Posted on 27 November 2017
The European Journal of Legal Studies (EJLS) successfully celebrated its 10th anniversary on 16 November 2017, with the support of the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU).
The Journal and the Academy of European Law jointly organized a conference to examine the last 60 years of European integration in light of the journal’s 10th anniversary coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome and 25 years since the Treaty of Maastricht was signed.
Since the journal provides a platform for young scholars engaging in innovative and critical legal research, its editorial board felt this was the perfect opportunity to invite young scholars to submit papers examining the European project or providing innovative responses to current EU challenges.
Maria Haag, one of the executive editors of the journal and one of the organizers of the event, says: “The aim of the conference is celebrating our anniversary, but it’s also a reflection on what’s happened in the last 60 years. Secondly, it’s really to promote young researchers, showcase what they are writing on and what they are thinking about.”
The conference, which was held at Villa Salviati at the European University Institute in Florence, featured four panels with speakers from all over Europe. Janneke van Casteren, one of the managing editors at the EJLS, says that the diversity of the speakers and the discussants was one of the most successful parts of the conference. “The organizers managed to find a good balance between EUI and non-EUI researchers with the speakers. They made sure it wasn’t just an EUI event,” she adds.
Prof. Renaud Dehousse, President of the EUI, welcomed participants and gave a key note speech about the role and importance of EU legal research in reflecting upon the process of European Integration. The conference was also supported by the EUI President’s Office, the EUI Law Department and sponsored by Hart Publishing.
The event’s organizers aimed to help researchers get their names out there and update them on what is happening research-wise at the EUI and at the EJLS. Additionally, they plan to publish the conference proceedings in a special issue of the journal.
Marijn van der Sluis, Assistant Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and a speaker at the conference, says that the conference also gave him some information vital to his research. “These conferences are very good at giving you a sense of where people really disagree with you. It allows you to write in a more focused way in order to convince people because you know what part of your plans they oppose,” he explains.
For others, the conference provided a great opportunity to step away from their own research and find out more about different fields of EU Law. Elisabeth Lentsch, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Salzburg and discussant at the conference, says: “What I like about such conferences with a very broad topic, is that you learn a lot about specific fields of research, maybe not touching upon your own. So it also opens up your mind a bit more in a sense of knowledge and what’s going on.”
The HAEU contributed by providing showcases with documents tracing the history of European Integration, which were part of the Ever Closer Union travelling exhibition. The documents were presented by Silvia Sassano, one of the exhibition’s curators and research assistant at the EUI’s Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre.
The editorial team of the EJLS said: “The exhibited historical documents were a wonderful way to make the history of the EU integration process more tangible. Thanks to the HAEU’s contribution, the participants of the conference not only left Florence with new ideas about EU law and the European integration process, but also with memories and pictures of the Delors White Paper, Van Gend & Loos and the other exhibits.”
Photos from the conference are available on our Facebook page.