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Number of results: 8
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Abstract

Is it possible to revitalize Europe without external interference and a shift in the geopolitical situation outside the Continent? An answer to this question is here offered by Prof. Jan Zielonka, a political scientist analyzing change in Central and Eastern Europe and a lecturer at the European Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
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Abstract

This article attempts to discover the key elements of the democratic principle, as described by the judges sitting in Luxembourg and Strasbourg, whose case law reveals the underlying idea of democracy at the supranational level. Until recently the debate on democracy was limited to the national level. But things are changing, and this article shows the gradual emergence of a process led by supranational courts, in which the application of the democratic principle finds multiple grades and variations. In this way the supranational/international courts have opened a new chapter in the process of constitutionalization of international law.
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Abstract

The aim of the article is to discuss and assess the diversification of renewable energy sources consumption in European Union member states. The time scope covers 2005 and 2015. The data comes from Eurostat. The analysis was based on synthetic indicators – using a non-standard method. Synthetic indicators were assessed based on three simple features such as: the share of renewable energy in energy consumption in 2015, the difference between the share of renewable energy in energy consumption in 2015 and in 2005 (in percentage points), deficit/surplus in the 2020 target reached in 2015 (in percentage points). The European Union member states were divided into four diversified group in terms of renewable energy sources consumption (first class – a very high level, second class – quite a high level, third class – quite a low level, fourth class – a very low level). Then the divided groups were analyzed according to the share of renewable energy sources in the primary production of renewable energy and the consumption of individual renewable energy sources. During the research period renewable energy consumption increased in the European Union, but individual member states are characterized by a diverse situation. The type of energy used depends largely on national resources. The countries of Northern Europe are characterized by a greater share of renewable energy sources in consumption. Biomass is the most popular renewable source of energy in the European Union. Depending on the conditions of individual countries – it is agricultural and forest biomass.
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Abstract

The article presents the EU legislative procedure and decision-making processes with a special emphasis on decisions regarding energy policy. It has been pointed out that most of the energy related legal acts, including the renewable energy directive and those aimed at the gradual reduction of emissions of harmful substances, are adopted according to the ordinary legislative procedure. However, special legislative procedures apply in the case of international agreements between the European Union and third countries. The trilogues, i.e. meetings of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council, aimed at reaching a common position before the first reading in the EP, are of great importance in decision making. The article also discusses the problem of energy policy and its impact on the environment, recalling the relevant articles of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union. The most important paths of influence of the Member States on new legal acts in the context of energy policy have also been shown. This is an extremely important issue from the investors’ point of view, since projects related to the energy industry have a very long payback period, so the stability and predictability of the Community’s energy policy is of paramount importance to them. The possibilities of shaping new laws related to energy at the stage of preparing a regulation are discussed later in the article. The work of parliamentary committees, especially those related to energy, i.e. the ITRE (The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy) Committee and ENVI (The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) has also been discussed. In addition, the article clearly shows different approaches of Western European countries and the Central and Eastern European countries (including Poland) towards energy issues.
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Abstract

This article seeks to explore whether the EU system of fundamental rights protection allows room for constitutional pluralism. By looking at recent developments in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court of Justice), it is submitted that the Court has answered that question in the affirmative, thereby respecting the diversity of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of Europe as well as their national identities. The application of the Charter does not rule out a cumulative application of fundamental rights. That being said, pluralism is not absolute, but must be weighed against the indivisible and universal values on which the European Union is founded. Logically, the question that arises is how we order pluralism. In this regard, I shall argue that it is not for the Court of Justice to decide when an EU uniform standard of fundamental rights protection is to replace (or coexist with) national standards. That decision is for the EU political institutions to adopt, since they enjoy the necessary democratic legitimacy to determine the circumstances under which the exercise of a fundamental right is to be limited for reasons of public interest. However, this deference to the EU political branches does not mean that EU legislative decisions are immune from judicial review. On the contrary, cases such as Schwarz and Digital Rights demonstrate that the Court of Justice is firmly committed to examining whether those legislative choices comply with primary EU law, and notably with the Charter. In this regard, when interpreting the provisions of the Charter, the Court of Justice – in dialogue with national courts and, in particular, constitutional courts – operates as the guarantor of the rule of law within the EU, of which fundamental rights are part and parcel. It is thus for those courts to make sure that each and every EU citizen enjoys a sphere of individual liberty which must, as defined by the Charter, remain free from public interferences.
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Abstract

The article presents the question of solidarity in relation to the energy policy of the European Union. This topic seems particularly important in the context of the crisis of the European integration process, which includes, in particular, economic problems, the migration crisis and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit). The issue of solidarity was analyzed from the legal and formal, institutional, and functional and relational points of view. The aim of the article is to show to what extent the theoretical assumptions, resulting from the provisions of European law on the solidarity, correspond with the actions of the Member States in the energy sector. The practice of the integration process indicates that the particular national economic interests in the energy sector are more important for the Member States than working towards European solidarity. Meanwhile, without a sense of responsibility for the pan-European interest, it is not possible to effectively implement the EU’s energy policy. The European Commission – as the guardian of the treaties – confronts the Member States with ambitious challenges to be undertaken “in the spirit of solidarity”. In the verbal sphere, this is supported by by capitals of the individual countries, but in practice, the actions taken divide the Member States into opposing camps instead of building a sense of the European energy community. This applies in particular to such issues as: the management of the energy union, investments in the gas sector (e.g. Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II), and the position towards third countries – suppliers of energy raw materials to the EU (in particular towards the Russian Federation). Different views on the above problems make it extremely difficult for Member States to take action “in the spirit of energy solidarity”. Thus, the energy problem becomes another reason for the weakening of European unity.
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Abstract

Considering the increasing role of cities throughout the world and in Europe, the European Union regulations on cohesion policy that are binding in the 2014–2020 programme period have foreseen the need to introduce a separate intervention dedicated to cities and their functional areas. However, the implementation of these solutions did not come without certain problems. They referred both to the process of institutionalising co-operation and to the realisation of projects. Also in Poland, Integrated Territorial Investments have not gone beyond co-operation for the absorption of EU funding so far, which demonstrates doubtlessly that their potential still remains unexploited. Thus, a discussion on both the positive and negative aspects of the implementation of ITIs is necessary. Poland, as the largest beneficiary of the Cohesion Policy, has a wide experience, which might provide valuable information on that matter. The aim of the paper is to present these experiences and to provide conclusions for the regional policy.
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Abstract

In this paper experiences and manifestations of territorialisation of European cohesion policy, with special concentration on Poland, who is the biggest benefi ciary of that EU policy, were presented. Regional level is having strongest impact on success of territorialisation of public policies, but general conditions are shaped by central level, and also local level role is increasing, including cities and urban policy. Later an analysis of possibilities and conditions of EU cohesion policy territorialisation was elaborated, evaluating favourable and unfavourable factors. Conclusions are rather pessimistic, because there are many restrictions and preliminary preconditions of effi cient and eff ective decentralisation of EU structural intervention.
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