Category Archives: Policy cycle

Spotify, Joe Rogan and the Digital Services Act – the Sound of Issues to Come?

For Ruairí Harrison and Anne Koopmans, as the intrigue into the final contours of the Digital Services Act (DSA) is displaced by an anticipation as to the Act’s impact on both the user experience and platform transparency, the emphasis on social media platforms is hard to avoid. Yet as the dust similarly settles on the Joe Rogan-Neil Young controversy for Spotify, how will the DSA impact Europe’s leading streaming service? Further, is the DSA appropriately ‘future proof’ to address Spotify’s increasingly diversified business model or is there a necessity for focused regulatory action on digital streaming services?

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The EU Commission’s report on new genome editing techniques: a treasure trove for sustainable CRISPR food – or a Pandora’s box?

Genome editing in plants can deliver beneficial crop properties such as drought and pest resistance, but the resulting products are also feared by some to lead to health and biodiversity risks in the long term. On 29th April 2021, the EU Commission published its long-awaited report on new genome editing techniques, hinting at deregulation of products resulting from genome editing amidst accusations of aggressive biotech industry lobbying. In this blogpost, Pauline Phoa discusses the legal background to the Commission’s report, as well as some concerns about the way forward.

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Will Directive 2020/1828 on the EU representative action lead to ‘better’ enforcement, as envisaged by the New Deal for Consumers?

The enforcement of consumer law has traditionally been based primarily on private enforcement, complemented by administrative enforcement. Because of longstanding issues of non-compliance with EU consumer rights, the Commission has introduced an ‘EU representative action’. In this tenth and final post in RENFORCE Blog’s special series on the enforcement of EU law, Esther van Schagen summarises the main features of the new Directive and explains some of the assumptions as to the effect of more enforcement which underlie the Directive and become visible in the impact assessment. Arguably, the Directive has overlooked opportunities that could have contributed to managing key barriers to bringing collective actions – the complexity, length and costs of collective redress – and which ought to be addressed in order to enhance cross-border enforcement.

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For EU law enforcement strategy and theory building!

Calls for EU law enforcement are a common and logical response to address recent challenges – and crises – across multiple policy sectors, but may face constraints of a legal, political and practical nature. According to Miroslava Scholten, these constraints are exactly where we all need to focus in order to ensure the resilience of the EU into the future. Today, on May 9, the Day of Europe, we make a start of a special blog post series by RENFORCE experts to put the need for more and better enforcement of EU law in the spotlight. Check our blog page out in the coming days!

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The New Pact on Migration and Asylum: a paradigm shift in regulation and enforcement?

Salvatore Nicolosi and Paul Minderhoud

Last September 2020, the European Commission unveiled the New Pact on Migration and Asylum to commit the EU and its Member States ‘to build a system that manages and normalises migration for the long term.’ A fierce criticism has been already raised by scholars and civil society, claiming that this political platform is all but new and definitely unfit for the ‘fresh start’ sought by the Commission. In an attempt to contribute to this thriving debate, this post raises doubts on whether the Pact constitutes an effective paradigm shift in regulation and enforcement for EU asylum and migration law. As will be illustrated, the Pact reflects a regulatory framework that does not fix the existing divergences between the Member States, while at the enforcement level the approach is still precarious both as to the role of EU agencies and a strategy to ensure Member States compliance.

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In search for an enforcement strategy for the Common European Asylum System

By Salvatore Nicolosi

The reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is one of the major regulatory challenges to the European Union (EU), which has continuously attracted academic attention (Nicolosi, 2019). Less consideration has been given to the dynamics of enforcement of that policy. Yet, this is a crucial issue,  as acknowledged by the European Commission, the migratory pressure of the most recent years stressed the ‘structural weaknesses and shortcomings in the design and implementation of European asylum and migration policy.’ Apart from a ‘protracted implementation deficit,’ EU asylum law has been suffering from a ‘protracted compliance deficit’ (Thym, 2017). This makes the need for a more effective enforcement strategy all the more urgent. This post, therefore, aims to explain whether EU direct enforcement mechanisms can be more effective than traditional forms of enforcement by State authorities. 

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Criminal Justice and Environmental Crime: how to tackle organized crime and ecocide?

by Prof. dr. John A.E. Vervaele & dr. Daan P. van Uhm

In the last decades, it has become increasingly clear that the protection of the environment is not only about a specific nature-related interest, but also about the systemic preservation of the commons of nature, which is essential for the life conditions of human beings and flora and fauna. The trade in endangered species puts not only their survival at risk; it deprives humanity of natural resources for their own survival and damages the biodiversity of planet earth. Emissions of greenhouse gases impact global warming and increase the sea levels, but also cause new phenomena such as El Niño in the Americas. These environmental harms are not land or border-related; their complex effects threaten all life on earth. Indeed, the exploitation of natural resources has become a global social problem and, thus, needs to be anticipated in social and scientific thinking.

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Why is “four” better than “three” when it comes to the lines of defence in financial institutions?

photo by SteelCityHobbies

photo by SteelCityHobbies

Certainly one of the greatest banking scandals of any age, the LIBOR fraud rocked the global financial industry. Manipulating interbank interest rates for almost two decades, the scale of the LIBOR deceit was staggering: 3 continents, 10 countries, 20 banks.

How could that happen on such a massive scale?

What LIBOR and other crises have shown is that banks need to enhance corporate governance measures. Most importantly, such incidents have led to a further prioritisation of governmental and supervisory agendas relating to the potential systemic implications of weak internal control systems, shifting the focus from the soundness of individual financial entities to the integrity and stability of the whole financial system. As Schwarcz maintains, the sheer perils financial supervisors have currently to cope with are attached to the risk “that a trigger event, such as an economic shock or institutional failure, causes a chain of bad economic consequences—sometimes referred to as a domino effect”. Systemic risk, indeed. Continue reading