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uni'wissen 01-2012_ENG

in their dealings with the EU administration and investigates complaints concerning abuses. Schneider and his colleagues reported on the state of their previous work at the conference. The European Parliament stands behind the project, and the President of the European Court of Justice also supports the researchers’ posi­ tions. ReNEUAL was even mentioned in one of the parliament’s recent resolutions. The Council of the EU, on the other hand, which represents the member states, remains skeptical. It fears that the network could infringe on the sovereignty of the national states. This fear is unfounded, says Schneider: “We want to simplify adminis­ trative law on the European level, not infringe on national law or undermine the influence of the states. On the contrary, we want to make their work easier.” The Lawmakers Decide on the Recommendations Opinions are mixed at the European Commis­ sion, the EU body corresponding to the government of a nation state. Among other things, the com­ mission is responsible for proposing legislation and ensuring that the member states adhere to European law. The European Commission is ­following the work of the network with great in­ terest but is not yet entirely convinced, because the planned changes would interfere greatly with their way of doing things. The commission is ­divided into various directorates-general that are responsible for individual sectors of the economy and their specific rules. Across-the-board regu­ lations would thus completely change the balance of power in the organization. However, even within their ranks there are supporters. Commissioner for Justice Dr. Viviane Reding, for instance, charac­ terized “the consolidation of European adminis­ trative law as one of the most important tasks of European legal science” during a meeting of the European Law Institute. Further Reading Schneider, J.-P./Lipowicz, I. (Hrsg.) (2011): Perspektiven des deutschen, polnischen und europäischen Informationsrechts. Ergebnisse einer deutsch-polnischen Alexander von Humboldt-Institutspartnerschaft. Osnabrück. (= Schriften zum Europäischen und Interna­ tionalen Recht 18). Ziller, J. (2011): Alternatives in drafting an EU administrative procedure law. (A link to the document may be found at Schneider, J.-P./Caballero, F. V. (Hrsg.) (2009): Strukturen des Europäischen Verwal­ tungsverbunds. Ergebnisse einer deutsch- spanischen Forschungsgruppe. Berlin. (= Die Verwaltung, Beiheft 8). In the end, whether and how the recommen­ dations are implemented is the decision of the European lawmakers. But even if the harmoni­ zation of the sectors fails, the first version of the ReNEUAL recommendations, set to be completed in 2014, can serve as a point of reference for new regulations. The concept is also helpful as a Europe-wide code of practice for teachers or stu­ dents of law, and even the national states might be able to learn something from it: “Information administration is an area in which the EU is a step ahead of Germany. In the EU one some­ times stumbles upon things that one never would have thought about as a national lawmaker.” The administrative law of the European Union is confusing because there are different rules for each sector. For example, in addition to a general product safety code regulating things like toys, there are also special codes intended specifically for the safety of food and drugs. Photos: xiangdong Li, babimu, by-studio (all Fotolia) Prof. Dr. Jens-Peter Schneider studied law and economics in Marburg and Freiburg from 1983 to 1988 and earned his doctorate in Freiburg in 1990. He then completed three years of practical legal training in Hamburg, San Francisco, and Bonn. In 1999 he com- pleted his habilitation in Hamburg and received his professorial lecturing quali- fication in constitutional, ­administrative, and European law as well as in adminis- trative sciences. In 2000 he was appointed to a chair at the University of Osnabrück. Since 2010 he has served as professor of public law and director of the Depart- ment of Public Law and ­European Information and Infrastructural Law at the Institute of Media and Infor- mation Law of the University of Freiburg. He is an ­honorary fellow of the Jean ­Monnet Centre of ­Excellence in European Studies at the University of Osnabrück and an leading member of the research ­network ReNEUAL. 38