Concrete solutions for the EU facing challenges – Opening of the ELI Annual Conference and General Assembly


As the European Union is going through one of the most challenging moments in its history, the European Law Institute (ELI) provides a forum for lawyers, judges, notaries, academics and all other legal professionals to discuss concrete solutions for the most pressing problems facing the Union. Over 300 members of the ELI, together with other prominent legal experts from Europe and beyond, met today at the premises of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ferrara to start the ELI Annual Conference and General Assembly.

Discussions about the significant growth of the ELI, during the General Assembly and at the meeting of the ELI Council, proved that the Institute has already a good standing in the European legal landscape and a clear vision of further development. The effectiveness and relevance of the ELI’s key activity – developing European law through directly applicable recommendations based on a thorough and comparative research – was recognised by EU Institutions on numerous occasions.

We meet at a challenging time for Europe, but in a way that has always been the case; Europe and its law, which is central to its construct, have to move with the times. Europe has to adapt to global and technological change whilst reflecting the expectations of ever more mobile citizens; lawyers and the ELI through its diverse legal membership can assist that process. Brexit may be an additional challenge but I am convinced that it is one that the European community of lawyers, both common lawyers and civilian lawyers, should meet together - said Diana Wallis, the President of the ELI. 

The ELI aims at assisting the developing of European law by bringing together leading experts and practitioners to help shape the law of the future. The ELI Annual Conference, which started today with the keynote lecture by the Vice-President of the Italian Constitutional Court, Marta Cartabia, has offered the participants a possibility to see and contribute to ELI's valuable work.

In her speech, in which she focused on the economic, immigration and security challenges Europe is facing now, Marta Cartabia highlighted the relevance of the ELI’s network and its working methods: Re-generating Europe – is the demand of the young people of Europe: this requires the capacity to integrate and the capacity of dialogue also in the legal domain. It will entail an ongoing process, a road to be travelled on and on, where the aim is but a step toward a further problem and a further achievement.

The broad programme of this year’s ELI Annual Conference demonstrates the research and impact capacities of the Institute and the high calibre of its membership. During the upcoming two days the participants of the Conference will deliberate on how to simplify the lives of people and enterprises through reducing differences and establishing standards in the field of, among others, civil procedural law, criminal law, insolvency law, family law, migration law and digital law. Participants will also witness the launch of the ELI Italian Hub as well as the meetings of the ELI Special Interest Groups, which provide a platform for an even further exploration of specific fields of law.