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Germany: Constitutional Court Declines to Hear Complaint Challenging Alternating Schedules in Schools

(Aug. 5, 2020) In an order published on July 15, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainants challenged a COVID-19 regulation limiting in-person classes in schools in Bavaria when a physical distance of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) cannot be maintained. The court further denied the […]

European Union: Court of Justice Invalidates U.S.-EU Privacy Shield

(Aug. 4, 2020) On July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that the Privacy Shield Adequacy Decision of the European Commission on personal data transfer from the European Union (EU) to the United States (U.S.) was invalid because the level of data protection in the U.S. was not essentially […]

Austria: Constitutional Court Clarifies Rules of Procedure Changes during Extraordinary Circumstances

(July 30, 2020) On July 14, 2020, the Austrian Constitutional Court approved changes to its Rules of Procedure, which, among other things, allow for decisions using a written circulation procedure and videoconferencing when extraordinary circumstances are present. The changes clarify a March 2020 amendment to the Constitutional Court Act that was adopted to keep the […]

Germany: State Constitutional Court of Thuringia Declares Act on Gender Parity in Politics Unconstitutional

(July 24, 2020) On July 15, 2020, the German State Constitutional Court of Thuringia (Thüringer Verfassungsgerichtshof, VerfGH) held in a 6–3 ruling that the Seventh Act to Amend the State Election Act of Thuringia (Parity Act) is unconstitutional. The goal of the Parity Act was to counter the current underrepresentation of women in the State […]

Germany: Desecration of EU Symbols Criminalized

(July 6, 2020) On June 24, 2020, an amendment to the German Criminal Code entered into force that makes the desecration of European Union (EU) flags and the EU hymn a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to three years or a fine. In particular, it criminalizes desecrating the EU flag or hymn publicly, in […]

Germany: Berlin Adopts Antidiscrimination Act

(June 30, 2020) On June 21, 2020, a new antidiscrimination act entered into force in the city-state of Berlin, Germany. The act, entitled the State Antidiscrimination Act, prohibits Berlin public authorities, including police and public schools and universities, from engaging in discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnic origin, racial association, religion or belief, disability, […]

European Union: Member States Adopt Technical Specifications to Ensure Interoperability of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

(June 19, 2020) On June 16, 2020, the European Union (EU) member states agreed on a set of detailed technical specifications to ensure the interoperability of national COVID-19 contact tracing apps that use a decentralized approach. Each member state must designate a technical lead who will have operational responsibility for ensuring interoperability. In addition, guidelines […]

Germany: Corona Warning App Launched

(June 18, 2020) On June 16, 2020, the German government launched the “Corona Warning App,” a voluntary mobile phone application to alert persons who have been in proximity to someone infected with COVID-19. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded by 6.5 million people. As of June 15, 2020, 186,461 people had tested positive […]

European Union: Council Adopts Temporary European Instrument “SURE” to Help Protect Jobs amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(June 16, 2020) On May 19, 2020, the Council of the European Union (Council) adopted “SURE,” a regulation establishing a European instrument to provide temporary financial support to mitigate unemployment risks caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under SURE, the European Union (EU) will temporarily provide loans not exceeding 100 billion euros (€) (about US$113.5 billion) […]

European Union: Commission Adopts Second Amendment to Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support Member States’ Economies during COVID-19 Outbreak

(June 3, 2020) On May 8, 2020, the European Commission adopted a second amendment to extend the scope of the Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to include recapitalization measures and subordinated debt. The Temporary Framework was first adopted on March 19, 2020, allowing a variety of state aid measures otherwise incompatible with European Union […]