On 22 June 2020, the European Social Partners released their Autonomous Framework Agreement on Digitalisation.The Social Partners signing this agreement were: BusinessEurope, SMEunited, CEEP, ETUC and the liaison committee EUROCADRES/CEC, The Agreement is welcome (particularly in the midst of a pandemic) as an acknowledgement of the continuing movement towards a predominantly digital means of working…

Introduction The European Union (EU) and China signed a bilateral agreement for the reciprocal protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) against usurpation and imitation. The agreement strengths the EU-China trading relationship and reinforce the EU (sui generis) approach on GIs in the global market.  It took around eight years of negotiations, but in the end, it…

1. Introduction On 20 October 2020, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (“PTS”) decided to approve Hi3G Access AB, Net4Mobility HB, Telia Sverige AB and Teracom AB as participants in auction proceedings regarding the granting of licenses to use radio transmitters in the frequency bands 3,5 GHz and 2,3 GHz.  In laying down the requirements…

On 17 November 2017 the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ (“EPSR”) was officially proclaimed by the EU leaders at the occasion of the Social Summit held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Three years later, the European Union is set to deliver an action plan. In a Communication of 14 January 2020, the European Commission launched a communication[1] to…

A welcome initiative  Pressure has been increasing on businesses to contribute proactively to achieving climate and broader sustainability objectives. Companies consider that such initiatives often require cooperation with others, in order to get such projects successfully off the ground (for example, due to a minimum scale being required and/or due to a first mover disadvantage)….

Mural at the International Labour Organization (Geneva)

Covid-19: Long-term vs short-term Assessing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 on work and employment will be a long-term endeavour. While much of the emphasis has been on when and how economies may safely re-open, we draw attention to the undervalued workplace considerations therein. We have produced an early assessment of measures taken…

During the lockdown, many workers unexpectedly found their normal place of work closed and they were required to start working from home (WFH). As lockdown restrictions are eased, a new scenario arises where employers and workers have to navigate the gradual resumption of activities in the workplace. This blog explores the need for employers to…

From an EU social and labour policy perspective, 2020 started off on the right foot. In mid-January, the Commission presented its Communication on “A Strong Social Europe for A Just Transition”. In the Communication, the Commission’s priorities (the European Green Deal and the digitalization agenda) appeared to be intertwined with the commitment to promote fairness…

As the COVID-19 pandemic engulfs the world, requiring an unprecedented and, as of yet, unforthcoming global response, the idea of Brexit, the sheer self-indulgence and chicanery of Brexit, has quickly become remote from the minds of policy makers and peoples alike. Nevertheless, with negotiations on ‘forging a new partnership’ between the EU and the UK…

The devastating effects of COVID-19 on national healthcare systems and the economy worldwide have unveiled the shortcomings of efficiency driven policies and the drawbacks of globalization. But before one can stop, wonder, assess and decide how to improve the ability to react promptly to future pandemic threats and how to ensure adequate stocks of personal…

Nowadays, important decisions, previously left to humans, are delegated to algorithms, which may advise, if not decide, how personal data should be interpreted and what actions should be taken as a result. Business models driven by personal data or at least supported by processing of such data have become the rule and not the exception….

Liberty is an essential part of life. Globalization has provided us with the freedom to move from nation to nation with ease, travelling widely. COVID-19 has had an unquestionably dramatic effect on the liberty of the global population to do so. So far, approximately 2.5 billion people have now been put into a form of…

Introduction The definition of the territorial limits of the State of Israel is one of the main reasons behind the conflict in the Middle East, with consequences that often extend beyond the classic issues of international politics. As known, the last massive Israeli expansion occurred in 1967 with the Six-Day War and currently the Golan…

Whilst the EU-UK trade negotiations have barely commenced, one thing is already quite clear: the two sides are poles apart on the key issue of level playing field (LPF) provisions and the extent to which these should feature in a future EU-UK free trade agreement.  The aim of these provisions, as originally set out in…

Reflecting on digitalization (as a collective term for artificial intelligence, robotization and new technologies) of the workplace draws out the confused intermingling of outcomes and ambitions. The aims of technological innovations entrench an economic understanding of efficiency, often at the expense of social considerations, which pose significant potential to displace human workers. These aims, as…

Imagine the following scenario. The European Union (EU) robustly tightens its Emission Trading System (ETS) and the EU carbon price rises dramatically. Investors who are ‘long carbon’ become wealthy. EU carbon emissions plunge as EU energy-intensive carbon emitters, such as cement makers, are forced to adapt to higher operating costs. Imports of cement from China,…

Please find below the journal abstract of “Statutory Interpretation and the Role of the Courts after Brexit” by Martin Brenncke, published in European Public Law, issue 4, volume 25 (2019) edited by Patrick Birkinshaw.   This article evaluates the impact of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on statutory interpretation and on the role of…

5G is the most advanced technology in mobile communications. In fall 2018, at the forefront in Europe, Italy arranged a successful multi-billion euro auction for 5G spectrum. On the side, the administration allowed a few operators to convert old WiMax licenses to 5G usage, for a few million euro. A legal battle arose. In November…