Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Panel 514: The Inner Workings of the Court of Justice - Implementation, Independence, and Legitimation
Tuesday, 03/Sep/2019:
1:05pm - 2:35pm

Session Chair: Dagmar Schiek, Queen's University Belfast
Location: Room 12.04

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Judicial Implementation of EU Equal Employment Policies in Spain: Towards Equal Sharing of Care?

MariaCaterina La Barbera1, Emanuela Lombardo2

1Nebrija University, Spain; 2Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Discursive and ideational factors have not figured prominently in implementation research. This article fills this gap by addressing the material and discursive conflicts articulated around equality at workplace between women and men in multilevel judicial contexts. It studies obstacles to and opportunities for the judicial implementation of EU equal employment policies in Spain by analyzing judicial cases of parental rights to childcare litigated before Spanish courts that eventually reached the Court of Justice of the European Union. The claimants are working parents who litigate for the recognition of their right to provide childcare. Critical frame analysis of judicial documents and interviews with key actors show that in judicial implementation, in which multiple meanings about women, gender and intersectionality can be articulated and counteracted at different levels, simultaneous favorable institutions, framing and actors are needed for the implementation of EU equal employment policies. Distinguishing among ‘women’, ‘gender’ and ‘intersectionality’ approaches, we assess the extent to which the result of judicial implementation is the transformation of gender roles towards equal sharing of care.

'Financial solidarity'? What does it Mean for the Court of Justice of the European Union and for EU Citizens?

Kamila Anna Feddek

the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

The European Union proclaimed in Article 2 TEU that: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.” These fundamental values have significant meaning for persons exercising their rights to free movement in the EU.
This article aims to strongly emphasise that the European Union has already developed legal framework underpinning the free movement of persons and EU citizenship that can be quite challenging for every Member State to fully comply with, but which could guarantee fairer and more holistic recognition of fundamental rights of EU nationals.
As emphasised by the Court in Grzelczyk, to ensure the effective recognition of the free movement of persons, some degree of ‘financial solidarity’ is required to protect fundamental human rights and to achieve the social cohesion within and between Member States. Moreover, to make EU citizenship legally recognised value, the equality principle should be broadly interpreted to ensure full enjoyment of rights of those habitual residents who legally reside on the territory of the hosting State, with which the ‘real link’ has been established.
This paper discusses the validity of EU principles and values, and calls for the joint solidarity and accountability for secure free movement of EU citizens exercising their rights across the EU borders. It recalls the line of cases of the Court of Justice of the European Union that focused on those provisions, which can grant the social security rights in the context of the free movement. Discussion also refers to the UK context to justify their legal recognition in practice.

Judicial Legitimation Strategies amidst Pressure on Judicial Authority – How the CJEU Upgrades its Public Relations Toolbox

Julian Dederke

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Public attention is important for courts to ensure compliance, support, and legitimacy. This applies even more so under conditions of increased pressure on judicial authority in the EU and amidst criticism of the CJEU. Data on newspaper coverage for CJEU decisions shows that press releases serve the Court well in stimulating media coverage. However, the way the CJEU reaches out to the public and media in order to disseminate information and to legitimate its doing has not been investigated in a systematic manner so far. The paper asks how and to what extent the CJEU extended its public relations activities in recent years. With help of press release data, budget reports and interviews with CJEU communications staff I can show how the CJEU professionalized its communication strategies and upgrades its public relations toolbox by including social media channels. However, the CJEU faces a trade-off between necessary legitimation efforts vis-à-vis outward audiences on the one hand, and risking politicization of its judgments on the other hand. The paper introduces original interview material and data for all CJEU press releases for 1997-2018. Overall, the CJEU’s staff seems to be convinced that the benefits of upgrading its public relations toolbox outweigh potential costs. The number of languages in which the CJEU issues press releases for the members of the 2004 accession round shows a significant increase over time. However, this effect is clearer for press releases for opinions of the Court’s Advocate General than for those that concern its judgments. Surprisingly, the Court does not seem to address Polish audiences more often over time, although in Poland the rule of law is threatened according to the Court. The way the CJEU addresses trade-offs of public attention might be exemplary for other EU courts or ICs, given the pressure on courts in various jurisdictions.

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