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MARIO BARBANO, Corporate groups receiving aid from more than one Member State: first thoughts on the General Court KLM II ruling (T-146/22)

ABSTRACT – In the KLM II ruling, the EU General Court addresses the issue of corporate groups that, by virtue of their ‘pan-European’ dimension, received aid from several Member States during the COVID-19 emergency (7 February 2024, Case T-146/22). After setting the relevant factual scenario, this paper comments on the Court’s reasoning on the locus standi of the competitor, the application of the ‘single economic unit’ criterion and the distinction between indirect advantage and secondary economic effects of the aid. Drawing comparisons with the extensive case-law on COVID-related aid (the so-called Ryanair cases), some possible repercussions on State aid law enforcement are discussed, especially in light of the principle of sincere cooperation on which the Court established an obligation for Member States to coordinate measures addressed to the same group of companies.

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MICHELE VELLANO – LORENZO GROSSIO, Towards a solution to the territorial dispute between Italy and France over the Mont Blanc peak: the dual contribution of EU law

ABSTRACT – The contribution analyses the potential relevance of EU law for settling territorial disputes between Member States, with particular regard to the one between Italy and France concerning territorial sovereignty over the summit of Mont Blanc. The analysis shows that the recent ruling of the Court of Justice in Slovenia v Croatia does not preclude the possibility of EU law providing key instruments for the resolution of disputes such as the one concerning the Mont Blanc summit. On the one hand, the authors aim to show that this dispute meets the requirements for the applicability of Article 273 TFEU, which allows Italy and France to refer the dispute to the Court of Justice. On the other hand, other EU law instruments – such as the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation and the potential attribution of the European Heritage Label – could strengthen the cooperation between the Member States involved in the management of the territory at stake, as well as enhance its European identity. These solutions would have the merit of avoiding new unilateral initiatives on the part of France and Italy and, above all, of overcoming the territorial dispute through the recognition of the Mont Blanc summit as a transnational European site.

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MIRIANA LANOTTE, Conflicts between the Courts on allowance in lieu of leave not taken in the public sector: BU v Comune di Copertino

ABSTRACT – The aim of this article is twofold: first, to present the conclusions of the AG and the legal reasoning underlying the judgment BU v Comune di Copertino. The second aim is to offer some reflections on the context of the judgment and the ‘conflict’ between the Court of Justice and the Constitutional Court that it has generated. It is suggested that the divergence of the Courts’ orientations is at the root of a broader issue that needs to be re-examined and that the Court of Justice should take due account of the balance between the effective recognition of social rights and respect for budgetary constraints.

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MARTINA MINARDI, The recognition of refugee status for women victims of gender-based violence in the light of the Istanbul Convention: a commentary on the WS judgment (C-621/21)

ABSTRACT – In the WS judgment, delivered on 16 January 2024, the Court of justice of the European Union referred to the Istanbul Convention for the first time, clarifying the conditions for granting refugee status to women victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence. Recognizing the Istanbul Convention as a “Relevant Treaty” within the meaning of Article 78, para. 1 TFEU, the Court has provided an interpretation of Directive 2011/95 in accordance with this convention, notwithstanding Bulgaria – the Member State of the referral’s jurisdiction – has not ratified it. This contribution aims to elucidate how the Istanbul Convention produces certain legal effects in the EU legal order as well as in the legal system of the Member States, even in the absence of ratification by the latter .

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MARCO FISICARO, The Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa judgment and the different faces of judicial independence in EU law

ABSTRACT – For the first time, in the judgment Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa (Maintien en fonctions d’un juge), the Court of Justice has declared inadmissible a request for a preliminary ruling made by the Polish Supreme Court due to irregularities in the appointment procedure of the members of the panel adjudicating in the national proceeding. The case raises once again the delicate issue of defining the relations between the independence criterion as part of the notion of ‘court or tribunal’ under article 267 TFUE and the Court’s case law on the principle of judicial independence based on articles 19 TEU and 47 of the Charter. This comment critically analyses the partial overlap between the different strands of the Court’s case law on judicial independence, which lies at the basis of the judgment Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa, in light of the different functions performed by the independence requirement under articles 267 TFEU, 19 TEU and 47 of the Charter.

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