rss_2.0TalTech Journal of European Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for TalTech Journal of European Studies Journal of European Studies 's Cover Kremlin’s Information Influence Campaigns in Estonia and Estonian Response in the Context of Russian-Western Relations<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Russian Federation has developed a large number of instruments to put pressure on the West using non-conventional means such as cyber attacks, economic tools and information warfare. Using modern IT technologies in its hybrid activities, Russia, much like China or other authoritarian powers, is trying to challenge the current world order. These instruments are particularly evident in the Baltic States. This article uses Estonia as a case study to inquire into the political goals and strategic conduct of Russia. Specifically, the focus is on the political context, instruments of information war, and available countermeasures. As argued in the current study, the shift from European to Eurasian power, Russia’s careful management and success in avoiding crossing the “red lines” of its adversaries, as well as in exploiting the socioeconomic weaknesses and openness of the West, all play a relevant role in understanding the political context. As for instruments, Russia has developed strategic narratives and conspiracy theories, plus several channels next to media channels, and policy tools such as <italic>Pax Russica</italic> and the compatriot policy. These are deployed in its neighborhood and aimed at unintegrated segments of the Russophone populations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Digital Integrity: A Foundation for Digital Rights and the New Manifestation of Human Dignity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article is devoted to the research of the problematic aspects and modern challenges of data protection in the digital age from the perspective of the digital integrity of the person. We believe that personal data cannot be effectively protected as components of digital integrity of the person in the context of regulation of a separate right to personal data protection, which, in its turn, acts more as a tool of market regulation rather than a classical fundamental right. We argue that the consideration of digital integrity as a new foundation for digital rights and as a new manifestation of the restrictive concept of human dignity may help increase the level of effective protection of the person in the digital sphere as well as properly cover the existing gaps in the protection of the digital rights of the person.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Neutrality and Equality Aspects in the EU State Aid Temporary Framework 2020: The Case of the Airline Industry<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restrictions imposed by the Member States (MSs) of the European Union (EU) led the tourism and commercial air transport industry to face serious financial difficulties that required airlines to apply for state support. In March 2020, the European Commission adopted a State Aid Temporary Framework (TF) for the COVID-19 period to simplify the process of granting aid, allowing the MSs rapid economic interventions. Claims regarding the approval of State aid to certain airlines reached the EU General Court (EGC), on the grounds of violation of the fair competition principle. It became clear that the processes enabled by the TF dispensed unequal treatment to airline companies and that the flexibility of the TF created competition imbalances. In spite of these events, little attention has been given to the way its application ignores the requirements of EU State aid control and other procedural justice and fairness principles, by failing to ensure neutrality and equality. This article addresses the matter using a standard legal interpretive approach to explain the imbalances created by the regulation. It presents a systematic review of the current regime, identifies the TF inefficiencies affecting competition principles, and argues for specific adjustments that could enhance its transparency. These contributions are useful to improve the existing framework and help prepare for a better management of future crises.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00The European Union Facing the 21st Century: The Digital Revolution<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The European Union is a unique political process in the world. It continuously integrates different aspects creating a communality among its Member States. The process of integration responds to the necessities of the organization to adapt to the social, political, and economic reality and solving the dysfunctionalities arisen from the process. Currently, digitalization is a process required to adapt the European Union to the reality, to provide a common frame to an existing digital world. Therefore, the EU needs to respond the requirements of the society for the implementation of European standards in a new, but already relevant, area. In addition, the EU drag from the past dysfunctionalities that can be addressed thanks to the new possibilities generated by the digitalization of politics and economy. This research analyses both the necessity of adapting and solving previous obstacles under the prism of the available digital solutions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Open Data: A Stepchild in e-Estonia’s Data Management Strategy?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The availability of open data has increased dramatically, partly in reaction to several types of government agencies publishing their raw data. Access to and use of open data is not only essential for the development of public policy and delivery of various services, but it is also of eminent value for private (and often economic) purposes. To meet these demands, the availability of open data has increased dramatically both domestically and EU-wide. Nevertheless, it is still access to and use of personal data which is usually in the spotlight of public—and also legal—debates. Contributing to fill this gap, this paper analyses the significance of open data and the resulting challenges imposed by the widespread lack of specific open data policies. The paper also provides an overview of the existing systems used in Estonian governance to ensure access to open information, but also highlights the shortcomings, before it finally makes proposals on how to improve open data disclosure practices in Estonia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Artificial Intelligence, Value Alignment and Rationality<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The problem of value alignment in the context of AI studies is becoming more and more acute. This article deals with the basic questions concerning the system of human values corresponding to what we would like digital minds to be capable of. It has been suggested that as long as humans cannot agree on a universal system of values in the positive sense, we might be able to agree on what has to be avoided. The article argues that while we may follow this suggestion, we still need to keep the positive approach in focus as well. A holistic solution to the value alignment problem is not in sight and there might possibly never be a final solution. Currently, we are facing an era of endless adjustment of digital minds to biological ones. The biggest challenge is to keep humans in control of this adjustment. Here the responsibility lies with the humans. Human minds might not be able to fix the capacity of digital minds. The philosophical analysis shows that the key concept when dealing with this issue is value plurality. It may well be that we have to redefine our understanding of rationality in order to successfully deal with the value alignment problem. The article discusses an option to elaborate on the traditional understanding of rationality in the context of AI studies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Ethical Concerns of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The rapid development of technology is having an enormous effect on our lives. Emerging technological solutions offer new possibilities in various fields and on different levels, either for ordinary human beings or organisations and governments. However, the ethical implications of such technologies on our lives, our societies, are often not fully understood and require careful analysis. This article focuses on one type of such technologies, genetic tests available to the public, analysing the potential ethical concerns in these tests being directly provided to the consumers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Local Leader and the Labour Law Position in the Context of the Smart City Concept through the Optics of the EU<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article discusses the implementation of the global concepts of smart city or smart municipality at the local level, focusing on the importance of mayor as a leader and his competencies in this context. The status of elected representatives of self-government in the branch of labour law is legislatively only marginally regulated, with insufficient terminological and functional interconnection between special legislation and labour law. The aim of the authors is to point out the relationship between the current legislation on prelegal relations between the mayor and his leadership duties and powers and to identify barriers in the implementation of the concept of smart cities in the Slovak Republic.</p> <p>The objective of the scientific study is determined based directly on current needs and emerging practical issues. Understanding and applying these correctly has a fundamental impact on the possibilities of rules in local government. Methodologically, our research relies on the basic methods of scientific abstraction in the context of the analysis of de lege lata legislation with a thorough application of the methods of legal logic. The authors draw attention to the partial questions of the labour status and educational census of the Mayor of the Municipality in the context of smart city concept and propose solutions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-23T00:00:00.000+00:00The Polish Experience in the Development of Smart Cities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In recent years, Poland has seen an increased migration of people to cities, which translates into significant urban population growth. This, in turn, raises new challenges in the performance of cities’ tasks and responsibilities. Additionally, climate changes and the depletion of natural resources necessitate the modification of existing urban practices. Polish cities seek solutions which would enable social, economic and environmental demands to be reconciled so that urban spaces become friendly for the city’s inhabitants and investors. Some Polish cities have applied the smart city concept to solve their problems. Despite the fact that the concept has been the subject of scientific research for many years, no universal definition of the smart city has been agreed upon. Analyzed assumptions of the smart city concept as well as the Polish experiences in the implementation indicate that the concept is dynamic and changes over time. It should be considered as a perpetual process unrestricted by a specific timeframe. This impedes the formulation of uniform, generally accepted assumptions of the concept since its existence is inscribed in the change related to urban development. This article claims that this would be a beneficial approach for formulating the general characteristics of the smart city that could be applicable to any city, and that could be employed regardless of the present challenges cities may face.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Personal Data Protection in the Decision-Making of the CJEU Before and After the Lisbon Treaty<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Personal data protection is one of the important areas of the EU’s operation and the general public is especially aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, personal data protection has been an issue in the EU for a long time. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) plays a major role in personal data protection as their function is to interpret EU law and thus also EU legislation related to personal data protection. Until now, research papers have tackled specific issues related to interpreting EU legislation or analyses of specific decisions made by the CJEU. However, no comprehensive empirical legal study has been published so far which would evaluate the decision-making of the CJEU in the area of personal data protection using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Therefore, no analysis has been carried out to determine how many decisions of the CJEU have been related to personal data protection, how their number has increased, or which participants and from which areas have participated in the proceedings. The results of the analysis presented here can be used as a basis for studying the future development of the CJEU’s decision-making in the area of personal data protection in relation to digitization and especially to the COVID-19 pandemic, which undoubtedly has contributed to a significant increase in online communication, posing new challenges towards a more efficient personal data protection in the online world.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Enhanced Digitalisation and Competition Law Enforcement in Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Digitalisation is a challenge from the regulatory point of view. Competition law, as a special type of regulation, is no exception to this. The article explores the risks of digitalisation, especially the ones related to the enhanced use of pricing algorithms. In theory, pricing algorithms are not easily assessed from the perspective of competition law, let alone its application in practice. The prohibition of anticompetitive agreements (pursuant to Article 101 of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)) is applied with certain difficulty to agreements created by using pricing algorithms. This is an unfortunate situation, as horizontal agreements represent one of the worst infringements of EU competition law, including price cartels or bid rigging. Apart from presenting a theoretical background, the article dives into the practice of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (AMO) in order to assess which practical issues the AMO might face when applying the theoretical concepts. In sum, the article asks from a theoretical perspective which issues of competition law have been introduced (or deepened) by the enhanced digitalisation, looking in particular to pricing algorithms. On top of that, the article explores the issues which may be encountered in practice, taking the Slovak jurisdiction as the example. The willingness and feasibility of the AMO to enforce digital issues such as pricing algorithms is assessed based on the previous acts of the AMO as well as the new Act on Protection of Competition, adopted by the Slovak parliament on 11 May 2021.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Data Protection in Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The redesign of data protection in the police and judicial area is intended to create uniformity at the European level for the citizens of EU Member States. This scientific article analyses the subject of data protection in law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The focus is primarily on the existing provisions and the latest developments of the EU with regard to Directive (EU) 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA. The international level with regard to data protection in the police and judicial area and possible changes due to the developments in data protection under European law are also examined in more detail.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Legal Engineering of the Anti-Abuse Rule in ATAD: Architecture of the Regression Tree Model<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Every taxable arrangement is subject to an anti-abuse test. Abusive arrangements are treated as not valid for tax purposes, which is similar to the treatment of artificial arrangements in civil law. The European Union has introduced in its Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive a general anti-abuse test which must be transposed into the domestic laws of Member States. Such a test has its inner structure, consisting of an elimination and requalification stage, while the elimination stage entails genuineness and a tax benefit test. The general anti-abuse test has a great potential (or scalability when speaking in the language of start-ups) of being automated and integrated into different legal application processes (such as taxpayer self-assessment systems, transactions certified by public notary or merger and acquisition deals) to discover debt push down abuses or other arrangement structures which may have abusive content. While the best method for create a reliable algorithm is a decision tree type model, the inner ambiguity of the general anti-abuse test prevents using the full benefits of automation of tax laws. The purpose of this article is to design a decision tree type model for the test and address the main challenges of such a model, both from the perspective of the clarity of concepts and the quality of input information such an engine would use.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00A Different Approach to the Evaluation of Smart Cities’ Indicators<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article aims to propose a different approach to assessing smart cities which combines some commonly used indicators with several new ones in line with the concept of sustainability. The aspect of sustainable development as an essential driver for the smart city and the combination of indicators for sustainable and smart city concepts have been analysed fragmentarily so far. There are many different approaches to evaluate the indicators of city smartness; however, very little attention is paid to the analysis of the reciprocal importance of the indicators. Ten indicators representing a smart city were selected that would be keep in line all the three pillars of sustainability—environmental, social, and economic. An expert survey was conducted to assign the weights of indicators using the pairwise comparison approach. The results were processed by utilising the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (AHP), which reduces the subjectivity in the experts’ answers. The presented approach differs from the ones commonly used and while it does not cover a wide range of usual indicators, it proposes some new ideas for further research. Some represent cities to attract young and intelligent citizens, others relate to comfortable and safe living conditions and the environmental situation. The results revealed that the most vital smartness indicators are foreign direct investments, pollutant emission, and the share of people registered as unemployed among the working-age population. These indicators cannot be easily identified as ones representing a smart city, but rather as indicators representing investment and environmental, sustainable aspects. Hence, finding a balance between the indicators related to sustainable and smart city is what highlights the need for further research.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Those Who Shall Be Identified: The Data Protection Aspects of the Legal Framework for Electronic Identification in the European Union<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article focuses on the intersections of the regulation of electronic identification as provided in the eIDAS Regulation and data protection rules in the European Union. The first part of the article is devoted to the explanation of the basic notions and framework related to the electronic identity in the European Union— the eIDAS Regulation. The second part of the article discusses specific intersections of the eIDAS Regulation with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), specifically scope, the general data protection clause and mainly personal data processing in the context of mutual recognition of electronic identification means. The article aims to discuss the overlapping issues of the regulation of the GDPR and the eIDAS Regulation and provides a further guide for interpretation and implementation of the outcomes in practice.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:005G and Digital Sovereignty of the EU: The Slovak Way<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Some recent views question the concept of sovereignty (especially the sovereignty of states), arguing that sovereignty is to be abandoned as a historical concept, because it existed in the world of the Westphalian system (created after 1648), where states were the major players, centers of power and objects of interest. Instead, we suggest that sovereignty should be perceived again as a “supreme power” (<italic>summa potestas</italic>), meaning a return to the pre-Bodinian concept of sovereignty and perceive it as a “power to exert control”. With regard to cyberspace, this does not mean direct control of all entities in the cyberspace, but only those that provide services which are perceived as “essential” or “critical” for the security and interests of the state. That is actually the approach taken with regard to ensuring the safety of 5G networks—through control imposed on the network operators, as required by the respective EU legislation and the EU Toolbox on 5G Networks specifically.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00The Legal Implications of Public Support Policies Targeting Research, Development and Innovation in the European Union<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The research problem of this article focuses on how the public support system in Estonia can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to acquire and commercialise their intellectual property rights (IPR) in a sustainable and legally permissible manner. The study aims to analyse and determine which specific public support measures are needed by SMEs for acquiring and commercialising IPR and how to design such public support within the legal boundaries set under European Union (EU) laws. The theoretical framework used in this study is built around the social system as defined by Parsons. The 4S Model (based on scope, scale, skill and social networking) derived by researchers from the said social system is considered. Further, 19 key attributes were devised by the authors in conjunction with the role of motivation to form a revised framework. The analysis employs qualitative research methods. To apply the framework of social systems theory, the authors used semi-structured interviews as a method to study the public support measures required by Estonian stakeholders. This was also analysed in the framework of EU State aid law, which poses both restrictions and exemptions. This research presents several desired support measures. Although the public support systems for acquiring and commercialising IPR by SMEs are restrained by legal frameworks within the EU, the analysis of the relevant laws and cases shows that State aid for RDI purposes is legally permissible within the EU, depending on the state’s willingness and availability of funds.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Interpretable Machine-Learning Approach in Estimating FDI Inflow: Visualization of ML Models with LIME and H2O<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In advancement of interpretable machine learning (IML), this research proposes local interpretable model-agnostic explanations (LIME) as a new visualization technique in a novel informative way to analyze the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow. This article examines the determinants of FDI inflow through IML with a supervised learning method to analyze the foreign investment determinants in Hungary by using an open-source artificial intelligence H2O platform. This author used three ML algorithms—general linear model (GML), gradient boosting machine (GBM), and random forest (RF) classifier—to analyze the FDI inflow from 2001 to 2018. The result of this study shows that in all three classifiers GBM performs better to analyze FDI inflow determinants. The variable value of production in a region is the most influenced determinant to the inflow of FDI in Hungarian regions. Explanatory visualizations are presented from the analyzed dataset, which leads to their use in decision-making.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00An Honourable U-Turn? Finland and New Europe after the End of the First World War<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article deals with the situation of a small, newly- and uncertainly independent country that had a peculiar experience in the year 1918. The country had declared its independence in December 1917, had received the recognition from Soviet Russia, the Nordic countries, Germany and its allies, and France in January 1918. Almost simultaneously, it drifted to a civil war, in which both the Germans and the Russians participated. However, the Civil War was mainly a domestic concern, and the outcome was the defeat of an attempt at a socialist revolution and the victory of an extremely pro-German government that even elected a German king in Finland in October 1918. The project was never fulfilled, but the experience left an exceptional, pro-German mental heritage, to which the terms of the armistice of November 1918 was a shock. They were seen as unjust, revengeful and even petty—both by the Finnish “Whites” (non-socialists) and the “Reds” (socialists).</p> <p>The Versailles Treaty in 1919 did not directly concern Finland. However, it might have done so in the question of Finnish borders, which was still partly unresolved—both in the west (a strife with Sweden over the Åland Islands) and in the east (ethnically Finnish Eastern Karelia). Moreover, the Allies were uncertain whether Finland should be considered Scandinavian or Baltic. Britain and the United States had not yet recognized Finland’s independence, so in order to secure independence and territorial integrity, the Finns had to adjust to the Allies’ demands and actively drive a Western-oriented policy. This was done for the same reason why the German orientation had been previously adapted—the threat of Russia and revolution—but it was psychologically strenuous for some political circles because they felt that there was an element of dishonorable opportunism to it. However, they could offer no alternative in a situation in which a newborn state had to secure its independence and legitimacy in New Europe, adjusting to disappointments and demands.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Not All Past is Legacy: Echoes of 1917–1923 in Contemporary East Central Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article discusses parallelisms between the social and political realities of East Central Europe around 1917–1923 and the current state of affairs. It starts with an analysis of the dynamic social relations in the final year of the Great War to follow with the question of their impact on politics and a short outline of the region’s history after 1918. While in terms of political and social reality there is little to invite comparison between these two periods under scrutiny, the language of politics and popular sentiments do. Most importantly, and similarly to East Central Europe in the interwar period, fear of a radical change (be it Bolshevism as in 1917–1923 or the cultural revolution) is the main tool of conservative mobilization which represents the sole actual danger to the existing social and political order.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1