Challenges to EU Law and Governance in the Member States

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Eurosceptic and nationalist forces have been gaining ground in many Member States. The ideal of an ever closer union, built on fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, has been shaken by the UK’s decision to leave the EU and by illiberal democratic developments in Hungary and Poland. The free movement of citizens, economic migration and the influx of third-country refugees tend to be particularly controversial in the Member States.

Against this backdrop, we are pleased to invite submissions for a conference that will examine to what extent the EU is being politicised and its law challenged in the Member States. The focus will not only be on Member States that are known to be highly critical of the EU; for a complete picture, the aim is rather to find out whether challenges to EU law and governance are frequent occurrences or merely highly visible exceptions.

The conference has two objectives. The first is to establish whether Euroscepticism takes the form of specific criticism of EU legislation and case law. Do governments and/or political parties criticise particular pieces of EU law and policy, and do they propose, or take, initiatives that are incompatible with those of the Union? Second, the conference will explore to what extent criticism of the EU is translated into actual changes in national law. Is Eurosceptic rhetoric made manifest in the domestic legislation or case law of the Member States?

The conference will be held on 8 June 2018 at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy under the auspices of the Max Weber Programme.

Keynote speaker

The keynote address will be delivered by Michal Bobek, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the EU and author of numerous works on the interaction of EU law and national legal systems. He was previously Professor of European Law at the College of Europe, Research Fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law of the University of Oxford as well as legal secretary to the Chief Justice and head of the Research and Documentation Department at the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic.

Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words to by 18 February 2018.

Successful applicants will be notified by 1 March 2018. Full drafts of papers are due by 15 May 2018. We aim to publish a selection of the conference papers in an edited collection. Abstracts should be submitted on the basis that the paper will be available for publication.

Participation in the conference is free of charge. Participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Conference registration
General registration for the conference is open until 15 May 2018. Please send an email to Numbers are limited and early registration is

Conference conveners
The conference is convened by Dr Anna Wallerman and Dr Clara Rauchegger, both Max Weber Fellows at the Law Department of the European University Institute. To contact the conveners, please e-mail