Browsing by Organization "University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law, European Law"

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  • Walkila, Sonya (2015)
    The grounds for debate on fundamental rights in the European Union are currently more fruitful than ever. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, not only did the Union avail itself with its own Bill of Rights , i.e., the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, but is also preparing for its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. By the same token, the Charter was elevated to the same level as other primary EU law. The frequent horizontal effect of fundamental rights in recent case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union is an indication of a stronger presence and the increased significance of fundamental rights in the Union s legal order at the time when the boundaries between the public and private spheres are increasingly blurred. The Court of Justice strives to interpret and apply the law in a way which contributes to a build-up of a coherent case law and conforms to fundamental rights as closely as possible. The immediate source of the jeopardising act or degree of the incurred effects should not prove decisive. Rather, the horizontal effect of fundamental rights contributes to the primacy, unity and effectiveness of European Union law . This study suggests it is feasible to consider the horizontal effect of fundamental rights as they relate to situations where the legal positions of private parties are transformed in the Hohfeldian sense pursuant to the application of those rights by a court in a legal dispute before it. The incurring legal position depends in turn on the degree of enforceability of the fundamental right norm in question. Because of the semantic and structural openness of fundamental right norms they often necessitate the deduction of a more concrete normative content. This concretization of abstract norms makes adjudicating on the basis of fundamental rights a delicate matter, since it gives great power to the courts. Where this power is extended to the area which typically falls in the sphere of private law, it grows even stronger. Besides powerfully serving to enhance the inner coherence and consistency of Union law and offering feasible solutions to legal problems, the horizontal application of fundamental rights implies a move towards a strengthened constitutional phase of the integration process. Arguments on fundamental rights entail much more than just formal or dogmatic disputes over the scope of application of an act of EU law. They touch on fundamental questions relating to the functioning of the Union and its constitutional nature which pertains to the entire legal order of the EU.
  • Talus, Kim (2010)
    This EU law study focuses on the application of EU competition law to long-term natural gas capacity reservation and commodity contracts, two issues which pose significant challenges for general EU competition law. For the long-term capacity reservation contracts, these complications concern the pre-liberation contracts or legacy contracts as they are often called. The issue is further complicated by the question of the right of first refusal , which is one of the key issues for Russia in the context of the Energy Charter Treaty. For the long-term commodity contracts, this includes the foreclosure effect of these contracts and dependence on external producers with a preference for this type of contract. In essence, both questions present a difficult trade-off between introduction of competition and securing EU energy supply. Security of supply is also significant for this study as the use of long-term commodity agreements is often substantiated through a security of supply argument. Sometimes this argument refers to a link between a contract and a particular investment, sometimes it refers to a more general (positive) security of supply effect. The objective of this study is to examine how EU competition law should be applied to long-term natural gas capacity reservation and commodity contracts. The central argument of this thesis is that long-term contracts, both upstream commodity contracts and the transportation capacity reservation contracts, have a foreclosing effect. Because of the significant legal, economic and political aspects of long-term upstream commodity contracts, the foreclosure should be addressed through restrictions on the use of capacity reservation contracts.