Foundations of European Law and Polity
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The foundations of European law, including national legal systems, are undergoing profound changes. But what is the direction of these changes?
The Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Foundations of European Law and Polity Research takes up the challenge Europeanization has posed for legal theory. Based at the University of Helsinki, and co-funded by the Academy of Finland, the CoE brings together researchers from different substantive areas of law, political science and history. Research in the CoE is based on four independent and overlapping research teams.
Law and Security in Europe: Reconsidering the Security Constitution, edited by Massimo Fichera and Jens Kremer, has been published by Intersentia in March 2013.
The Experience of Tragic Judgment, by Julen Etxabe, has been published by Routledge on 21 November 2012.
Coherence and Fragmentation in European Private Law, edited by Pia Letto-Vanamo and Jan Smits, has been published by Sellier in August 2012.
No Foundations relaunch in June 2012
Law's Justice - Editorial from Relaunched Journal: No Foundations by Mónica López Lerma and Julen Etxabe.
Events in 2013
Judge Allan Rosas (European Court of Justice) gave a presentation on international law and human rights at the Centre on 4 February 2013.
Past events in 2012
On 27-28 September the 4th Annual Conference of the Centre took place in Helsinki. The topic of this year was "Democracy and Law in Europe".Renowned foreign and national scholars addressed a variety of issues including the nature of the EU polity, legitimacy and the relevance of the market for the process of EU integration from a legal and political perspective. Young researchers, such as PhD students and Post-Doctoral researchers from different European universities, were allowed to present their work inworkshops, which were organised onboth days. The Conference waswell attended and represented an excellent opportunity to analyse some of the most important issues in the current debate on the future of Europe.
On 11th of June the proposal for the Common European Sales Law (CESL) was discussed in a small seminar organised by the Centre.
In his introduction to the topic, professor Hans Micklitz (EUI, Florence) evaluated how the private law and contract law discussion in the integrating Europe had reached the point where the current common sales law proposal is on the table. Professor Jules Stuyck (Univ. of Leuven), who also is a known practitioner of European private law, offered a drafter's point of view to the proposal. He also appraised the legal basis and form chosen for the proposal. Professor Lena Sisula-Tulokas (Univ. of Helsinki) commented the proposal for the CESL from a Nordic perspective, bringing into the discussion the question on how developed local legal co-operation should be dealt with when European legal instruments are emerging.
On 4th of June lecturer Constanze Semmelmann (Maastrich University) visited the Centre to present her research with the topic 'The public-private distinction in EU law or an overkill of functionalism?'
Semmelmann's presentation was based on a comprehensive paper that dealt with the implications and appearances of public and private law, or public and private spheres, in EU law. Semmelmann also suggested that making use of the public-private distinction could help to refine and make explicit the effects of EU Law in vertical and horizontal relationships.
Short commentary speeches were delivered by Sonya Walkila, Massimo Fichera and Katri Havu, all early-career researchers of the Centre.
21-22 May Constitutional Design Conference
The Centre organised together with the Venice Commission and the International Association of Constitutional Law a conference on Constitutional Design.
The topics discussed at the conference included the concept of constitution and constituional design, constitutional design in Europe and neighbouring countries as well as global perspectives.
7 May 'The Margin of Apprection and Cultural Diversity in Europe?'
As part of the ongoing European identity project (http://www.helsinki.fi/katti/foundations/research/Identity.html ) , the Conference on “The Margin of Appreciation and Cultural Diversity in Europe?” took place in Helsinki on 7 May 2012. The event was jointly organised by the Centre of Excellence and the Centre for Law and Cosmopolitan Values of the University of Antwerp. Participants included prestigious scholars from various European Universities as well as judges from the European Court of Human Rights. The debate has been intense and has focused on issues of constitutional pluralism, identity and rights, culture and aesthetics, limits to State sovereignty, the role and legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights. The combination of academic experts and practitioners has been particularly fruitful.
28-29 March 'Constitutional Implications of the European Union Economic Crises' workshop
Since the autumn of 2008 several financial and fiscal crises have affected the European Union. This constant pressure on the European economies has in many ways tested the very constitutional foundations of the integration process. The institutional design of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), based on coordination of national economic policies via the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) as well as on a common monetary policy entrusted to a fully independent European Central Bank (ECB), has proved inefficient when confronting the economic crises.
In their attempt to provide the European Union with adequate tools for tackling the crises, Member States have adopted a wide range of measures with implications far beyond their intended effects on the problem at hand. These measures have several constitutional implications, since they have de facto (1) expanded the competences of the European Union and its institutions, (2) altered the key balance between institutions at the supranational level, and (3) affected the powers of Member States over economic policy.
The workshop had two aims: first to explore the constitutional reach of these developments and second to cast light on the different paths the European Union could follow in the future. In order to achieve these aims, the workshop proposed to combine a detailed constitutional study of the measures and institutional changes with the corresponding constitutional frameworks they suggest. In concrete terms, six constitutionally relevant developments will be analysed in the light of three coherent constitutional paths.
Mon 27.5. Professor Loïc Azoulai (EUI), "Subjective rights in EU law and the 'European individual'", at 14-16 in P668
Mon 10.6. Professor Joxerramon Bengoetxea, title tbc at 14-16 in P668
Mon-Tue 17-18.6. "Friend or Foe? The contemporary relevance of Carl Schmitt" A Swedish-Finnish workshop Keynote: Martin Loughlin (LSE)(call closed, limited number of places available, please register by 27 May panu.minkkinen [at]helsinki.fi) Programme
Wed-Thu 19-20.6. Ultima Ratio 2.0 (in Helsinki, organised by Oñati Institute and CoE Foundations)