To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The scandal involving the Volkswagen group broke out last Fall, at the dawn of the very delicate UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris, and the posting of an unofficial version of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This so, just when a leaked version Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) ran through the veins of the Internet and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was just about to be signed in New Zealand, fostering market integration by pushing further national treatment and mutual recognition, against the backdrop -albeit one small step at a time- of an increasing demand for environmental protection through the setting, among other regulation tools, of emission thresholds.
On 1May 2016,GreenpeaceNetherlands released 248 pages of TTIP negotiating texts stemming from previous negotiating rounds. Although it is not the first (and will not be the last) leak since the inception of the negotiation in 2013, this is the first to reveal the US negotiating position regarding 13 out of the 24 TTIP chapters.
As such, the TTIP leaks provide an unprecedented opportunity to not only analyse the contrasting positions of the EU and US on several issues in the ongoing negotiations, but also to test the veracity of the competing narratives devised by opponents and proponents of the agreement. To what extent do their respective storylines find support in the actual texts?
Supporters of TTIP have proposed fact-checking as an antidote against them is information around TTIP. Yet, having been predominantly advocated and provided for by the EU Commission rather than by the media, institutional fact-checking failed to counter the massive misinformation characterizing the public and political discourse surrounding the negotiations. Unfortunately, when it comes to public perception, the line between pedagogy and propaganda is fuzzy.
“[M]any observers agree that the Commission has been ‘leaking like a sieve’”.
Leaks have become a major element of European Union politics. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) leak in early May 2016 is neither the first of its kind nor will it be the last. Transparency by leaks – or “transleakancy” as the series of publications of confidential TTIP negotiation documents has already been coined – is one element of the political game that different interest groups, governmental and non–governmental, play on both sides of the Atlantic. And yet, leaked EU documents have been shared in wider policy-networks all along, independent of whether they have received media attention or not. The difference is that leaks similar to those that we see on TTIP have reached a new level of importance. Here, themere fact of their existence makes them newsworthy. The impact of these leaks on public debates is seen as amajor risk for negotiators.
Special Issue on the Risks and Opportunities of the Sharing Economy
Given that cars have become icons for flexibility, individuality, and freedom, it comes as no surprise that the passenger car fleet in almost all of the EU Member States is constantly growing. In 2010 there were about 239 million heavy-duty vehicles and 35 million light-duty vehicles in the then 27 Member States, more than a quarter of the cars and trucks on the road worldwide. It is expected that this number will grow by 31%by 2030. Not only has the number of vehicles grown constantly over recent decades, but the distance travelled by each has increased as well. Cars, and the industries producing them, do however have significant impacts on the environment ranging from smog to climate change.
Like some other crises and scandals that periodically occur in the business community, the Volkswagen (“VW”) scandal once again highlights the devastating consequences of corporate misconduct, once publicly disclosed, and the media storm that generally follows the discovery of such significant misbehaviour by a major corporation. Since the crisis broke in September 2015, the media have relayed endless details about the substantial negative impacts on VW, on various stakeholder groups such as employees, directors, investors, suppliers and consumers, and on the automobile industry as a whole.1 The multiple and negative repercussions at the economic, organizational and legal levels have quickly become apparent, in particular in the form of resignations, changes in VW's senior management, layoffs, a hiring freeze, the end to the marketing of diesel-engined vehicles, vehicle recalls, a decline in car sales, a drop in market capitalization, and the launching of internal investigations by VW and external investigations by the public authorities.
“When EU Heads of States and Governments unanimously gave the European Commission a mandate to negotiate the EU–US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on 17 June 2013, they understood that these talks would become the leitmotiv of a new era in EU trade policy. However, few people would have guessed that it would primarily be because of transparency.”
The public demands for more transparent EU negotiations have significantly increased, especially with regard to the EU–US negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. For many pundits transparency in negotiations comes as a surprise, as the candid statement by the Commissioner's Malmström cabinet member illustrates, since traditionally EU negotiations almost exclusively take place behind closed doors and with almost no public disclosure of documents. Scholars have also noted how ‘remarkable’ the TTIP negotiations are for the fact that the negotiating directives were publically released, which was not a common practice before, leading someMembers of European Parliament to initiate adjudication for public disclosure of documents.
Special Issue on Regulating New and Emerging Technologies
Technological innovations are crucial drivers of economic, social, and environmental progress. While innovations lead the evolution of our societies and permeate all domains of human life, they also pose significant risks both to humans and the environment. Law and regulation are expected to enable innovation, while at the same time protecting society from unintended consequences. However, assessing new technological risks confronts deep uncertainty and limited knowledge. In contrast to simple risks (e.g. car accidents), technological risks (such as risks stemming from new health technologies, nanotechnology, biotechnology, or robotics as discussed in this special issue) cannot be calculated according to traditional technocratic models, namely as a statistically foreseeable function of probability and effects. It is widely recognised that regulating new and emerging technologies is challenging for law due to problems of uncertainty and limited knowledge in the assessment and management of technological risks. To address this challenge it is crucial to study the ways in which law and regulation can successfully respond and adapt to technological progress.
Special Issue on the Risks and Opportunities of the Sharing Economy
The “sharing economy” represents a growing challenge to regulatory policy. In this article, I argue that these debates about the sharing economy are better understood as a broader normative and policy problem of updating our regulatory tools for the new dynamics of 21st century capitalism. The new “on-demand” economy reflects more widespread trends in the structure of business organization, driven by new developments in finance and technology. I argue that we should analyze these changes through the normative lens of the balance of economic power: what is especially troubling about the on-demand economy is the way in which it outstrips the modes of accountability and countervailing power enabled by 20th century labor, safety net, and economic regulations. The article then suggests key frontiers for regulatory innovation, in particular: (1) expanding regulatory oversight of concentrated market and economic power among on-demand platforms; (2) expanding the relative power of workers to counteract the concentrated power of platforms in the on-demand economy (for example by expanding safety net protections and the ability to organize collectively); and (3) by reinventing systems of collective urban planning processes in the face of the on-demand economy. All three of these focus areas for regulation would entail a variety of specific interventions, but share a common premise of rebalancing economic power in this new economy. The payoffs of these shifts would be more than an expansion of welfare or efficiency, but rather the creation of a policy regime that enables a richer form of economic freedom that achieves more genuine economic independence from domination of various kinds.
The sharing economy phenomenon is expected to expand and grow steadily in the coming years. Yet, this sector lacks solid regulation, which raises concerns about its potential risks. However, users continue to engage in sharing economy practices, as opportunities appear to outweigh the perceived risks. This article argues that it is important to look beyond regulatory frameworks, and unravel the social embeddedness of sharing practices in order to provide complementary approaches to risk analysis. In particular, the focus of this article will be placed on the opportunities for building and deploying social capital in the sharing economy and its fundamental role in the development of new sharing economy practices.
So the damage is done: both emperors go naked, and this at a particularly sensitive stage of the negotiations. Worse, the hegemons sit on an applecart already so full that only a “TTIP light” seems to save it from toppling, albeit at a price of losing its most precious apple: regulatory coherence, no wand forever!
But wait! We may already have given up hope for transatlantic agreements on financial cooperation and data protection. Hormone beef and biotech seeds, if not feed, also look rather far away from good and risk–free regulatory solutions. And carmakers in Asia and South America may have chuckled with relief when the efforts of US and EU manufacturers of automobiles failed to define a fully harmonised, standardised and mutually recognised “TTIP Car” – after which they would have had little if any leeway for their own motors, emission limits, windscreens and safety standards.
This is where the leaks may have opened a welcome window of opportunity for third countries, blinded as they apparently all are by the prospects of trade liberalisation racing ahead with megaregional steps too big for them to buy in with any hope for negotiating power.
In several ways, the revelations that Volkswagen used software to cheat on vehicle emissions tests echo common threads of greenwashing cases against car manufacturers. However, in one significant respect, the Volkswagen scandal is much more than just another example of greenwashing. That is, the German automaker's use of software to deceive brings a novel technological aspect to greenwashing. This article discusses the Volkswagen scandal in the context of automobile greenwashing cases and highlights this newhigh-tech greenwashing.
Special Issue on Regulating New and Emerging Technologies
The dialectic between the technically (or scientifically) possible and the legally possible, which is implied in decision-making in conditions of uncertainty, raises crucial issues from a constitutional perspective. In particular, the emergence of a new factor of legitimacy – which could be envisaged as a form of “scientific legitimacy” – can be detected and needs to be integrated within the constitutional discourse.
Through an overview of the case law of the Italian Constitutional court, the paper aims at highlighting the possible approaches to the need of a deeper integration of technical and scientific knowledge within the public decision-making processes, in an attempt to strike a balance capable of avoiding the two extremes of scientifically weak decisions on one hand, and of “technical deference” to experts on the other.