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A Sustainable European Union Own Resources System

Abstract

From 1992, after the UN “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, sustainable development has become a priority of many countries and international organizations, including the European Union. After the crisis of 2008+ and the strong criticism of traditional economics, it also became a fundamental element of economic development in the XXI century. This new model is based on a solid and integrated economic, socio-cultural and ecological order. Such a development should be supported by suitable budgetary systems at each level of public government. The paper presents a conception of the sustainable EU own resources system and proposes the methodology of its evaluation.

Open access
Another Brick in the Whole. The Case-Law of the Court of Justice on Free Movement and Its Possible Impact on European Criminal Law

Abstract

European Union, and criminal, laws had been interacting in many ways even before explicit competence in criminal matters was acquired by the Union in the Treaty of Maastricht. Such intersections between supranational and national provisions have frequently been handled by the CJEU. In the main, the intervention of the Court is triggered by Member States’ recourse to penal sanctions in situations covered by EU law. In such cases, the CJEU is called upon to strike a complicated balance: it has to deal with Member States’ claims of competence in criminal law, whilst ensuring that that power is used consistently with EU law. By making reference to selected cases, this paper highlights the impact that principles established in the context of the fundamental freedoms can have on EU criminal law.

Open access
Clarifying Limbo: Disentangling Indigenous Autonomy from the Mexican Constitutional Order

Abstract

In contrast to U.S. Federal Indian law, which has classified indigenous tribes as “domestic dependent nations” since the early 19th century, Mexican law has only recently begun to define the political and territorial autonomy of indigenous groups. This paper contrasts the Mexican approach to this problem to that of the United States, first describing Mexico’s 2001’s constitutional reforms and their failure to clarify the nature of tribal sovereignty. It then analyzes recent court cases that protect tribal political and territorial autonomy by applying rights to consultation contained in the International Labor Organization’s Indigenous and Tribal People’s Convention 169 (“ILO 169”) and the Mexican Constitution. It concludes by arguing that in spite of this effort by the courts, Mexican law still requires a comprehensive legislative or diplomatic resolution of the lack of clarity surrounding the political and territorial autonomy of its indigenous groups.

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The Legitimacy of Discriminatory Disenfranchisement? The Impact of the Rules on the Right to Vote in the Bremain/Brexit Referendum

Abstract

The Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the England and Wales High Court handed down its decision on 20 April 2016 in the judicial review case of Shindler. This ruling confirmed that British citizens living in other EU Member States for more than 15 years remain barred from voting in the June 2016 referendum.

The case sparks further consideration of the voting rules in general and may therefore be of interest to others in considering questions of legitimacy in respect of the eventual outcome of the popular vote on 23 June. Unlike other states, the UK has no established rules on referendums and each such popular vote (and the franchise for it) is therefore treated on an ad hoc basis. Fears have been expressed that the government could manipulate the outcome of a referendum, particularly in determining a different franchise for each popular vote.

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Some considerations on the relationship between economic and social cohesion and implementation of the cohesion policy

Abstract

The processes of deepening economic integration and regional development contribute to the intensification of inter-regional disparities. The EU’s efforts to achieve cohesion are intended to contribute to lifting the level of socio-economic development, improving the quality of life of residents, and also solving emerging problems, including social ones, so that the benefits of growth spread evenly across the EU. This inevitably has the implication, in the name of solidarity principle, of the need to provide support to countries and regions at a disadvantage to achieve cohesion within the EU. The Union promotes economic, social and territorial cohesion among Member States (MS) through grants of financial assistance and in the many benefits achieved from the implementation of EU policies. One of these policies is the cohesion policy, the aim of which is to achieve a social, economic and territorial cohesion within the Union.

This paper aims to identify current perceptions of cohesion in the EU. Here we will argue that there is no conflictual relationship between economic and social cohesion; that both dimensions are self-reinforcing, and economic cohesion presupposes social cohesion. The paper also discusses the socio-economic cohesion of Poland and its regions against the background of the new EU MS. It will also assess the contribution of EU cohesion policy in the socio-economic development of Polish regions.

Open access
Sovereignty and Democracy: Overcoming Supranational Mutual Double-Binds from the Eurozone

Abstract

EU and EMU are facing a hastened phase of structural rather than episodic crisis, following the progressive shift of the world order from a bipolar toward a multi-polar system. From the sovereign debt trap to migratory pressures and security threats, all European crisis are intimately interdependent and long awaited rather than unexpected, since their origins trace back to a lack of reactivity of the European unification process to the progressive weakening of US hegemony in the world from 1971 onward. In this paper I point out that two double-binds mutually prevent a full (and widespread) understanding of Europe’s situation and avoid for this reason a fully structural approach to the institutional reforming process in the EU: a ‘sovereignty double-bind’ and a ‘democracy double-bind’. An effective roadmap toward political unification should primarily aim at tackling these misrepresentations instead of embracing them in the form of a gradualist approach to legitimacy issues.

Open access
U.S. States’ fiscal constraints and effects on budget policies

Abstract

The article looks at fiscal constraints adopted by the U.S. States. It questions the ability of those rules to determine sound budgetary policies. To assess this point it analyses, in the general part, the major kind of constraints so far adopted. Of each major category the focus is upon institutional weaknesses that create the room for the adoption of circumventing practices. The following section focuses instead on three case studies, to show examples of the way in which the constraints influenced policy-making without mining the ability of government to adopt unbalanced budgetary policies. The weaknesses are combined with the adoption of a deferential approach by the Courts that generally legitimized the accounting devices adopted by the States. The outcome is a system in which budget policies are influenced by several factors that go beyond the institutional framework. On the other side, legal boundaries create distortions and unwanted effects in policies implemented by the States.

Open access
The emergence of New Economic Governance and its impact on Services of General Economic Interest

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of austerity measures on national social protection mechanisms and on the European Social Model. The study is based on an in-depth analysis of austerity measures adopted in Italy and Portugal and the evolution of several indicators, such as unemployment rates and the percentage of citizens at risk of poverty.

The analysis demonstrates that measures adopted in the field of new economic governance have had an impact on the organization and provision of SGEIs and have affected the solidity of the national welfare state. It will be argued that in this context the promotion of a social dimension of the EU requires innovative methods for the regulation of new economic governance.

Open access
The ESM and the Principle of Transparency

Abstract

This note analyses a peculiar feature of the ESM, namely the lack of an acceptable set of standards for the fundamental democratic principle of transparency. Moving from the particular nature of this mechanism, we will highlight the most critical concerns connected to secrecy, confidentiality and inviolability of documents, looking not only at the ESM Treaty but also at relevant documents approved by its bodies (in particular the Code of Conduct and the By-Laws).

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Eurocrisis and the myths of European redistribution: illegitimate, unsustainable, inefficient?

Abstract

Criticism of European solidarity relies on three cornerstone arguments with mythological features. First is the “Myth of the Beggar”: it is believed that supranational solidarity is self-defeating, as it produces a moral-hazard scheme where endogenous incentives to reform (otherwise known as “market pressure”) are artificially removed. Second stands the “Myth of the Efficient Markets”: it is believed that solidarity, through its market-distortive effects, artificially allocates resources into less productive activities, thus decreasing the overall growth rate of the economy. Third is the “Myth of the Demos”: it is believed that democracy- and thus redistribution- can endure only within a single Demos, and thus no solidarity can exist outside of a Demos. This paper aims to challenge the view that any scheme of solidarity is self-defeating, inefficient and illegitimate, developing a notion of “federative solidarity” providing a solution to the three “myths”.

Open access