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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:19 PM   #6641
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
If EU is not entitled to interfere in matters like these, I don't see the purpose of its existence.
My point exactly. If a bunch of unelected bureaucrats is going to tell elected parliaments what the score is, we're better off without it, and stick with free trade and movement only.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:21 PM   #6642
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I don't think the EU is entitled to interfere.
With very limited exception like national security, it is strictly forbidden for any EU member state to discriminate among citizens of the EU based on nationality. If Germany wants to grant an exception to Germans, they must grant the same exception to all citizens of all EU member states. Non-discrimination is one of the most fundamental principles of EU law.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:34 PM   #6643
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My point exactly. If a bunch of unelected bureaucrats
??
I remember voting for European elections.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:45 PM   #6644
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??
I remember voting for European elections.
True. But the commission is not voted by the people. The commissioners are appointed by the member states' governments (appointment has to be confirmed by the EU parliament, though). This is part of the democracy deficit that the EU administration itself even admits.

The EU has intentedly no formal government. This was deliberately refrained from, in order to emphasize that the EU is not a state for itself, but a union of sovereign nations. Hence, it can't have a government, but has a commission instead.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:47 PM   #6645
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
??
I remember voting for European elections.
You have voted for MEP's. They don't set the law on this continent. They only talk about it. Laws are passed through by bureaucrats like Herman van Rompuy, Martin Schultz, Juncker and other federalists.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:50 PM   #6646
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You have voted for MEP's. They don't set the law on this continent. They only talk about it. Laws are passed through by bureaucrats like Herman van Rompuy, Martin Schultz, Juncker and other federalists.
So what? Also in Italy, and in many other countries as well, we don't vote for members of government, just for MEPs.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:53 PM   #6647
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So what? Also in Italy, and in many other countries as well, we don't vote for members of government, just for MEPs.
You mean MP's (Members of Parliament). MEP's are Members of European Parliament. By electing them in national countries, you get to elect a a governing party and a president or a prime minister. It doesn't work like that in Europe.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:55 PM   #6648
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Okay, a totally innocent question or two from a disinterested outsider: what form is "EU law" in - legislation of the European Parliament? Treaties? - and what's the enforcement mechanism if a member state doesn't comply?

EDIT: For that matter, is "EU law" binding on the citizens as individuals or only on the member states? (I mean, I know it would be a member state that sets road tolls in this instance....)
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:01 PM   #6649
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Okay, a totally innocent question or two from a disinterested outsider: what form is "EU law" in - legislation of the European Parliament? Treaties? - and what's the enforcement mechanism if a member state doesn't comply?
Definitively not treaties, because a head of state would never sell out his country, unless it wants this particular country federalised into Europe. But national parliaments would never allow that, as Euro-skeptic MP's do get a say in all European national parliaments. That's the way how people vote. The enforcement is done by the European Commission - who nobody from the general public has voted for - and is usually settled by heavy fines that a member state has to pay.

EU treaties are enforced by heads of State when it comes to mostly international policy only - which is also enforced by the commission.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:10 PM   #6650
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Come on guys, you seriously need to read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_union

Can we go back to German autobahns, please?
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:13 PM   #6651
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I don't understand why this is generating so much discussion. If Germany were ever to actually enact such a law, the European Commission would inform Germany that it violates the TFEU and, if Germany persists, then the European Court of Justice would order Germany to stop. It is not a serious proposal. It is just populist posturing by dishonest politicians who know it can never be implemented if Germany is to remain in the European Union.
The scheme might be populist, does indeed contradict the European spirit and will indirectly cost Germany more that it directly earns. Yet, it doesn't violate the principle of equality. Therefore no court will intervene. Only a political opposition can prevent this toll scheme.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:15 PM   #6652
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Originally Posted by Heico-M View Post
Come on guys, you seriously need to read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_union
It doesn't actually matter to me.... Like soccer. :-P
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #6653
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Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
You have voted for MEP's. They don't set the law on this continent. They only talk about it. Laws are passed through by bureaucrats like Herman van Rompuy, Martin Schultz, Juncker and other federalists.
Once upon a time that was true, but not anymore. Now all EU regulations and directives are enacted only by agreement between the Council and the Parliament.

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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Okay, a totally innocent question or two from a disinterested outsider: what form is "EU law" in - legislation of the European Parliament? Treaties? - and what's the enforcement mechanism if a member state doesn't comply?
Primary EU law is treaty law adopted in accordance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The principle of non-discrimination is primary law. Secondary law, in the form of regulations and directives is adopted by agreement of the Council and Parliament.

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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
For that matter, is "EU law" binding on the citizens as individuals or only on the member states? (I mean, I know it would be a member state that sets road tolls in this instance....)
Primary EU law is binding on both member states and individuals (and businesses). Secondary EU law is binding on individuals (and businesses).
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:27 PM   #6654
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
it doesn't violate the principle of equality. Therefore no court will intervene.
Ultimately, that will be for the European Court of Justice to decide. My professional opinion, as a Professor of Law who sometimes teaches introductory EU law, is that it violates the principle of non-discrimination. The ECJ might decide otherwise, but I would be surprised.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:49 PM   #6655
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Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
You mean MP's (Members of Parliament). MEP's are Members of European Parliament.
Yep, my finger slipped on the E

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By electing them in national countries, you get to elect a a governing party and a president or a prime minister. It doesn't work like that in Europe.
Juncker was nominated President of the European Commission by the European Council, which is made up of heads of state or government of member countries. This nomination has to be ratified by European Parliament.

All these people are elected, one way or another.There is no self-appointed dictator of Europe
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:23 PM   #6656
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I don't understand why this is generating so much discussion. If Germany were ever to actually enact such a law, the European Commission would inform Germany that it violates the TFEU and, if Germany persists, then the European Court of Justice would order Germany to stop. It is not a serious proposal. It is just populist posturing by dishonest politicians who know it can never be implemented if Germany is to remain in the European Union.
Germany doesn't violate here anything. And if you would cry for equal treatment then you would actually need to support any proposal that makes foreigners pay for the usage of German roads because at the moment they don't pay the same as the Germans...

I don't know if you noticed but vignettes are present in multiple EU countries for many years...

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Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
With very limited exception like national security, it is strictly forbidden for any EU member state to discriminate among citizens of the EU based on nationality. If Germany wants to grant an exception to Germans, they must grant the same exception to all citizens of all EU member states. Non-discrimination is one of the most fundamental principles of EU law.
FYI they don't grant any exception to anyone. ibid

Btw, the member states are allowed to discriminate their own citizens...
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:33 PM   #6657
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Okay, a totally innocent question or two from a disinterested outsider: what form is "EU law" in - legislation of the European Parliament? Treaties? - and what's the enforcement mechanism if a member state doesn't comply?

EDIT: For that matter, is "EU law" binding on the citizens as individuals or only on the member states? (I mean, I know it would be a member state that sets road tolls in this instance....)
EU parliament can propose EU law and it should issue a "opinion" on legislation.

The final law maker in the EU is the Council, which is meeting of the EU countries ministers or prime ministers...

Recently the parliament gets some bigger role, but still it is pretty much powerless. It however approves the budget and it can veto some fundamental issues like accessions etc.

The EU law (either treaties and mainly the directives) have to be respected and implemented by the member states. If the member state fails to implement a citizen (or others) can sue the member state at the ECJ (mostly after going through the national courts first). The EU commission can go to the ECJ to force a member state as well. It can also force it in other ways - e.g. subsidies stops etc.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:37 PM   #6658
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Got it. So the question of whether German-tolls-for-foreigners-only are legal would be resolved in the ECJ once someone brought it to them.

Just curious. (Sorry Heico. :-) )
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #6659
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Yep.

It could be a individual going through the whole court system. Individual can also file a complain by the Commission. Or right away the EU Commission that would start a infringement procedure with Germany and perhaps go to the ECJ if Germany would not comply right away.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:43 PM   #6660
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Germany doesn't violate here anything. And if you would cry for equal treatment then you would actually need to support any proposal that makes foreigners pay for the usage of German roads because at the moment they don't pay the same as the Germans...
The principle is not equal treatment. The principle is non-discrimination.

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Originally Posted by Surel View Post
I don't know if you noticed but vignettes are present in multiple EU countries for many years...
There is no discrimination by citizenship in the administration of current vignettes.

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Originally Posted by Surel View Post
FYI they don't grant any exception to anyone.
My understanding of the proposal is that Germans would receive a break equal to the cost of the vignette. No?

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Btw, the member states are allowed to discriminate their own citizens...
What do you mean? Discriminate against their own citizens? In favor of their own citizens? Either way, it is not correct, with limited exceptions, as I noted above. EU member states are generally not permitted to treat their own citizens differently than citizens of other EU member states.
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