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Article

European Citizens’ Initiatives for the Protection and Promotion of Rights and Interests of National Minorities

Latest Developments

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords European Citizens’ Initiative, national minorities, Minority SafePack, cohesion policy, participatory democracy
Authors Balázs Tárnok
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper examines the latest developments in the two minority-related European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECI), the Minority SafePack Initiative and the Cohesion Policy Initiative (ECI on National Minority Regions). A key theoretical question of this paper is whether the ECI can be seen as an effective tool for the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of national minorities in the EU. The paper presents the most recent judgments of the General Court and the CJEU related to these ECIs. The Courts made important statements in terms of the admissibility criteria of ECIs, as well the possibility to propose EU legislation aiming to increase the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities. The paper also investigates the experiences of the signature collection campaign of the Cohesion Policy Initiative and the current status of the Minority SafePack Initiative in the examination phase. Finally, the paper aims to set up a prognosis on the future of these ECIs, taking into consideration the Commission’s latest proposal on the extension of the ECI deadlines.


Balázs Tárnok
Balázs Tárnok: junior research fellow, National University of Public Service, Europe Strategy Research Institute, Budapest; PhD candidate, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest.

András Tóth
András Tóth: professor of law, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Budapest; Chairman of the Competition Council, Hungarian Competition Authority.

Gábor Kecskés
Gábor Kecskés: research fellow, Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Budapest; associate professor of law, Széchenyi István University, Győr.
Article

The CETA Opinion of the CJEU

Redefining the Contours of the Autonomy of the EU Legal Order

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords CETA, settlement of investment disputes, autonomy of EU law, Achmea, multilateral investment court
Authors Tamás Szabados
AbstractAuthor's information

    In its Opinion 1/17, the CJEU confirmed that the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA or the Agreement) entered into between Canada and the EU is compatible with EU law. In the view of the CJEU, the CETA does not have an adverse effect on the autonomy of the EU legal order; it does not violate the principle of equality, the effectiveness of EU law and the right of access to an independent tribunal. Some of the findings of the Opinion are, however, controversial. In particular, it is questionable whether the autonomy of EU law is indeed unaffected by the Agreement, because it seems that in certain situations an interpretation of EU law is hardly avoidable for the CETA Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal to make. With its Opinion, the CJEU not only lends support to similar trade and investment protection agreements, but it also paves the way for the participation of the EU in creating a multilateral investment court as long as the limits set by the CJEU are observed.


Tamás Szabados
Tamás Szabados: associate professor of law, ELTE Law School, Budapest.
Case Reports

2020/38 Supreme Court rules on the principle of continuity of civil service law in connection with a transfer of undertaking (FI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Transfer of Undertakings, Employees Who Transfer, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Authors Janne Nurminen
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Finnish Supreme Court has overturned a Court of Appeal decision regarding a transfer of a municipal civil servant to a company during the privatization of a public utility company. The Supreme Court held that an employment relationship had not been established between the transferee and the unlawfully dismissed municipal civil servant despite the principle of continuity of civil service law. The concrete actions of the transferee had an important role in defining that no employment relationship had been constituted between the dismissed municipal civil servant and the private company.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    The Federal Labour Court of Germany (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) had to decide on a case in which an employee claimed vacation entitlements for the release phase of a partial retirement scheme. Because the employee was released from his work obligation during the release phase of the partial retirement under the so-called ‘block model’ he was not entitled to statutory leave so that the lawsuit was unsuccessful in the final instance.


Othmar K. Traber
Othmar K. Traber is a partner at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

    The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court in a decision of 24 June 2019 has ruled that the mere comparison between the job descriptions of employees is not sufficient basis for establishing whether the employees are carrying out the same work or work of equal value and the courts should also take into consideration the practical aspects of the work, the specific working conditions and the tasks actually carried out.


Kalina Tchakarova
Kalina Tchakarova is a partner at Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov and Velichkov.
Landmark Ruling

ECJ 16 July 2020, Case C-610/18 (AFMB and Others), Social Insurance

AFMB Ltd. and Others – v – Raad van bestuur van de Sociale verzekeringsbank, Dutch case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Social Insurance
Abstract

    The employer of drivers of heavy goods vehicles employed in international long-distance transport is the transport undertaking that has actual authority over those drivers, that bears, in reality, the cost of their wages and that has actual power to dismiss them.

    The Danish Western High Court recently found that an employee who had entered into a severance agreement – and who was represented by her professional organisation during this process – was barred from claiming compensation under the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act, implementing Directive 2000/78.


Christian K. Clasen
Christian K. Clasen is a partner at Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen.

    The Federal Labour Court of Germany (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) had to decide on a case in which an employee argued that his contract was not terminated by a provision that restricted the mutual duties to a certain time period for the yearly season within his contract and that the employer had to employ him during the off season. However, his lawsuit was unsuccessful as the Court found that, even though he did have an indefinite contract, the employer was not obliged to employ and pay him during the off season due to the valid provision of fixed-term employment for the time from April to October during the time of the season.


Othmar K. Traber
Othmar K. Traber is a partner at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.
Rulings

ECJ 8 September 2020, case C-119/19 P (Carreras Sequeros), Paid Leave, Miscellaneous

European Commission – v – Francisco Carreras Sequeros and Others, EU Case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Paid Leave
Abstract

    Article 31(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights only applies to the minimum four weeks of annual leave.

Case Reports

2020/34 Challenge to validity of Workplace Relations Act 2015 unsuccessful (IR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Unfair Dismissal, Fair Trial, Miscellaneous
Authors Orla O’Leary
AbstractAuthor's information

    A recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Irish Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has failed. The applicant in the case at hand argued that the WRC was unconstitutional for two reasons: (a) that the WRC carries out the administration of justice in breach of the general constitutional rule that only the courts may administer justice; and (b) several of the statutory procedures of the WRC were so deficient that they failed to vindicate the applicant’s personal constitutional rights. The High Court of Ireland dismissed both arguments.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is a Senior Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran.
Article

2020/28 The posting of workers: An EU and Slovak Republic perspective

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Posting of Workers
Authors Benita Korosiová and Gabriel Havrilla
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses some of the problems with the Slovak implementation of the Posting of Workers Directive.


Benita Korosiová
Benita Korosiová is a senior lawyer at HAVRILLA&Co. Law Firm, Bratislava.

Gabriel Havrilla
Gabriel Havrilla is a managing partner at HAVRILLA&Co. Law Firm, Bratislava.
Pending Cases

Case C-233/20, Paid Leave

WD – v – job-medium GmbH in liquidation, reference lodged by the Oberster Gerichtshof (Austria) on 4 June 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Paid Leave
Pending Cases

Case C-265/20, Fixed-Term Work, Part Time Work

FN – v – Universiteit Antwerpen and Others, reference lodged by the Hof van beroep Antwerpen (Belgium) on 15 June 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Fixed-Term Work, Part Time Work

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that, while it is for national courts to make decisions about employment status, a courier working for Yodel in the UK appeared to have been correctly classified as self-employed, given the latitude he had over accepting jobs, working for competitors, providing substitutes and deciding his work schedule. The crucial factors were independence and subordination.


Colin Leckey
Colin Leckey is a Partner at Lewis Silkin LLP.
Pending Cases

Case C-236/20, Fixed-Term Work, Part Time Work, Paid Leave, Other Forms of Discrimination

PG – v – Ministero della Giustizia, CSM — Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, reference lodged by the Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per la Emilia Romagna (Italy) on 4 June 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Fixed-Term Work, Part Time Work, Paid Leave, Other Forms of Discrimination
Pending Cases

Case C-232/20, Temporary Agency Work

NP – v – Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Werk Berlin, reference lodged by the Ufficio del Giudice di Pace di Lanciano (Italy) on 28 May 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Temporary Agency Work

    The administrative law sector of the Overijssel Court has asked preliminary questions about the level of holiday pay during sickness, in situations where sick pay is lower than regular pay. This enables the ECJ to clarify its case law on holiday pay once more.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a teacher and PhD candidate at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and member of the editorial board of EELC.
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