'Challenges to EU Law and Governance in the Member States' - EUI, Florence, Italy, 8 June 2018

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Eurosceptic and nationalist forces have been gaining ground in many Member States. The ideal
of an ever closer union, built on fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, has been shaken
by the UK’s decision to leave the EU and by illiberal democratic developments in Hungary and
Poland. The free movement of citizens, economic migration and the influx of third-country
refugees tend to be particularly controversial in the Member States.

Against this backdrop, we are pleased to invite submissions for a conference that will examine
to what extent the EU is being politicised and its law challenged in the Member States. The
focus will not only be on Member States that are known to be highly critical of the EU; for a
complete picture, the aim is rather to find out whether challenges to EU law and governance
are frequent occurrences or merely highly visible exceptions.

The conference has two objectives. The first is to establish whether Euroscepticism takes the
form of specific criticism of EU legislation and case law. Do governments and/or political
parties criticise particular pieces of EU law and policy, and do they propose, or take, initiatives
that are incompatible with those of the Union? Second, the conference will explore to what
extent criticism of the EU is translated into actual changes in national law. Is Eurosceptic
rhetoric made manifest in the domestic legislation or case law of the Member States?

The conference will be held on 8 June 2018 at the European University Institute in Florence,
Italy under the auspices of the Max Weber Programme.

Keynote speaker

The keynote address will be delivered by Michal Bobek, Advocate General at the Court of
Justice of the EU and author of numerous works on the interaction of EU law and national
legal systems. He was previously Professor of European Law at the College of Europe,
Research Fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law of the University of Oxford
as well as legal secretary to the Chief Justice and head of the Research and Documentation
Department at the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic.

Topics of interest

We welcome a wide variety of proposals on the theme of the conference from scholars of
law or political science. Special attention will be paid to the “people dimension” of European

Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

  • Country or regional studies, either confined to reactions to a particular legislative measure or ECJ ruling or more broadly concerned with attitudes towards EU law within the selected Member State(s);
  • Doctrinal and/or empirical studies that examine the implementation and enforcement of EU law in one or several Member States;
  • Doctrinal and/or empirical studies on the conditions and mechanisms that affect the ability and inclination of Member States to enact policy change that is incompatible with their EU commitments.
  • Contributions on challenges to EU law and policy related to the free movement of people;
  • Contributions on challenges to EU law and policy in the area of migration and asylum law.


Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words to EUMSConf@eui.eu by 18 February
2018. Successful applicants will be notified by 1 March 2018. Full drafts of papers are due by
15 May 2018.

We aim to publish a selection of the conference papers in an edited collection. Abstracts
should be submitted on the basis that the paper will be available for publication.


Participation in the conference is free of charge. Participants will be responsible for their own
travel and accommodation expenses.

Conference registration

General registration for the conference is open until 15 May 2018. Please send an e-mail to
EUMSConf@eui.eu. Numbers are limited and early registration is recommended.

Conference conveners

The conference is convened by Dr Anna Wallerman and Dr Clara Rauchegger, both Max
Weber Fellows at the Law Department of the European University Institute.

To contact the conveners, please e-mail EUMSConf@eui.eu.