In the run up to the adoption of the euro in , we saw strong convergence in real income levels among the original euro area members. Interest rates began to converge even before the common currency was introduced.
As we now know, in some cases, these shifts contributed to excessive borrowing, unsustainable growth levels, and eventually, the euro area crisis. Indeed, several of the countries hit hardest during the global financial and euro area crises saw their income growth fall significantly behind that of their peers. Many countries are only now recovering to pre-crisis levels. So, it has been a complicated journey, full of difficult moments — but in each step, we have learned valuable lessons. Ireland joined the European Communities in , was a founding member of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in , and signed the Maastricht Treaty, which established the euro in Up until the crisis, Ireland thrived in the Economic and Monetary Union.
In real terms, average Irish income per capita more than doubled since signing of the Maastricht treaty. At the same time, growing financial integration between euro area countries following the Maastricht Treaty supported a rapid expansion of credit in some member states. This fueled unsustainable real estate booms in countries such as Ireland and Spain. When boom turned to bust, Irish banks ran into serious trouble and Ireland found itself at the heart of the euro area debt crisis.
After difficult choices and sacrifices by the Irish people, and with support from European partners and the IMF, the Irish economy has rebounded strongly. In this way the Irish experience mirrors the overall experience of the euro area: at age 20, the euro area is more mature — battle scarred yes, but also stronger and ready to move forward.
The euro area is at its best when it is ambitious.
Think of what has been created over the past decade. The European Stability Mechanism and its predecessors worked with the IMF and provided over billion euros in loans to the five countries hit hardest by the crisis , and now with the ESM, credible crisis-fighting resources are at the ready. The European Central Bank was also part of the effort to restore stability.
Time and again, Europe rose to meet the challenges it faced, and in the process undertook key institutional reforms.
For example, the development of the Banking Union, along with the Single Supervisory Mechanism and Single Resolution Mechanism, helped create a more unified banking sector for the entire euro area. More specifically, it requires transparency as to the funds used to support a representative action for specific compensation.
This is in order to enable courts or administrative authorities to assess whether there is a risk of a conflict of interest between the third-party lender and the qualified entity, to avoid the risk of abuse, for example, between competitors.
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This is also to determine whether the third-party lender has sufficient resources to meet its financial commitments to the qualified entity in the event of failure of the action. The type of entities that may be the subject of collective actions is broadly defined as "economic operators," a group that includes "any natural or legal person, whether public or private, acting in a civil capacity and under the rules of civil law, including through another person acting in its name or on its behalf, for purposes relating to its commercial, industrial, craft or liberal activity.
The proposed directive only defines the essential aspects necessary to establish a framework for collective action by consumers, so that member states will have to make a significant effort to reform their procedural rules at the national level in order to implement the provisions of the directive. The institution of a representative action for an injunction, or an order for compensation, shall be subject to a limitation period. This is in relation to the limitation periods provided for by national law for any action for compensation brought by consumers, where such limitation periods exist.
The redress measures aim to grant consumers concerned full compensation for their loss. In the case of an unclaimed amount left from the compensation, a court shall decide on the beneficiary of the remaining unclaimed amount. This unclaimed amount shall not go to the qualified representative entity nor to the trader.
In particular, punitive damages, leading to overcompensation in favor of the claimant party of the damage suffered, shall be prohibited. Under the proposed directive, member states shall ensure that the party that loses a collective redress action reimburses the legal costs borne by the winning party. This is subject to the conditions provided for in national law, or the "loser pays" principle. Member states shall ensure that the representative entities 1 inform consumers about the claimed violation of rights granted under Union law and the intention to seek an injunction or to pursue an action for damages, 2 explain to consumers concerned already on beforehand the possibility to join the action in order to ensure that the relevant documents and other information necessary for the action are kept 3 and where relevant, inform about subsequent steps and the potential legal consequences.
Member states shall ensure that a final decision of a court of one member state, establishing the existence or nonexistence of the infringement for the purposes of any other actions seeking redress before their national courts in another member state against the same trader for the same infringement shall be considered as a rebuttable presumption. Member states are encouraged to create a database containing all final decisions on redress actions that could facilitate other redress measures, and to share their best practices in this field.
The commission shall assess whether cross-border representative actions could be best addressed at the EU level by establishing a European ombudsman for collective redress. Concerns have been expressed about the proposed directive. Most of the guarantees against abusive litigation proposed by the commission in are not applied in the proposed directive. These include the opt-in principle under which members are automatically included in an eligible group or entity if they meet predefined criteria, the loser pays principle and the prohibition of punitive damages.
However, a number of rules in the proposed directive, such as the principle that only eligible entities may sue or the requirements for third-party financing, have been specifically incorporated to make this mechanism less subject to abuse. In its report of Jan. The opinions expressed are those of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
Click here to login. Get instant access to the one-stop news source for business lawyers Register Now! Sign up now for free access to this content Enter your details below and select your area s of interest to stay ahead of the curve and receive Law's daily newsletters. The article collection builds on recent efforts towards the conceptualisation and framing of science diplomacy in a variety of interdisciplinary research projects as well as in the policy discourse.
Discussions in the paper submissions can focus on actor constellations, science-policy interfaces, governance arrangements, historical analyses, national and supranational approaches to science diplomacy, to name only a few.
Baseline analysis and needs assessment.