6th Young European Law Scholars Conference ‘The Future of EU Fundamental Rights’
The 6th annual Young European Law Scholars Conference (YELS) will be held on Thursday and Friday 1-2 June 2023 at Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
We invite young scholars of European law (i.e. all scholars who have not yet secured a full professorship) to come together and discuss the future of EU fundamental rights law. In keeping with the format of previous YELS conferences, scholars whose papers are selected will be given the opportunity to present their work at the conference and to receive dedicated, individualised feedback on their paper from a distinguished scholar in the field of European (fundamental rights) law.
Over the last couple of decades, the EU has progressively gained a prominent role in promoting and protecting fundamental rights in Europe. Since 2000, the EU has its own ‘Bill of Rights’ - the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union - and the EU legislator has increasingly developed fundamental rights standards in secondary legislation in various areas such as equality law and data protection. At the same time, there has been a sharp increase in fundamental rights cases before the Court of Justice, which has been called to assess the compatibility with EU fundamental rights of both national and EU measures. The Court has picked up on the increased human rights salience of EU law, positioning itself as a human rights court and placing the Charter at the heart of its human rights adjudication. Moreover, the EU’s legal and policy documents present the Union’s commitment to fundamental rights as an aspiration and responsibility, shared among the EU institutions and the Union and its Member States.
Yet, questions concerning the roles of various institutional actors in the EU fundamental rights architecture remain open, and the effectiveness of the EU system is often called into question. The proliferation of EU fundamental rights standards is leading to an important shift in the European fundamental rights landscape, but the prospects and consequences of this evolution remain contested and partly unexplored. The aim of this conference is to critically reflect on the role of the EU as a fundamental rights actor, the position of different institutions in this regard, and the relationship with other actors in Europe and beyond.
Guidelines for submission
The conveners of the 6th YELS conference invite young scholars of European law to submit an abstract (max. 600 words) by 31 January 2023 here or via the green button on the right side of this page. Contributions should be submitted and presented in English. Submissions on any aspect of the conference theme are welcome, including those that consider broader aspects of the EU fundamental rights architecture as well as those dealing with specific fundamental rights and fields of law. By way of guidance, a list of non-exhaustive examples of the type of topics that can be considered include:
- The role of fundamental rights in the EU constitution;
- The EU as a fundamental rights legislator;
- The monitoring and enforcement of EU fundamental rights;
- The role of the Court of Justice and other EU institutions in protecting fundamental rights;
- New actors in EU fundamental rights protection;
- Common minimum standards in EU fundamental rights law;
- The relationship with the ECHR and the upcoming EU's accession to the ECHR;
- EU fundamental rights in selected policy areas (e.g. the digital sphere, migration, criminal cooperation etc.)
- Critical reflections on the EU as a fundamental rights actor;
- EU fundamental rights and EU institutional reforms;
- Social rights as EU fundamental rights.
Scholars who have their abstracts selected for the conference will be required to submit a full paper (8,000-10,000 words including footnotes) by 30 April 2023. These papers will be sent to expert commentators to be read before the conference.
The organisers of the conference strive to publish a selection of the papers presented in Maastricht in a special issue of an international journal or an edited volume.
The organisers will be able to cover (at least) part of the travel and accommodation costs of the conference’s speakers. Further information will be offered at a later stage.
Participation in the conference is free of charge. General registration for the conference will open in spring 2023.
The conference conveners are Šejla Imamović, Matteo Bonelli, Elin Börjedal and Eleonora Di Franco (Maastricht University).
The event is organised in cooperation with the Globalization & Law Network and the Maastricht Centre for European Law.