Tobacco harms and kills. Direct or passive consumption of tobacco causes annually the premature deaths of six million people worldwide. Even worse is the frustration, pain, and cost of living with tobacco disease and addiction. Although smoking kills more people than illegal drugs – and nicotine is as addictive as heroin – tobacco remains legal,…

Recently, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has put privacy in the workplace back to our attention. The fast pace of technological evolutions and the wide availability for consumers of communication and monitoring tools has brought surveillance practices within the immediate reach of employers and human resources practices. Three recent cases of the ECtHR…

On December 20, 2017, the CJEU passed a landmark case on the legal status of Uber.  On February 19, KU Leuven’s Faculty of Law will hold a conference on the legal status of online intermediaries in the platform economy. Members of the faculty experts in all the relevant branches of the law will comment on…

As EU-UK negotiations continue on Brexit, a well-known theme re-emerges, the impact of labour regulations on economic growth. As highlighted by David Mangan, UK government policy of ‘lightening’ the burden of employment law on business is a continuing endeavour and is not prevented by EU membership. It has also been argued that the flexibility of…

It’s 2018 and new years’ resolutions are upon us. While many of us seek to quit our vices of smoking or drinking, both the EU and the UK have announced plans to hasten the end another addiction of sorts – the use of plastics. Long identified as an issue, the call to action on plastic…

Employment regulation as an economic stimulus draws attention to the connection between aims and actions. The United Kingdom should remain an intriguing study in this regard. As of 2019, the UK moves into the ‘Global Britain’ or ‘British Way’ era in which the country rebuffs EU-negotiated trade agreements and instead aims to negotiate similar if…

On Saint Nicholas’ birthday 2017 (6 December), the Court of Justice (the Court) held that selective distribution agreements, which prevent authorised distributors from using unauthorised third-party (online) platforms to sell luxury goods can in principle be compatible with Article 101(1) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); the prohibition on anti-competitive…

Need for a transitory mechanism In 2009, the EU acquired exclusive competence to regulate foreign direct investment (FDI) – which previously rested with its Member States – through the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. Since then, the European Commission has been engaging in the negotiation of international investment agreements (IIAs) and investment chapters…

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and American President George H. W. Bush on December 17, 1992, and entered into force on January 1, 1994. In addition to substantially increasing trade between the three countries, NAFTA has reduced trade friction…

This a second post in a series of posts commenting on the NAFTA renegotiation process. For Part I click here.   What is Mexico’s Real “Plan B”? The Mexican press is full of statements to the effect that, should the United States withdraw from the NAFTA, Mexico would compensate any substantial reduction in exports to…

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) has become an increasingly difficult process. This is unsurprising, however, because there is no agreement amongst the member countries as to why the NAFTA needs be renegotiated. Mexico and Canada regard the renegotiation process as an opportunity to modernize NAFTA. Although the United States does…

The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Barnier recently stated that the ‘Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement’ (CETA) between the EU and Canada is the only feasible model left for Brexit. If this is so, it is bad news. Inevitably, a CETA-Brexit will be much closer to a hard Brexit than to the glorious bespoken deal…

Since 2013, the European Commission has taken an increasing interest in Member States’ practices of granting tax benefits to mainly multinational undertakings by means of individual tax rulings or specifically tailored tax agreements. In this respect, the Commission in October 2015 found that the Netherlands has given unlawful aid to Starbucks and Luxemburg to Fiat…

To date the debate on the “future of work” and technology has predominantly concentrated on the quantity of jobs that will be lost or gained because of automation. While this is certainly important, we should also be concerned about the quality of the jobs we are creating. Over the past few weeks, the news has…

While the symposium on Application of Competition Policy to Technology and IP Licensing hosted by the Center for Transnational Law and Business at the USC Gould School of Law on 10 November 2017 was, for many reasons, worthy of a suite of scholarly articles (I particularly look forward to Professor Jonathan Barnett’s upcoming article in…

On September 14, 2017, the EU Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling in Case C-177/16, Akka-Laa, on excessive pricing in the collective management of copyright licences. In 2013, the Latvian Competition Council fined Akka-Laa for abusing its dominance by imposing too high rates for its services. Akka-Laa is a copyright management organization. It enjoyed a…

In the “Trade for all” strategy issued in October 2015, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström explained how the Juncker Commission would translate the strong commitment to transparency into concrete actions in the EU’s trade policy. The actions identified by the Commission to increase transparency in trade defence as laid down in the Trade for…

On 18 July 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court issued its second preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This time, it doubts the legality of the ‘Quantitative Easing’ programme of the European Central Bank. The first reference, from 2014, also concerned central bank action. At the height of the debt…

On 17 November 2017 the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ was officially proclaimed by the EU leaders at the occasion of the Social Summit held in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was signed by Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission), Antonio Tajani (President of the European Parliament) and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (on behalf of the Presidency…