ELI Projects, Feasibility Studies and Other Activities

ELI adopts different approaches in its quest to stimulate European legal development in a global context. In particular, ELI output is usually achieved via projects and feasibility studies with other residual activities falling under the last category:

Projects

The selection, management and approval of projects carried out under the auspices of ELI are regulated in the ELI Project Guidelines. These Guidelines took effect on 27 August 2020, replacing earlier Guidelines of 21 November 2018 (the latter replaced the initial version of the Guidelines). All relevant documents can be also found in the Important Files box on the right below.

Identification of Projects and Selection Criteria

By Article 12 of the ELI Statute, the Council shall identify relevant projects within ELI's field of activities, following consultation with the Senate and taking into account any suggestions, particularly those made by other bodies or Members of ELI or by stakeholder organisations. This role has now been delegated to the ELI’s Executive Committee, whose task it is to then submit project proposals to the Council for approval, in consultation with the Senate and relevant stakeholders. The Executive Committee may from time to time host meetings with experts from within and outside ELI whose mission it is to select/identify and flesh out the most promising topics in a defined target area.

As stated in Article 3(2) of the ELI Project Guidelines, in deciding whether ELI should embark on a particular project, the ELI bodies may wish to consider:

  • Whether and to what extent the output will be a major reference text in the relevant field, which everyone dealing with the issues at stake has to take into account;
  • Whether it is possible to explain in simple language, understandable by a general audience, why the output would make a material difference for the benefit of citizens, companies or professionals in Europe;
  • Whether the issue is so topical and central for the development of society and law in Europe that ELI is rightly expected to raise its voice and ELI’s contribution to the debate will receive material public attention.

Types of Projects

Projects carried out under the auspices of ELI will often take the form of medium- to long-term studies (formerly known as Statements and Instruments), the added value of which is to provide, through the independence, excellence and diversity of the Project Teams and the on-going critical guidance by a very broad constituency of jurists, well-rounded solutions that have the support of the European legal community. The urgency of a matter may, however, be such that a short-term reaction is more appropriate.

ELI projects have fallen into four broad categories:

  • Draft legislative proposals
  • Model laws, model rules, statements of principles
  • Checklists, other practical guidance
  • Position papers 

By Article 12(2) of the ELI Statute, projects may be conducted under the regular procedure or under the accelerated procedure. The latter is most appropriate in cases where a quick reaction of ELI is required, in particular where new developments require a position paper or similar statement by ELI.

 

Submitting a Project Proposal Accompanied by a Feasibility Study

ELI invites its Members and the interested public to submit proposals for new projects accompanied by a feasibility study.

The project proposal includes information about the proposed project’s subject, target outcome, methodology, on-going developments and research in the field, the proposed project’s wider social and economic benefit, timeframe and funding, among other things. The feasibility study should include a representative sample of what might comprise the operative part and a meaningful outline, among other things.

In order to ensure that the proposal and feasibility study cover all relevant issues, please refer to the Project Guidelines. The project proposal form as well as recommended feasibility study template can be found here. The ELI Secretariat would be happy to provide further guidance on the matter.

 

Approval of the Project and the Appointment of the Project Team, Advisory Committee, Assessors and the Members Consultative Committee

Following assessment of the merits and quality of the project, the Executive Committee will suggest revisions (where appropriate), before submitting the project proposal and feasibility study together with a recommendation to the Council. The Council will ordinarily expect to hear a short oral presentation by the proposer and will ask questions or seek clarifications. Following a consultation with the Senate, it is for the Council to decide whether or not to accept a proposal as an ELI project or require it to be revised. The Council may also approve it subject to conditions. The Council may also decide with the approval of the authors if the feasibility study should be published on the ELI website.

The Council is ordinarily tasked with the appointment of Project Reporters and other members, who together form the Project Team. Additionally, it appoints an Advisory Committee to support the work of the Project Team. The Council may delegate this task to the Executive Committee.

The Project Team must meet the criteria of excellence and diversity, including vocational backgrounds, legal traditions and disciplines, gender and age, as enshrined in the ELI Statute. The Team must be familiar and sufficiently well connected with relevant developments and related initiatives in the field and must, whether or not they are a Member of ELI, adhere to the Guidelines and to the values reflected in the Statute. There must be (at least) one ‘person with the file’ (PWF) who is able and prepared to invest significant working time into high quality drafting.

The Advisory Committee (AC) consists of a limited number of high-ranking experts, who do not need to be ELI Members, that are regularly consulted by the Project Reporter(s) and that comment on work-in-progress. The Council concurrently adds to the Advisory Committee two or three drawn from the Council as Assessors, who will act in the capacity of peer reviewers and auditors of quality. Their task entails providing a report on the project to the Council at the project’s conclusion to focus discussions.

Projects are normally supported by a Members Consultative Committee (MCC), which all ELI Members are invited to join. Further details on ACs and MCCs can be found here.

Project Reporters have to regularly submit progress reports to the AC, MCC, Executive Committee, Council and Senate for comments in the course of a project’s cycle.

Approval of Project Results

Before a project is submitted to the Council for a final vote, the Reporter(s) have to submit the draft which they consider as potentially complete and final (Council Draft) to the Executive Committee. The Council Draft has to be accompanied by supporting signed statements of the remaining Project Team members as well as Advisory Committee, Assessors and MCC chair. This should be done at least two months prior to the Council meeting at which the Council Draft is to be considered. On review, the Executive Committee will either forward the Council Draft and accompanying statements to the Senate and Council with its comments or ask the Project Reporter(s) to amend the Draft.

The Council may require further revision of the Draft or approve it. In the case of the regular procedure, the project must also be approved by the Membership (by a simple majority).

Publication

Completed projects, and the results thereof, may only be published as an official position of ELI after the approval of the Council and/or the Membership. ELI outputs are freely downloadable online and depending on their nature, may be available to order with background materials from ELI’s publisher, Oxford University Press.

Other Activities

From time to time, ELI embarks on other activities, which are residual in nature.