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Jurga Bučaitė-Vilkė, Remigijus Civinskas and Aistė Lazauskienė

Abstract

Despite the absence of the long-term tradition of inter-municipal cooperation in Lithuania, the country represents a compelling case of cooperative solutions which are mostly focused on public services delivery design imposed by the central government. The article provides theoretical and empirical insights on the inter-municipal cooperative capacities and their scope in the case of Lithuania, with reference to the size of the municipality. The results reveal that the large size municipalities are more likely to benefit from collaborative arrangements in comparison to small size municipalities which have less institutional ability for collaboration. In this respect, the external influences imposed by the central authorities’ agenda on implementing economy of scale principles and strong municipal service delivery regulations is extremely important for understanding the municipal efforts for collaboration.

Open access

Tomas Marcinkevičius

Abstract

For the past four years autonomous spaces that vary in nature but are run by virtually the same group of people have been operating in Kaunas, Lithuania. In the Lithuanian context, they are one of the most prominent recent attempts at continuous radical leftist political infrastructure. In the Central and Eastern European context, they are peculiar for not being connected to public housing struggles. This article draws an outline of their modes of operation and paradigmatic shifts by examining their history as well as theoretical and sociological material and using extensive interviews conducted with participants. Awareness of the complicated relation between meaningful separation and broader participation is suggested as a reflexive means of becoming hubs of political involvement.

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Sima Rakutienė

Abstract

Since 2004, when the European neighbourhood policy was established, the European Union has already spent billions of euros to finance the new neighbourhood policies for creating more stable and more cooperative relations with eastern and southern neighbours. However, increased security concerns and challenges, less stable and less prognostic relations seem to have produced the opposite result of what was sought, and so Europe is experiencing a “neighbourhood of crisis”. Did it fail? What strategy has the EU been using within the last 15 years in relations with its neighbouring countries? What specific tools and instruments have been adapted? Did the renewal of European neighbourhood policy introduce any completely new strategic elements? This article examines these questions, focusing on three perspectives suggested by role theory: intentional, interactional and institutional. The study applies qualitative research methodology and claims that the EU has been seeking to transmit not just EU values and standards but also internal institutional practices and modes of EU governance.

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Asta Tūbaitė-Stalauskienė

Abstract

In the European Union, Copyright law is not uniform. There are a number of EU Directives concerning copyright law, which form an exhaustive list of limitations and exceptions, most of which are optional. The optional nature of limitations and exceptions is a significant obstacle to effective harmonisation in the Member States, which creates legal uncertainty for rightsholders and users. The aim of this article is to examine limitations and exceptions under the current EU copyright law, to analyse what efforts the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament have undertaken in order to reform EU copyright and to present other possible options for reform regarding exceptions and limitations in the EU.

Open access

Mykola Inshyn and Olena Moskalenko

Abstract

The article is devoted to substantiating the necessity of using existing tools and means of labor law science in certain aspects of labor migration, particularly, concerning the provision of labor freedom for Ukrainian workers - labor emigrants. The integrated approach to the development of methodological foundations for such provision and the development of relevant legal provisions at various stages of realization of a person’s right to labor, as well as in part of ensuring the prohibition of compulsory labor, can qualitatively raise the level of legal regulation of labor migration through the inclusion of labor law science. In support of its argument the article provides a wide range of statistical data on Ukrainian labor emigration. It is determined that the existing problems of Ukrainian labor emigration in the context of ensuring freedom of work can be systematized at the stages of their occurrence in the following way: 1) before the emergence of labor relations with a foreign employer, that is, as long as a Ukrainian citizen is still in Ukraine and acts for the purpose of employment abroad; 2) the emergence of labor relations with a foreign employer, that is, the legal registration of such relationships; 3) the actual beginning of labor relations outside Ukraine, the course of labor relations and the presence of a Ukrainian labor emigrant in them; 4) termination of labor relations of the Ukrainian labor emigrant and return to the territory of Ukraine. The emergence of labor disputes is the optional stage.

Open access

Marek Szydło

Abstract

Europe is divided on how to construct and exploit pipelines importing Russian gas to the EU. The division evinces two opposing models, which I label (1) the Overcapacity and Exemption-Based Model and (2) the Optimal Capacity and Regulatory-Based Model. As those labels suggest, these models are premised on different assumptions as to the number and capacity of such pipelines that the EU requires, and as to how far those pipelines should be subject to EU energy law. The struggle between these models is not merely a legal one. More fundamentally, it is an economic and geopolitical one involving a wide range of stakeholders: public and private. This article evaluates the two models. By describing the legal disputes concerning OPAL and Nord Stream 2 and analysing their wider legal, economic and geopolitical implications, it argues that the second model (Optimal Capacity and Regulatory-Based) is clearly superior in today’s context. It is fully aligned with the objectives and provisions of EU energy law. In particular, it is consistent with that law’s aim of diversifying the external suppliers, sources and routes of gas supplies available to the EU. This article concludes that this latter model must win in the OPAL and Nord Stream 2 disputes, and, moreover, that it must be implemented with respect to all eastern import pipelines and connected pipelines before any further pro-competitive or pro-integrative reforms to the EU’s energy law and policy.

Open access

Anne Veerpalu

Abstract

This article looks at whether the principle of technology neutrality can be applied to the centralised-decentralised scale in a manner similar to its application to the offline-online scale. The analysis is based on two cases of similar circumstances relating to bitcoin exchanges run by early adopters in Estonia and Sweden. The cases exhibit two different ex ante legislative approaches aimed at payments in currencies and the interpretation of the respective legislation by the judiciary in applying these rules to bitcoins and to the activity of exchanging bitcoins. The article examines whether the legal rules applied to the payment infrastructure of currencies were technology neutral and also implemented neutrally or whether, contrary to the principle, there was difference of treatment of decentralised technology outputs – bitcoins – from the centralised technology outputs – legal tender – irrelevant of the functional equivalence of these units of payment.

Open access

Riku-Heikki Virtanen

Abstract

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) stipulates an obligation for states to consult persons with disabilities in the development and implementation of legislation and policies with respect of implementing this Convention. Consultations with persons with disabilities have not as yet become a widespread practice in national legal orders. When it comes to EU member states, for example, not all of them incorporate the said obligation in national legislation. In its Concluding Observations the CRPD Committee suggests that the obligation to consult is a cross-cutting duty covering all rights guaranteed in the UN CRPD. Eventually, the draft General Comment No. 7 to the UN CRPD has arrived at a wider interpretation of the scope of an obligation to consult. Although a much wider scope of opportunity to be consulted is provided for the indigenous peoples by the ILO Convention No. 169, it has become a matter of consideration in several cases before regional human rights organs while the convention has not got a significant number of ratifications. Provided that the UN CRPD is much more broadly ratified by the states, will the adoption of this General Comment exert influence on empowering persons with disabilities? In order to find an answer to this question, this article explores the genesis of a general legal obligation to consult persons with disabilities on a permanent basis which would be wider in scope than matters of implementing the UN CRPD in international human rights law.

Open access

Anatoliy Kulish, Nadiia Andriichenko and Oleg Reznik

Abstract

Political corruption as a negative phenomenon hampers the democratic and economic development of any state. The experience of foreign countries across the world testifies to the existence of number of reasons conducive to the spread of political corruption. Its study is important both for Ukraine, which is actively taking measures to combat political corruption, and for other countries with a high level of political corruption.

The article begins with a study of various approaches to understanding the concept of “political corruption”, the reasons for its emergence and determination of the level of citizens’ trust in political institutions in Ukraine and foreign countries. The main obstacles to minimizing the phenomenon of political corruption in Ukraine are the existence of an effective mechanism for financial support of political parties and control over their financial activity. Based on the analysis of scientific literature, international acts, and legislative acts of Ukraine and Lithuania, the authors disclose the experience of Ukraine and Lithuania in the sphere of state financing of political parties and control over their financial activity. The methods of descriptive comparative analysis and observation of the latest scientific research on this issue guide the work.

Proceeding from the existing problem of minimizing the phenomenon of corruption in the funding of political parties in Ukraine and taking into account the development of Ukraine’s legal system, the article presents a number of proposals on improving the legislation of Ukraine on financial support of political parties. The authors also provide a proposal on the need to improve the legislation in Lithuania in the area of indirect state funding of political parties. This article aims to disclose the notion of “political corruption”, to study experience of Ukraine and Lithuania in the sphere of minimizations of corruption in the funding of political parties and control over the use of such financial support, to determine the areas for improving the legislation of Ukraine and Lithuania in this issue, and to show the optimal mechanism of overcoming corruption in political parties, since Ukraine is not the only state where this phenomenon reaches its peak.

Open access

Jenna Uusitalo

Abstract

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is generally described as the most effective human rights protection mechanism. While the jurisdiction of the Court is limited to civil and political rights, the protection of socio-economic rights at the Council of Europe is sought primarily through the Collective Complaint Procedure (CCP). Such a distinction reflects the traditional perception of human rights, according to which the protection of socio-economic rights has been regarded as inferior to first-category human rights. However, analysis of the ECtHR and CCP from the viewpoint of emergency medical service illustrates that, contrary to the prevailing understanding, both mechanisms do provide equally effective protection for claims concerning the right to emergency health care.