katharina L. Meissner (University of Vienna) & Lachlan McKenzie (University of Melbourne)

Despite its reputation as a champion of human rights, the European Parliament rarely takes a tough stance on including human rights conditionality clauses in its free trade agreements with third countries. Hence, many observers were baffled when the European Parliament insisted on such conditionality clauses in its negotiations over a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. Given Canada firmly opposed these clauses, why risk derailing highly salient trade negotiations if your negotiation partner has a respectable human rights record anyway? In their article “The paradox of human rights conditionality in EU trade policy: when strategic interests drive policy outcomes” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Katharina L. Meissner and Lachlan McKenzie offer an explanation to this puzzle that centres on the European Parliament’s strategic interests. Katharina and Lachlan argue that “the EP identified human rights conditionality as a ‘strategic issue’ because human rights made it appear as a unique supporter of legitimate and public interests.” In light of high-profile albeit contentious negotiations, taking risks in investing its political resources to insist on inclusion of non-commercial objectives in CETA was likely to pay off and promised to strengthen the EP’s public profile as a champion of human rights.

The decentralized enforcement of European law

Carolin Hübner (European Space Agency)

Within the EU’s judicial hierarchy, national courts can directly refer questions regarding the application and interpretation of EU law in member states to the European Court of Justice, creating a decentralized system of enforcing EU law. The Lisbon Treaty’s Article 267 specifies that national courts can refer cases to the ECJ to ‘specify the validity and interpretation of acts.’ Why do national courts make use of Article 267 submissions in some of the cases they hear but not in others? In her article “The decentralized enforcement of European law: national court decisions on EU directives with and without preliminary reference submissions” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Carolin Hübner argues that national courts may simply follow the letter of the Treaty. Drawing on evidence from a sample of 1,310 national court decisions on EU directives, Carolin shows that cases involving directives that have left EU member states with more room for interpretation in implementation and technically complex directives are more likely to result in an Article 267 submission by national courts. The existing academic literature generally expects courts to use the preliminary reference procedure to alert the ECJ to non-compliant member states. Qualifying this expectation, Carolin’s analysis suggests that it “may well be the case that the mechanism is much more integrated into national courts’ day-to-day consideration of legal questions than the literature assumes.”