November 25, 2015

Max Weber Conference: The Power of Constitutional Courts in a Globalizing World (December 3-4, 2015, NYC)

New network member Christine Landfried (NYU) and friend of the network Thomas Streinz (NYU) have asked that we announce the Max Weber Conference on "The Power of Constitutional Courts in a Globalizing World" at NYU on December 3-4, 2015.  The conference features a slate of network members, including Gráinne de Búrca (NYU), Turkuler Isiksel (Columbia), Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton), Bilyana Petkova (Yale & EUI), and Mary Volcansek (TCU).

The conference will begin with a keynote speech on "The Emergence of Global Law Systems" by Saskia Sassen (Columbia) on December 3, beginning at 6pm, followed by a reception; the second day of the conference on December 4 will consist of a series of panel discussions, beginning at 9am.  The conference will be free of charge.  

A short summary of the conference theme is below; further information and a conference schedule are available here.  Please note the request to RSVP!

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The Power of Constitutional Courts in a Globalizing World 

Since the second half of the 20th century national Constitutional Courts and transnational courts have spread worldwide. Yet, there is little knowledge on the relationship between national and international courts and the transformation of judicial power in a globalizing world. The idea of the conference is to bring together scholars, as well as judges, in order to explore the changing landscape of judicial power and to discuss the legitimacy and effectiveness of this power. We will focus on the decision-making processes of these courts, the judicial dialogues and interactions, and the ways in which judges of transnational courts identify a European “consensus” or even the existence of an international trend in the interpretation of human rights.

Further information here.

EPSA 2016 Annual General Conference (Brussels, June 23-25, 2016)

Network member Will Phelan (Trinity College Dublin) has asked that we alert the network to the upcoming annual general meeting of the European Political Science Association ("EPSA"), to be held this June in Brussels.  The deadline for proposals is December 11, 2015; further information is below.

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EPSA’s sixth annual general conference will take place from June 23 to June 25 in one of Europe’s most politically and culturally significant cities: Brussels.

The conference will take place in SQUARE, a modern made-to-purpose conference centre with first-class facilities and amenities. SQUARE is  a short stroll from all of the historic city’s major attractions and the central train station.

EPSA expects 750-800 participants at the Brussels conference. We will have from 180-200 panels on all issues of modern political science. Participants will find plenty of opportunity to discuss their work, to network or to simply enjoy the amazing attractions of Brussels in the summer.

EPSA’s annual conference is a general political science conference and as such, invites the presentation of cutting edge research results from all fields of political science and all types of interdisciplinary research with a political component.

Deadline for submission of proposals is December 11, 2015.

November 23, 2015

Now Available: Cambridge Yearbook of European Studies Volume 17

Network member Kenneth Armstrong (Cambridge) has written to alert the network to the release of Volume 17 of the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies.  Contributors to this volume include network members Joanne Scott (UCL) and Jo Shaw (Edinburgh), and friends of the network Edoardo Chiti (Tuscia) and Federico Fabbrini (Copenhagen).  The volume can be found online here.

Kenneth also extends an open invitation to the network to contact him with any ideas for articles they would like to publish in the Yearbook.

November 18, 2015

Book Announcement: Antoine Vauchez, Democratizing Europe (Palgrave 2015)

We are delighted to announce that network member Antoine Vauchez (Paris) has released the English translation of his book Democratizing Europe with Palgrave Publishing.  A German translation is planned for 2016.  The publisher's blurb is below; further details are available here.

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How can we account for numerous and repeatedly failed attempts to redress the European Union's democratic deficit over the past three decades? In the wake of the Eurozone crisis, Democratizing Europe argues that part of our collective failure to re-orient the EU's trajectory lies in our failure to fully characterize the EU government's dependent path. Bringing together new streams of scholarship in history, law, sociology, and political science, this book suggests a new portrait of the EU's singular political model. Tasked with Europe's grand project, the edification of a unique economic and monetary Market, the European Court, Commission, and Central Bank have been the cradle in which the EU polity has been shaped, staged, and legitimized. In this context, it is no wonder that the many attempts to parliamentarize Europe have had limited democratic effects. Vauchez suggests that we recognize this historically-rooted centrality of Europe's independent branch and adapt our democratization strategies accordingly.

November 17, 2015

Turkuler Isiksel on "Europe's Functional Constitution" at NYU's Jean Monnet Center (November 20, 2015) (RSVP required)

We are pleased to pass along to the network an invitation from NYU's Jean Monnet Center to join a celebration on Friday November 20, 2015, of a forthcoming book from network member Turkuler Isiksel (Columbia & currently Emile Noël Fellow at NYU): "Europe's Functional Constitution: A Theory of Constitutionalism Beyond the State" to be published by OUP in 2016.  

Turku will give a presentation on her forthcoming book; network members Joseph Weiler (EUI & NYU), Piet Eeckhout (UCL & currently Senior Emile Noël Fellow at NYU), and Daniel Francis (NYU), along with friend of the network Jan Klabbers (Helsinki & currently Senior Emile Noël Fellow at NYU), will comment.  Network member Gráinne de Búrca (NYU) will moderate the session.

Details follow; please note the RSVP request to

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Europe's Functional Constitution: A Theory of Constitutionalism Beyond the State

On Friday, November 20, 2015 at 12:30-2:00PM (lunch served from 12:00PM) the Jean Monnet Center will host Turkuler Isiksel‘s presentation of her forthcoming book Europe’s Functional Constitution: A Theory of Constitutionalism Beyond the State (coming out with OUP's Constitutional Theory series in 2016).

Commentators: Joseph Weiler, University Professor, NYU; President of EUI; Piet Eeckhout, Professor of EU Law, University College London; Senior Emile Noël Fellow, NYU School of Law, 2015-16, Johannes Klabbers, Professor of International Organizations Law, University of Helsinki; Senior Emile Noël Fellow, NYU School of Law, 2015-16, and Daniel Francis, JSD candidate, NYU School of Law.

Moderator: Gráinne de Búrca, Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Hauser Global Law School and Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice.

Location: 1st Floor Lounge, 22 Washington Square North, New York, NY 10011.

Please kindly RSVP by email to if you would like to attend.

November 2, 2015

Herwig Hofmann on the Schrems Decision

Few recent decisions of the Court of Justice have attracted as much comment -- or controversy -- as the Schrems decision on the data protection "safe harbor."  As part of our ongoing series of posts regarding the case, we are delighted to publish here an analysis and comment by network member Herwig Hofmann (Luxembourg).  Herwig's perspective is of particular interest, as he represented Max Schrems before the Court of Justice in the case.  In the post below, he explores some of the broader implications of the decision.

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The Essence of EU Fundamental Rights and their Global Reach 

Herwig C.H. Hofmann[1]

The CJEU ruling in Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner[2] will be subject to many discussions on constitutional matters for the time to come. It is a landmark case not only for clarifying and applying the basic conceptual understanding of fundamental rights in the EU. The Schrems case clarifies therein many further aspects of conditions for effective protection of a right, supervision by Member State authorities as well as the global reach of EU fundamental rights, at least regarding information rights and their protection. As is typical for many essential developments in public law, these developments originate from the very specific structural and substantive context of a specific policy area’s administrative law details. But the consequences will radiate also into debates on pluralism of multi-level legal orders in an inter-connected world.

The background to Schrems v DPC is as follows: Supervision of compliance with EU data protection rules takes place by national authorities vested with “complete independence”[3] within the territory of each Member State. Transfer of data from the EU to a third country is possible only if that country has an “adequate level” of data protection, a fact the European Commission may certify by means of a decision.[4] In 2000, the Commission had taken an adequacy decision with respect to the United States of America, a decision became known as the “Safe Harbour Decision”.[5] The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had the opportunity to review the compliance of the various elements of the data protection regime, especially the conditions of the Commission decisions declaring a third country to maintain an adequate level of protection, upon request for preliminary reference by the High Court of Ireland in a judicial review procedure of a decision of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) not to accept a complaint about Facebook Ireland transferring personal data to Facebook servers in the US.

Book Announcement: Luuk van Middelaar and Philippe van Parijs, eds., After the Storm: How to Save Democracy in Europe (Lannoo 2015)

We are pleased to announce that network member Luuk van Middelaar (Leiden) has just co-edited a remarkable new work with Philippe van Parijs (UC Louvain).  Drawing together contributions from a range of leading scholars including network member Turkuler Isiksel (Columbia and Emile Noel Fellow at NYU), Jürgen Habermas, Koen Lenaerts, Fritz Scharpf, Amartya Sen, and others, and assembled at the request of former European Council President Herman van Rompuy, the work is entitled After the Storm: How to Save Democracy in Europe.  The publisher's blurb is below: the work can be ordered here.

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In his years as president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy met with an impressive series of leading thinkers to discuss the future of Europe. He set the bar high by asking them to tell him something he had not heard before. The philosophers, economists, political scientists and legal experts who took up his invitation met the challenge brilliantly.

President Michael Higgins of Ireland on the State of the (European) Union

A few weeks ago, President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland visited NYU to give the Eleventh Annual Emile Noël Lecture on the State of the (European) Union, sponsored by the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at NYU.  Network member Gráinne de Búrca (NYU), Director of the Jean Monnet Center, introduced President Higgins and acted as discussant at the event, which drew a capacity crowd.  We are pleased to share the following summary, prepared by friend of the network Johann Justus Vasel (Visiting Researcher at NYU).

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The European Union – Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope

The Eleventh Annual Emile Noël Lecture on the State of the (European) Union

presented by

His Excellency, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins

On Monday September 28, 2015, His Excellency Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, honored the NYU School of Law by delivering the Eleventh Annual Emile Noël Lecture on the State of the (European) Union (full text available here; video available here). The Annual Emile Noël Lecture is sponsored by the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice. 

Following opening remarks by Dean Trevor Morrison and an introduction by Professor Gráinne de Búrca, His Excellency gave a vivid, bold, and inspiring address entitled “The European Union – Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope.” The President took as his subject the current legitimacy crisis facing the European Union. In a rich and powerfully argued presentation, he offered and elaborated the vision that this crisis must be recognized as a consequence and symptom of an inadequate worldview that has taken root among policymakers and politicians: a worldview grounded on assumptions that are grossly inadequate for the tasks facing the Union today. 

October 18, 2015

More on Schrems/Safe Harbor: Jean Monnet Center-NYU to hold lunchtime seminar on Thursday October 22 (RSVP req'd)

The Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at NYU Law School is organizing lunchtime seminar on the recent and high-profile Schrems/Safe Harbor judgment of the EU Court of Justice.  The Court’s ruling invalidated the arrangements for transatlantic data flows, on the ground that US law does not offer adequate protection of Europeans' right to privacy.  It raises a range of important questions concerning international jurisdiction, surveillance oversight, privacy standards, transatlantic commerce, and internet regulation.

The seminar will take place on Thursday October 22 from 1:00-2:30 pm in the 1st Floor Lounge at 22 Washington Square North in New York City.  The discussion will be introduced by a panel, consisting of Hauser Global Scholar Thomas Streinz, Senior Global Emile Noël Fellow Professor Piet Eeckhout, Professor Richard Epstein, and Zachary Goldman of the Center on Law and Security.  Professor Gráinne de Búrca will moderate.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP by email to  Lunch will be served from 12:30 PM and the presentation will begin at 1:00 PM.

Jan-Werner Müller in the New York Review of Books Daily on Hungary's "Viktator"

Network member Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton) has a new piece out in the New York Review of Books Daily.  Entitled "Hungary: 'Sorry About Our Prime Minister,'" the article focuses on Hungary's controversial Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, and his handling of the European refugee crisis.  Jan-Werner's provocative and powerfully written piece argues that Orbán's conduct, policies, and posturing represent nothing short of an effort to start a "pan-European culture war," posing a challenge to "the moral core of the European project."  The first paragraph follows; the full article is available here.

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Visitors to Budapest this past July were greeted by large billboards, sponsored by an opposition group, saying: “Sorry about our prime minister.” A few weeks later, ugly images from Hungary began circulating around the world: Hungarian prison laborers, soldiers, and jobless men in workfare programs all mobilized to build a razor-wire fence at the border with Serbia in record time; Syrian families prevented from boarding carriages at Budapest train stations; police firing tear gas on refugees trying to cross the border from Serbia; government leaders warning of a “United European Caliphate” if the Muslim masses aren’t stopped in time. Yet the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, clearly thinks there’s no reason for him to be sorry, let alone for Hungarians to feel ashamed of him. He gleefully points out that he is merely applying European rules that require him to secure the EU’s external borders. And in Brussels and at the UN, he has been shopping around his proposal to close Europe and send refugees elsewhere—what he calls a system of “global quotas.”