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Showing posts from 2022

Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation on horizontal cybersecurity requirements for products with digital elements and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/1020

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The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published its  Opinion on a proposed Regulation laying down cybersecurity requirements for products with digital elements .  Concretely, the proposed Regulation aims to set out EU-wide cybersecurity requirements for a broad range of hardware and software products and their remote data processing solutions. These include, for example, browsers, operating systems, firewalls, network management systems, smart meters or routers. Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said:  “The cybersecurity of products with digital elements is of utmost importance to protect effectively individuals’ fundamental rights in the digital age, including their rights to privacy and data protection. Harmonised cybersecurity requirements across the EU should reduce the risks for Europeans of being victims of cyber-attacks and of the vast consequences that these may entail, such as the theft and misuse of their personal data.” In its Opinion, the EDPS reiterates that under

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of eTraveli by Booking

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The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition by Booking Holdings (‘Booking') of Flugo Group Holdings AB, that operates under the trading name ‘eTraveli'.  The Commission is concerned that the proposed acquisition would allow Booking to strengthen its position on the market for accommodation online travel agencies (OTAs). Booking and eTraveli are both active in the provision of OTA services, respectively focusing on accommodation OTA and flight OTA services. Booking is also active in the market of metasearch services (MSS) mainly through its price comparison platform KAYAK. The Commission's preliminary investigation indicates that Booking may have a dominant position on the market for the provision of accommodation OTA services and that the transaction may significantly reduce competition in this market by combining eTraveli's activities in flight OTA services with Booking's own s

Legal battle between mother and aunt on adoption of an adult child: Request for an advisory opinion by ECtHR

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The European Court of Human Rights has accepted a request for an advisory opinion under Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights received from the Supreme Court of Finland on 10 October 2022.  In its request, the Supreme Court of Finland has asked the European Court of Human Rights to provide an advisory opinion on the procedural rights of a biological mother in proceedings concerning the adoption of her adult child.  The request will be dealt with by the Grand Chamber, comprising 17 judges, which will be constituted in accordance with Rule 24 § 2 (g) of the Rules of Court. The President of the Grand Chamber has also established a time frame for submissions from the parties to the domestic proceedings or any other interested party. Protocol No. 16 enables member States’ highest national courts and tribunals to ask the Court to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Europe

The partim occupation of business’ premises in strike through the lens of a recent judgment of the German Federal Labour Court

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By Evlampia Tsolaki, Lawyer* I. Τhe concept of strike  Irrespective of the regulations composing a national legal order’s framework of industrial relations, in western world at their center of gravity is posed the right to strike as it constitutes the highest manifestation of employees’ organized struggle directed to the assertion of their rights’ enhancement concerning their employment and in general financial conditions. By this means, in practical terms, the individual power of employees is channeled and pooled in the competent trade unions in order to collectively attain a better level of terms for their job positions through the united race against the employers’ omnipotence. In this vein, strike is popularly conceptualized in a lato sensu, namely more loose, meaning, in other words as it is commonly understood by a layman’s perception.  In strictly legal terms, strike is called [1]  the partial or total abstention of employees from the provision of the services owned to their emp

Facial recognition: 20 million euros penalty against Clearview AI

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Following a formal notice which remained unaddressed, the CNIL imposed a penalty of 20 million euros and ordered Clearview AI to stop collecting and using data on individuals in France without a legal basis and to delete the data already collected. As of May 2020, the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, CNIL received complaints from individuals about Clearview AI's facial recognition software and opened an investigation. In May 2021, the association Privacy International also warned the CNIL about this practice. On 26 November 2021, the Chair of the CNIL decided to give Clearview AI formal notice to cease the collection and use of data of persons on French territory in the absence of a legal basis to to facilitate the exercise of individuals' rights and to comply with their requests for erasure.  Clearview AI had two months to comply with the injunctions formulated in the formal notice and to justify them to the CNIL. However, it did not provide any re

The internal rule of an undertaking prohibiting the visible wearing of religious, philosophical or spiritual signs does not constitute direct discrimination if it is applied to all workers in a general and undifferentiated way (ECJ)

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According to ECJ''s Judgment in Case C-344/20 (13.10.2022), the internal rule of an undertaking prohibiting the visible wearing of religious, philosophical or spiritual signs does not constitute direct discrimination if it is applied to all workers in a general and undifferentiated way.  According to the Court of Justice, religion and belief must be regarded as a single ground of discrimination, otherwise the general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation provided for by EU law, in particular by Directive 2000/78, will be undermined. A dispute has been ongoing since 2018 between L.F., a woman of the Muslim faith who wears the Islamic headscarf, and SCRL, a company which manages social housing. The dispute concerns a failure to take into consideration L.F.’s unsolicited application for an internship on the ground that, during an interview, L.F. indicated that she would refuse to remove her headscarf in order to comply with the policy of neutrality promoted wi

Conviction of Germany by the ECtHR for discrimination - Police check carried out on a dark-skinned train passenger

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The European Court of Human Rights held that there has been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention in the case Basu v. Germany (no. 215/19). The applicant, Biplab Basu, is a German national who was born in 1955 and lives in Berlin. The case concerns Mr Basu’s allegation that the police carried out an identity check on him only because of his skin colour. He was travelling on a train which had just passed the border from the Czech Republic in 2012, with his daughter. Basu is a German national of Indian origin. When asked, the police told him that it was a random check. Basu unsuccessfully brought an action in the courts, arguing that he and his daughter were singled out as they were the only passengers with dark skin colour in the train carriage. Relying on Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for privat

New Vacancy: Legal and Procurement Officer in the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)

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The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) is an operational EU Agency that provides safe and secure European satellite navigation services, promotes the commercialization of Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus data and services. It also coordinates the EU’s forthcoming governmental satellite communications programme GOVSATCOM. EUSPA is also responsible for the security accreditation of all the Components of the EU Space Programme. For more information on the EUSPA and the EU Space Programme, click  here . The Legal and Procurement Department steers the legal dimension and ensures the overall follow-up of all EUSPA legal activities, and provides legal advice on all EUSPA policies. The department assists all other departments in contract preparation, negotiation and interpretation and manages all procurements, contracts, grants and other agreements. It also oversees the protection of personal data and ensures compliance with relevant legislation. The current vacancy is for

Gigantic fine for unfair practices imposed on Booking.com by the Competition Authority of Hungary

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One of the highest fines for violation of unfair competition law has been imposed (28/4/2020) on online hotel booking platform ‘’Booking.com’’ by the Hungarian Competition Authority. The amount of the fine (approximately EUR 6 million / HUF 2.5 billion) imposed by the Authority illustrates the seriousness of the Dutch company's violations. The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 2.5 billion on the operator of the online booking portal booking.com, and at the same time banned the Dutch company from continuing its aggressive sales methods. According to the decision of the competition authority, Booking.com B.V. engaged in unfair commercial practices against consumers by, among other things, misleadingly advertising some of its accommodations with a free cancellation option and exerting undue psychological pressure on consumers to make early bookings. As a result of the Competition Authority’s competition supervision proceeding  initiated in 2018, the autho

Anti-discrimination Directive on the occasion of the ECJ’s judgment of 10th February 2022*

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By Evlampia Tsolaki, Attorney at Law I. The generic frame of EU law The openness of a work market is a precondition for its smooth operation since in this way it attracts and pools the most creative part of the human resources available. To this end, the radical combat against any kind of discriminations that are structurally embodied into the mentality of recruitment’ s actors has been of outmost importance and has taken place by the EU legislator at an early stage as a basic means of safeguarding a satisfactory level of social policy with the ultimate purpose to prevent distortions of competition within the EU single market. In this line of rational, EU first “declared the war” against the unjustifiably unfavourable treatment towards women employed who have been unpalatably underpaid in comparison with their male colleagues. That practice had become a perpetual plague that steadily had shadowed their work, condemning them to remain sheer executive tools at the work place without an

Implementation of the European Court's judgments: New decisions adopted by the Committee of Ministers

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The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has published the  case-by-case decisions  taken during the Committee’s meeting from 20 to 22 September 2022 to supervise the implementation of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights. The Committee of Ministers adopted 31 decisions concerning 19 member states during the meeting, including Interim Resolutions in the  Mammadli v. Azerbaijan  group of cases and the  Georgia v. Russia (I)  case. 72 Final Resolutions were adopted by the Committee in respect of 137 judgments and decisions from the European Court, concerning 28 different member states. The Committee also adopted an  indicative list of cases   to be examined during its next dedicated meeting on the execution of judgments, which will take place from 6 to 8 December 2022. Under Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights, judgments from the European Court of Human Rights are binding on the states concerned. The Committee of Ministers overse

(Senior) Human Resources Lawyer at European Investment Bank

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The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's bank, is seeking to recruit for its Personnel Directorate (PERS), HR Strategy and Governance Department (HRS&G), Employee Relations & Wellbeing Division (ER&W), HR Statutory Affairs and Advisory Unit (SAA) at its headquarters in Luxembourg, a (Senior) Human Resources Lawyer. This is a full time position at grade 5/6. The term of this contract will be 4 years. The Employee Relations & Wellbeing Division brings together the legal expertise within the Personnel Directorate and serves as the key interface with the Legal Directorate on legal matters. The Division also provides expert advice on services and solutions for effective conflict prevention and management, developing and applying policies and handling conflict-resolution informal and formal procedures. It contributes to the social dialogue in the Bank by coordinating and supporting the implementation and update of the framework for social dialogue. As

Record GDPR fine of €405 million for Instagram

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Following the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) binding dispute resolution decision of July 28th, the Irish Data Protection Authority (DPA) has adopted its decision regarding Instagram (Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (Meta IE)) and has issued a record GDPR fine of €405 million. The LSA’s final decision follows an own-volition inquiry into Instagram’s public disclosure of email addresses and/or phone numbers of children using the Instagram business account feature and a public-by-default setting for personal Instagram accounts of children, during the period falling within the temporal scope of the inquiry. A practice which has since ended as a consequence of the LSA’s inquiry. EDPB Chair Andrea Jelinek said: “This is a historic decision. Not just because of the height of the fine - this is the second highest fine since the entry into application of the GDPR - it is also the first EU-wide decision on children’s data protection rights. With this binding decision, the EDPB makes it e

The horizontal effect of Directives

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By Evlampia Tsolaki, Attorney at Law EU law constitutes a sui generis legal order, namely an environment with distinguishable characteristics in comparison with the traditional patterns of lawful action that have been established on the basis of standard public international law.   Its special nature derives from a pivotal general principle that has been conceived and articulated by the leading judicial body of EU, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter ECJ), which has been followed in an absolute way, meaning with no exceptions being accepted, and states that EU incarnates a prototypical legal order. Namely, it is a public international legal formation with no precedence universally for it does not go with the flow of the rules long and deeply rooted in the arena of the states’ international relations, but it does make itsown rules. An essential parameter of the aforementioned innovative rules refers to the legal instruments having been designed and used for the support of the EU

National authorities may, in response to individual complaints, compel an airline to pay compensation to passengers (CJEU)

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According to recent Judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case C-597/20 /LOT (29.9.2022) the national authority responsible for the enforcement of the Air Passengers Rights Regulation may, in response to individual complaints, compel a carrier to pay compensation to passengers. That is the case provided that the Member State concerned has granted that body a power to that effect. Following a delay of more than three hours of their flight from New York to Budapest, a number of passengers brought the matter before the Hungarian authority responsible for the enforcement of the Air Passengers Right Regulation asking it to order LOT, the air carrier concerned, to pay them the compensation provided for in that regulation. Indeed, that authority found that the regulation had been infringed and ordered LOT to pay compensation in the amount of EUR 600 to each passenger concerned.  Taking the view that the authority in question did not have the power to order the payment of such compensat

Gender gap in the legal profession: IBA's Women Lawyers' Committee: Mentorship Toolkit

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The International Bar Association (IBA) has launched the  Women Lawyers' Committee: Mentorship Toolkit  (the Toolkit) with the aim of empowering female legal professionals and addressing the gender representation gap at senior levels.  With global organisations revealing the business case to address gender disparity, the Toolkit is launched into an environment where there has been an increased focus and shift in perspective on gender equality. Closing the gap is now recognised not just as ‘the right thing to do’, but also ‘the smart thing to do’. Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that gender disparity in world societies and labour markets has a US$12tn impact on the global economy. This is equivalent to 16 per cent of global gross domestic product. Furthermore, media reports have revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a greater negative impact on working women than men; women have disproportionately lost jobs and faced a redu