Federal President of the Republic of Austria Opens ELI’s 2021 Annual Conference


On the occasion of the opening of ELI’s 2021 Annual Conference on 6 September, the Federal President of the Republic of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen emphasised the importance of ELI’s work.

In his video message, Federal President Van der Bellen stressed that since the last time he addressed ELI Members at the 2017 ELI Annual Conference, the European Union had been faced with many new challenges pertaining to its unity, climate crisis, digitalisation and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. ELI’s work on the rule of law in the 21st century, law and governance for the digital age, and sustainable life and society represents an important contribution to tackling these European and global challenges. He observed that ELI has been working on improving the quality of European law through research, recommendations, and practical guidance now for a decade and that its work is of utmost importance.

President Van der Bellen thanked the Rector of the University of Vienna Heinz Engl and outgoing ELI President Christiane Wendehorst for their continuous support and efforts in placing Austria at the centre of the most important legal discussions. He expressed pride in the fact that Austria hosts the ELI Secretariat.

President Van der Bellen wished participants a successful Conference with stimulating discussions on the legal developments and challenges that lie ahead. He opined that the discussions in the following three days would enhance the understanding of fundamental issues such as climate justice and the data economy.

‘On the occasion of ELI’s Decennial’, President Van der Bellen concluded ‘I wish the Institute many more decades of steady growth and success in promoting cooperation’. ELI is immensely grateful to President Van der Bellen for his speech and continued support.

The video message is available below.