ELI President Opens the 2020 ELI Online Annual Conference


On 9 September 2020 ELI President Christiane Wendehorst welcomed attendees to the ELI Annual Conference, held online this year.

Touching on the difficult and unforeseeable circumstances that 2020 has brought to us all, President Wendehorst sent her good wishes to the ELI members who have been affected most seriously by the crisis, and explained how it was a painful but inevitable decision to call off the planned meeting in Budapest this September and hold the Annual Conference online instead.

She reflected on how the strength of the ELI community revealed itself during the crisis, with members sharing messages of support and encouragement and ensuring that they continued their ELI-related work wherever possible.

Unfortunately there were some planned activities which had to be called off entirely this year, including intercontinental trips during which ELI representatives had hoped to strengthen ties with similar organisations working in other parts of the globe, and personal visits to some of the ELI's Institutional Members.

While a return to physical meetings is hoped for by the whole ELI community, President Wendehorst noted that she and her colleagues have recognised the advantages offered by remote communication in enabling frequent meetings and swift action, encouraging diverse participation, and allowing activities to take place without the high consumption of resources that international travel inevitably brings about.

At the close of her address President Wendehorst expressed how this year has highlighted the importance of ELI's work. Current circumstances are challenging the European vision. As borders close and national interests sometimes have priority over shared European ideals, we are reminded of the need to avoid complacency and ensure that the ELI is steadfast and active in its commitment to international cooperation and the improvement of law in Europe. In light of this, the ELI lost no time in drafting and publishing its ‘Principles for the COVID-19 Crisis’, clearly and concisely setting out the legal principles that the ELI believes should be upheld and prioritised as we experience and recover from this global pandemic.

You can watch the webinar by following this link.