1. Introduction

In recent years, while approaching Christmas, controversies about secularism were raised in some European countries. In Belgium, for example, the Nativity scene was removed from the Holsbeek Town hall (a small town near Brussels) under the pressure of lay activists in 2016. In 2017, some schools decided to remove the cross on the mitre of Saint Nicholas who is celebrated on December 6 as patron saint of schoolchildren. In France, where secularism is embedded in the Constitution, the debate was even deeper and the question of whether Nativity scenes should be prohibited in public spaces was brought to the courts. The two decisions issued by the French Council of State on November 9, 2016 did not close the debate but have been crucial in the determination of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ Nativity scenes.

1. Introduction

The European Union (hereinafter: the EU) maintains and develops an area of freedom, security and justice. According to Article 82 of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union, judicial cooperation in criminal matters is to be based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions. Among EU countries, Directive 2014/42/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union and Council Framework Decision 2008/978/JHA of 18 December 2008 on the European evidence warrant for the purpose of obtaining objects, documents, and data for use in proceedings in criminal matters and multilateral or bilateral treaties have so far been adopted.

1. Introduction

“Martial law does not mean declaring war to Russia. It is going to be introduced for defence purposes.” – Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko declared on 26 November 2018 in the National Security and Defence Council in Ukraine (BBC News, 2018). The proposition was to be submitted to the Ukrainian Parliament on the same day for discussion and voting, which would prove to be implemented successfully. Such a declaration and measure may seem, at first glance, relatively extreme, controversial or unprecedented, considering past situations when it was applied. The present article analyses the ongoing conflict – be it direct or sometimes indirect – between a world power, the Russian Federation, and an ex-communist state, Ukraine.

Recently, one of the most debated topics in the European Union space is the incidence of abusive clauses in conventions ended between financial institutions and regular consumers, as an expression of business-to-consumer commercial practice. From a scientific point of view, this subject is a ramification of fields of law such as consumer law, banking law, obligations, and European law. From a social perspective, more concretely, the unfair terms are seen as a disastrous impediment that blocks the possibility assumed by one party in performing the initial obligations included in a contract.

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