Lunchtime talk with Mr Ralf Jansen
On 28 September 2016, Ralf Jansen, General Counsel and Member of the Management Board of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), gave an introduction to the ESM and its work. He outlined the development from EFSF to ESM and explained the structure and functioning of this inter-governmental institution as a permanent crisis resolution mechanism in the euro area. His talk was followed by an insightful discussion.
President Carl Baudenbacher in Oslo
On 26 September 2016 President Baudenbacher spoke on "Current Trends in the EFTA Court's case law" at the Norwegian Bar Association. During his speech, President Baudenbacher said that the homogeneity objective which lies beneath the EEA Agreement is not a concept which can be viewed at a particular snapshot in time, but must be seen in the medium to long term. Homogeneity is also not a one way street; the ECJ, its Advocates General and the General Court have based themselves on EFTA Court jurisprudence in over 150 cases. As regards reciprocity, the President emphasised that citizens and economic operators must have equal access to the European courts in both EFTA pillars. In this context he noted that the Supreme Courts in all the three EEA/EFTA States have sent important cases to the EFTA Court in the recent past. As regards the Høyesterett, he referred to the Holship and Ski Taxi cases. Baudenbacher also stated that the struggles over the legal nature of EEA law, its effect in the domestic legal orders of the EEA/EFTA States and the scope of the EEA Agreement are basically settled. The big challenge for the Court follows from the fact that it must be able to tackle difficult questions of substantive EEA Single Market law with limited resources, "the beef", as Carl Baudenbacher called it. Examples are cases concerning the fundamental freedoms, competition and State aid law, contract law, financial markets law, banking and insurance law, intellectual property law, or internet law.
On 27 September 2016, President Baudenbacher was received by the leadership of the largest Norwegian labour union, Landsorganisasjonen i Norge (“LO”). LO President Gerd Kristiansen chaired the discussion which focused on questions of collective labour law under the EEA Agreement. Baudenbacher was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Doris Baudenbacher-Tandler, and his Head of Cabinet, Michael-James Clifton, Barrister.