May 20, 2016

2016 ICON-S Conference: Borders, Otherness and Public Law (June 17-19, 2016, Berlin)

We are pleased to announce the third instalment of the annual conference of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S). It is organized by Humboldt University and the Center for Global Constitutionalism at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, together with the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice at NYU School of Law. The program lists more than 120 individual panels interspersed with plenary sessions featuring renowned keynote speakers. In the final plenary, network members Gráinne de Búrca and Joseph H.H. Weiler will be interviewing the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Koen Lenaerts, and the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Guido Raimondi.

The full program is available here. Registration is still open. The organizers kindly ask attendees to confirm attendance by May 23.

May 18, 2016

Different Union, Greater Unity: Reflections on a Semester of Debates at NYU on the EU’s Concurrent Crises

The EU is facing four concurrent crises that may call into question its very existence: the EMU, Brexit, refugees, and terrorism.  This semester, the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at NYU School of Law has had the privilege of hosting a series of fascinating seminars on these traumatic circumstances. Georgette Lalis, Senior Emile Noel Fellow, and Samuel Dahan, Emile Noel Fellow, have forwarded us this overview of those debates along with some provocative reflections of their own on the path forward.

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What has emerged from this semester's enriching debates at the Jean Monnet Center is that the EU is facing both circumstantial crises – the refugee and terrorism crises – but also, and more significantly, structural problems coming from within: Brexit and the EMU crisis.

The EMU crisis occurred as the result of the financial meltdown of 2008; but it is nevertheless an institutional crisis, predictable and indeed predicted, that resulted from flaws in the structure of the eurozone itself. While is it true that the EMU has succeeded in partially addressing these issues, the euro area is still faced with both an economic and a governance crisis. In a nutshell, the decision-making process in the euro area is unnecessarily complex, lacks transparency and democratic legitimacy, and calls into question the balance between Member States and European Institutions. We, the Emile Noel Fellows, are privileged to have the opportunity to conduct research on the legal aspects of the crisis and explore potential avenues of addressing the EMU’s flaws. Our research will eventually take the form of a Jean Monnet Working Paper.  

    While the Brexit crisis has very different causes from the EMU crisis, it is also a political deadlock that threatens the integrity of the EU as a whole. Brexit is the climax of a long and difficult British-European relationship in which the UK has always kept one foot outside the EU. A potential Brexit, let alone the threat it might represent to the integrity of the EU, would substantially change the nature of the UK’s membership in the EU (although the latter is already limited by important opt-outs.) From a reputational/formal standpoint, the departure of one of the EU’s strongest members would set a bad precedent and could trigger a domino effect, ultimately leading to deeper fractures in the Union. Much has been written on the economic effects of a Brexit for both the UK and the EU. It is clear to us, however, that a Brexit at this time would send a bad signal to the outside world concerning the cohesion of the EU. On Friday, February 12, former UK cabinet minister and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls eloquently described the “backward relationship” between the UK and the EU in a discussion entitled "Brexit or Bremain? Britain’s Fraught Relationship with the EU.” While Balls made a strong argument in favor of ‘Bremain’, the outcome will only be known in June after the UK referendum.

As for the refugee and terrorism crises, while they clearly have an EU dimension, they are closely linked to outside factors and to national politics. Though public opinion often associates one with the other, it is important to emphasize that they have very different origins and implications. Both are the result of circumstantial/non-institutional pressures, and the juxtapositions between these two sets of crises leaves room for significant improvements in the situation through efficient coordination of national policies. Although the refugee and terrorism crises do not stem from European institutional flaws as such, they may well turn into an institutional nightmare if the Union doesn’t learn from its mistakes and mount a quick response to strengthen its immigration and security policy coordination.

May 13, 2016

Amedeo Arena on Competences and Pre-emption in the EU

We are pleased to announce that new network member Amedeo Arena (Naples) has just published an article in the Yearbook of European Law.  Entitled "Exercise of EU Competences and Pre-emption of Member States' Powers in the Internal and the External Sphere: Towards 'Grand Unification'?," the article focuses on pre-emption analysis under EU law and asks whether a "grand unification" theory might explain pre-emption both of Member States' internal law-making powers and of their external treaty-making powers.

The first two paragraphs follow; advance access to the full text of the article is available for free here.

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For many European Union scholars, the term ‘pre-emption’, when is not used in connection with a priori exclusive competences, immediately brings to mind the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) holding in ERTA that "each time the [Union] . . . adopts provisions laying down common rules . . . the Member States no longer have the right, acting individually or even collectively, to undertake obligations with third countries which affect those rules." The doctrine of pre-emption in the external sphere—that is, the limitations that the exercise of EU internal competences imposes on Member States’ power to undertake international commitments—is, possibly, the subject that has drawn most attention in the EU external relations law academic circles.

In contrast, legal scholarship has hitherto paid somewhat less attention to the doctrine of pre-emption in the internal sphere–that is, the restraints that the enactment of EU legislation imposes on national law-making powers. Its first application by the ECJ, which can possibly be traced back to the Unger ruling of 1964, went largely unnoticed by legal commentators of that time. Moreover, the ECJ hardly ever referred to this legal phenomenon by the term ‘pre-emption’ or its derivatives. Although in the early 1980s legal scholarship recognized pre-emption, along with direct effect and supremacy, as one of the hallmarks of Community normative supranationalism, no more than a handful of comprehensive treatments have been devoted to that subject since then.

The article continues here.

April 4, 2016

Dan Kelemen on "Europe's Lousy Deal with Turkey"

Network member Dan Kelemen (Rutgers) has recently published an article in Foreign Affairs on "Europe's Lousy Deal with Turkey: Why the Refugee Arrangement Won't Work."  Co-authored with Megan Greene, the article criticizes the EU's "cynical bargain to turn Turkey into a buffer zone."  

The first paragraph follows: the full version can be found here (registration required).

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On March 18, the leaders of the European Union reached a controversial deal with Turkey. That agreement, touted as a resolution to the refugee crisis, was in essence a cynical bargain to turn Turkey into a buffer zone. Turkey has agreed to act as a giant refugee holding center, keeping the millions of migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East from reaching Europe and accepting those sent back from Greece. In exchange, the EU will pay Turkey three billion euros on top of the three billion pledged last November to help care for the refugees. It will also speed up the approval of visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens and revive stalled negotiations over Turkey’s accession to the EU. The EU also agreed to settle a limited number of Syrian refugees—up to 72,000—directly from Turkey to Europe based on a crude “one-in, one-out” trade: for every Syrian smuggled to Greece but returned to Turkey, the EU will legally resettle one Syrian directly from Turkey to a European country. Finally, European leaders promised that once the flood of migration has abated they will implement a “voluntary humanitarian admission scheme,” a vaguely conceived program under which a coalition of willing member states could volunteer to resettle additional refugees.

The article continues here.

March 24, 2016

Max Weber Conference: Democracy and Expertise (March 31-April 1, 2016, NYC)

We are pleased to announce a terrific Max Weber Conference on "Democracy and Expertise" to be held at NYU's Deutsches Haus on March 31 and April 1, 2016.  The conference features a superb lineup, including network members Christine Landfried (NYU & Hamburg) and Gráinne de Búrca (NYU), alongside Mario Monti (Bocconi University; formerly Prime Minister of Italy and European Commissioner), Robert Post (Yale), Katharina Pistor (Columbia), and many others.  The conference will explore the tension between democracy and expertise in an age of innovation and specialization, and at a time when the European Union faces sharp technical and democratic challenges on every side.

Further information and a conference schedule are available here.  Please note that RSVP is required to (at)

March 22, 2016

Jan-Werner Müller in "Foreign Policy": on Angela Merkel and the "decisive moment ... not just for the EU, but also for Christian Democracy"

Network member Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton) has published a new piece in Foreign Policy entitled "Angela Merkel’s Misunderstood Christian Mission".  The opening paragraphs are below and the remainder of the article can be found here.

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Angela Merkel is in the curious position of having become one of Europe’s moral leaders without ever clearly articulating the real moral dimensions of her decisions. Her emphatic “We can do this” (Wir schaffen das) in response to the arrival in Germany of hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers has attained the status of a sort of proverb in that country. But she has never otherwise been one for rousing speeches that set out political visions. The sordid details of the deal that she helped seal on Friday with an increasingly repressive Turkey to help control the flow of migrants to the continent has also done little to burnish her reputation as a moral visionary.

But Merkel’s negotiations with Turkey can only be properly considered in the context of the broader moral campaign that she has been waging. It has not always been easy to perceive the distinctly religious aspect of her political agenda, but that does not mean it hasn’t been there. Like few others on the continent, Merkel seems to understand this is a decisive moment not just for Germany, and for the EU, but also for Christian Democracy, one of Europe’s leading governing ideologies of the post-war era.

March 20, 2016

Pietro Faraguna reviews Barsotti et al. on "Italian Constitutional Justice in a Global Context" (Oxford 2015)

In this post, network member Pietro Faraguna (Ferrara) reviews an important new work on the history and jurisprudence of the Italian Constitutional Court from Oxford University Press.

Further information about this volume can be found here.

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Review of Vittoria Barsotti, Paolo G. Carozza, Marta Cartabia, and Andrea Simoncini, Italian Constitutional Justice in Global Context (Oxford 2015) 

Italian Constitutional Justice in Global Context fills a major gap in the international legal literature that has long isolated the Italian constitutional system from global debates amongst scholars of public law. Remarkably, the last comprehensive work written in English on the Italian system of constitutional justice dates from the 1970s: Mauro Cappelletti’s 1971 volume Judicial Review in the Contemporary World. This prolonged lack of accessible scholarship in English struck an odd note, particularly when compared with the vibrant debate amongst public lawyers about the role of constitutional courts in legal orders throughout Europe and worldwide. A lack of English-language literature on the Italian Constitutional Court has muted a potentially influential voice with much to contribute to the global judicial dialogue.

March 19, 2016

Septfontaines EU Law Summer School in Champagne, France (July 2016)

We are pleased to pass on the following announcement from Antoine Duval (ASSER Institute) regarding an EU law summer school at Maastricht University focused on the Court of Justice, involving a series of distinguished speakers.  Note the application deadline of April 30.

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The Septfontaines Summer School of EU law, organised by Maastricht University, will take place in a former abbey in Champagne, France, from 3-10 July 2016. This year's edition will be focused on the fabric of EU law: the CJEU. We bring together top-level EU scholars as well as hands-on practitioners for an intense week of lectures and discussions around the CJEU in an exceptional setting. Participants will have the unique opportunity to engage with Judges, Advocates General and Référendaires and confront their insider perspectives with the more distant observation of the work of the Court by sociologists and legal scholars. This summer school is aimed at students enrolled at a university, PhD researchers, junior researchers in general and young practitioners with a background and strong interest in EU law.

Application deadline: 30 April 2016.

Further information available here.

March 16, 2016

An Open Letter from Kalypso Nicolaïdis to British Voters: "for Europe’s sake, please stay"

We are pleased to cross-post this heartfelt open letter from network member Kalypso Nicolaïdis (Oxford) to her British friends, calling on them to vote to remain in the EU in the referendum on June 23.  The letter originally appeared on as part of the "Brexit Divisions" series. The opening paragraphs can be found below, and the remainder can be read here.  

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Dear British friends,

My kids and husband are British, I teach and pay taxes in this country, talk to my village neighbours everyday and love English country lanes, Scottish castles, Welsh road-signs, Cornwall’s gardens and all the bloody rest of it. As a French and Greek citizen, I won’t have a vote in this referendum and yet this is one of the most momentous decisions that will ever be taken in my name, as a European citizen living on this side of the channel.

So, along with the two million other EU expats living here, and millions on the continent who feel passionate about Britain’s European vocation, all I can do is plead: dear British friends, please stay.

Who are we to tell you that the EU is good for Britain, that the benefits of membership outweigh the costs, and that uncertainty is painful for the pocketbook and painful for the soul? Costs and benefits fluctuate over time and everything is uncertain in this day and age.

But there is one thing which many of us from the rest of Europe feel very certain about: the EU would be much worse off without Britain. Yes: don’t just ask what Europe can do for you, ask what you can do for Europe.

[continue reading here]

March 14, 2016

Call for Applications: Faculty Position in EU Studies at the Jindal School of International Affairs

We are pleased to pass along the following call for applications for a faculty position in EU Studies at the Jindal School for International Affairs, India.

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The Centre for European Studies (CES) at the Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) is looking to hire a non-Indian national who has completed his or her Ph.D. with a specialization in EU studies - EU foreign policy, BRICS and EU, EU and Social Justice.

It would be desirable for the candidate to be willing to work on EU and interregionalism. The candidate must be willing to be based in JGU/JSIA for at least 3 years from July 2016. There will be research travel to Europe associated with the position. The candidate will be expected to teach courses on EU studies in JSIA's Masters in Diplomacy, Law and Business programme. The position has opened since CES-JSIA has become a part of the Globus consortium within Societal Challenges 6 of the EU Horizon 2020 project.  Further information on the Globus project is available here.

Inquiries should be addressed to Prof. Sreeram Chaulia, Dean, Jindal School of International Affairs: schaulia [at]