Across The EUniverse – Number Twenty four
1 January 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Rome, signed between Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany on 25 March 1957. A lot has happened in those seventy years. Much of what was done could have been done better. Certain decisions should not have been avoided. And some things should never have happened. But it is also undoubtedly true that Europe is a better place because of what was started on 1 January 1958.
An international treaty could never capture the essence of Europe, its culture, its imagination, its history. But it did signal a willingness of the six signatory countries to work together within the rule of law with a single Court to interpret it.
When that Court ruled that EEC law was superior to national law and that the founding treaties give individual rights to citizens which could be enforced against their own governments, it was following the logic of law and laying out the basis of the building of a new system based on law. Given the importance of this idea of the rule of law and the role of the Court in interpreting it, it is not surprising that withdrawing from the jurisdiction of that Court was one of the three reasons set out by the UK for leaving the EU.
The EU is built on law. National States are built on power. The law of the EU limits national power. The UK wants back that power. It believes that by standing and acting alone it can make better law for itself more adapted to the needs of the 21st century. The UK is not alone in flexing its power muscles. Poland and Hungary as well as Romania feel threatened by the rule of EU law but have not yet gone so far as to challenge the Court in Luxembourg.
We address these issues regarding the European political landscape in “The Best of 2017” with special emphasis on “The ‘no deal’ option leaves the UK weak in the WTO and vulnerable to EU claims”, and “A “LeitKultur” for Europe?” examining the idea of leading culture in a critical light.
As for Italy, we reintroduce the articles “The new labour market in Italy: a quick overview of the new rules and the challenges posed by technological revolution, Industry 4.0 and GIG economy” and “The Italian Fixed Capital Investment Company in the EU Legal Framework”.
In Across the EUniverse 24th edition, we focus on the need for a “Fit and Proper Management of Banks and Other Institutions regulated under the Directives 2013/36/EU and 2014/65/EU”, and the “An anti-dumping case note: Changmao Biochemical Engineering”; finally, we examine “The boundaries of European competition law on vertical agreements and the Coty case” and “The Management of air carrier slots in a financial crisis. The Monarch Airlines case”.
We look also at the “PIR” (Piani individuali di Risparmio), Italy’s new investment instrument as an opportunity for growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and we stay update about the “Nudging” technique in rule-making that lowers the costs of rule-making, used in several jurisdictions and international organisations.
In 2018 we must stand up to the threats to the EU system we have built, step by step, over 70 years. We stand today like the team which scores the first goal in a tight football match. Now is not the time to be defensive. Now is the time to push on, to have confidence in what we have achieved so far, and make it better. Now is the time to go for the second goal and secure the match and the rule of law.
We are all another year older. A new year has begun. Let’s hope it’s a good one. Without any fears.