• ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’: EU legal developments in 2016

      Cotter, John; University of Wolverhampton Law School (University Association for Contemporary European Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2017-06-06)
      For reasons not requiring much exposition, 2016 was an annus horribilis for the EU. A review of the EU judiciary’s 2016 activity reveals that the constituent courts of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), the Court of Justice and the General Court, do not have the luxury of existing above the tumult in splendid isolation. In a year in which old and new problems for the EU dominated the headlines, these challenges found shape in justiciable controversies. In total, the Court of Justice and the General Court delivered 844 judgments in 2016, with the Grand Chamber, the Court of Justice’s upper tier, responsible for 42 judgments, representing a reduction in the number of judgments compared to previous years.1 The growth in the CJEU’s personnel continued, with an 11th Advocate-General, Evgeni Tanchev (a Bulgarian), taking his place on the Court of Justice, and 22 General Court Judges appointed throughout the year, bringing the total number at the General Court to 44.2 2016 also saw the abolition of the Civil Service Tribunal, a specialized court that had adjudicated disputes between the EU and its civil servants: its competences have been returned to the General Court.3 This contribution seeks to analyze the year’s most significant judgments in terms of their impact on European integration, with a particular focus on the approaches adopted by the EU judiciary in response to challenges facing the EU. In accordance with convention, this contribution concentrates on the work of the Grand Chamber. In order to ensure continuity with previous years, this contribution confines itself to three subject areas. Section I provides a brief overview of the Grand Chamber’s activity in the area of eurozone crisis management, before providing a more in-depth analysis of its judgment in Ledra Advertising.4 Section II examines developments in EU data protection law, particularly the ruling in Tele2 Sverige.5 Section III discusses the Court’s development of EU citizenship rights in 2016.