December 13, 2014

Section News: The Newsletter of the European Law Section of AALS (Fall 2014)

Through the great work of network member Erin Delaney (Northwestern), the European Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) has published its annual newsletter (see below).  The newsletter includes plenty of information of interest to section members, including notices of the Section's sponsored and co-sponsored panels at this year's AALS Annual Meeting in Washington (January 2-5, 2015) -- the first on US-EU trade relations (notably TTIP) and the second on transatlantic economic law and governance more generally.  In addition, there is a notice of a panel at this year's EUSA Conference in Boston (March 5-7, 2015) on the challenges of teaching EU law in US law schools, which will feature several Section members. Check it out, if you haven't seen it previously.

December 12, 2014

The Network on SSRN: Neil Walker on Secession Movements and EU Membership

Network member Neil Walker (Edinburgh, visiting this term at Yale) has alerted us to a new piece posted on SSRN entitled "Beyond Secession? Law in the Framing of the National Polity," which is forthcoming in a collective volume on nationalization and globalization from Hart Publishing.  The abstract is below and the full article can be downloaded here.

* * *

This paper examines the legal and political course of contemporary secession struggles within the European Union, with particular reference to the recent Scottish referendum, the 'consultation' in Catalonia, and the developing situation in Flanders. The focus is upon the way in which secession debates have become tied up with the question of the EU membership prospects of the potentially seceding state. The EU institutions themselves have adopted an attitude of 'conservative neutrality' to these prospects and to the legitimacy of secession more generally – a minimalist approach which largely defers to the various and differing domestic constitutional arrangements of the ‘parent’ state and which, at best, does not exclude new membership where secession may be compatible with these domestic arrangements. The paper contrasts the unwillingness of the EU to assume a directorial role in the theatre of European secession – an attitude which has some anomalous consequences but which accurately reflects the EU’s weak legitimacy over such a ‘high political’ question – with its highly significant role in the more elementary matter of stage (re) design. For the very existence and development of the EU as a supranational entity, alters the basic calculus through which we attribute value – both instrumental and expressive – to forms of political life at, above and below the level of the state. And while the full historical consequences of the EU’s reframing exercise remain unsettled and unpredictable, they are already reshaping political expectations and aspirations in ways that alter our very sense of the significance of 'secession' and associated statuses.

The Network on SSRN: Joanna Glowacki and Christoph Henkel on Hydraulic Fracturing in the EU

Network member Christoph Henkel (Mississippi) has posted a new article on SSRN, co-authored with Joanna Glowacki, entitled "Hydraulic Fracturing in the European Union: Leveraging the U.S. Experience in Shale Gas Exploration and Production."  The article is forthcoming in the Indiana International & Comparative Law Review.  The abstract is below and the full article may be downloaded here.

* * *

Hydraulic fracturing has been the subject of much debate recently, both in the United States and increasingly in Europe. Advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have led to a shale gas boom in the United States, significantly lowering natural gas prices, and causing some foreign businesses to move manufacturing plants from Europe to the United States. In the United States, approximately 11,000 new wells are “fracked” each year, adding to the currently existing 35,000 wells. When compared to these numbers, European shale gas exploration remains in its infancy and commercial scale gas extraction has yet to be established. At the same time, many Member States in the European Union consider the exploration of unconventional fossil fuels essential for their energy security and independence from Russian gas.

While natural gas is a cleaner burning fossil fuel than oil, the fracking process itself, as well as its requisite infrastructure, brings with it numerous environmental and health concerns. As shale gas exploration progresses further and is commercially developed, many previously unrecognized and underestimated concerns have become more prevalent. The use of fresh water during the process of fracturing and the potential for pollution of surface and groundwater are only two examples of such concerns. In fact, a clear picture of the types and quantities of chemicals being used as additives in fracking fluids injected into the ground and the risks they may pose for the environment or human health has been lacking. In the United States, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, a permit is required only if diesel fuels are used as additives in fracking fluids. Yet, there is no definite clarity with respect to whether operators are actually using diesel fuels as additives or how much is being used.

With little or no experience in shale gas development, Europe is looking toward the United States as a potential model for its nascent regulatory framework. While there is a patchwork of EU directives that address fracturing, there are specific shortcomings due to the fact that shale gas development has not been pursued in Europe. The European Commission and the European Parliament continue to evaluate the impact of fracturing on the environment and human health, and have already released numerous studies and reports. It is the objective of these initiatives to ensure that the environmental risks arising from shale gas projects and cumulative developments are adequately identified and managed in Europe. In addition, the European Union is attempting to establish a common regulatory approach allowing for a comparable and coherent regulatory environment across the European Union and all its Member States.

This article analyzes the existing regulatory frameworks in the United States and European Union as they relate to hydraulic fracturing of shale gas. It is argued that while the United States’ experience may serve as an example for the European Union, the shale gas boom in the United States has raised a host of environmental and health concerns that need to be addressed. At the same time, the United States may be well advised to consider some of the developments in Europe, where, for example, mutual non-disclosure agreements regarding damages to the environment and human health may not be allowed.

November 30, 2014

"Futures of the European Union" at NYU (Dec. 12): Dieter Grimm, Miguel Poaires Maduro, Gráinne de Búrca, and Christine Landfried

Network member Gráinne de Búrca asked us to pass along the information below regarding "Futures of the European Union," which will take place on December 12 at the Deutches Haus at NYU.  The gathering will feature Dieter GrimmMiguel Poiares Maduro, and Christine Landfried, as well as Gráinne herself. Details are below.  If you are in the New York area, please give consideration to attending.

* * *

Max Weber Guest Lectures: Futures of the European Union
Friday, December 12, 6:00 p.m.
Deutsches Haus, New York University

Deutsches Haus at NYU and the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies present "Futures of the European Union" featuring presentations by Dieter Grimm and Miguel Poiares Maduro with a commentary by Gráinne de Búrca. The event will be moderated by Christine Landfried and is part of the Max Weber Guest Lectures 2014 series.

Dieter Grimm is Professor Emeritus of Law at Humboldt University in Berlin and Visiting Professor at Yale Law School. He was a Justice of the Constitutional Court of Germany as well as the Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin.

Miguel Poiares Maduro is the Portuguese Minister for Regional Development. He was a Professor of Law at the European University Institute in Florence and a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School. He was also an Advocate General of the European Court of Justice.

Gráinne de Búrca is the Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law at NYU and Director of the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice. She was a Professor at Harvard Law School and at the European University Institute in Florence.

Christine Landfried is the Max Weber Professor at NYU.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to Space at Deutsches Haus is limited; please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!

This event is sponsored by the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Deutsches Haus at NYU.

November 24, 2014

The Network on SSRN: Gráinne de Búrca, International Law Before the Courts: The European Union and the United States Compared

Network member Gráinne de Búrca (NYU Law) has alerted us to a new article she has posted on SSRN, entitled “International Law Before the Courts: the EuropeanUnion and the United States Compared.”  The article is forthcoming from the Virginia Journal ofInternational Law.  The abstract is below and the full article may be downloaded here.

* * *

Against the background of a broadly shared perception of the US and the EU as very different kinds of international actors, and a related assumption that the approaches of the US Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice towards the internalization of international law are also very different, this article takes a systematic look at the approaches of the European Court of Justice and the US Supreme Court to the internalization of international law over the decade 2002-2012. The perception of the US in recent decades has been as a frequently unilateralist and exceptionalist actor in international relations, with the Supreme Court remaining resistant to law which emanates from outside the American legislative process, or which lacks a clear domestic imprimatur as applicable US law. The EU, by comparison, is seen as having a greater commitment to multilateralism and to the development and observance of international law, and the case-law of the Court of Justice has until recently been broadly viewed – with WTO jurisprudence seen as an exception – as actively contributing to shaping that image through its embrace and internalization of international law norms. The analysis over a ten-year period of the case law of the two courts dealing with international law suggests that, rather than a simplified picture of the Supreme Court as the skeptical judicial arm of an internationally exceptionalist United States and the CJEU as the embracing judicial arm of an open and internationalist European Union, there are many more commonalities between the approaches of the two courts than conventional depictions acknowledge.

November 18, 2014

Announcement from the SEALS International Committee: Two International Conferences in April

Network member Patrick Hugg (Loyola-New Orleans) has alerted us that the International Committee of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) has announced two special international conferences in 2015:

1) A three-day research conference entitled Searching for Solutions in Cyprus, jointly presented by SEALS, the European Law Faculties Association, and Eastern Mediterranean University, conducted in Famagusta and Lefkosa, Northern Cyprus, April 13 - 15, 2015. 

and immediately following that:

2) SEALS international member and current President of ELFA, Dean Haluk Kabaalioglu cordially invites all SEALS members to join us for the European Law Faculties Association Annual Meeting, in Istanbul, April 16 - 18, 2015.

For more information about these exceptional opportunities to meet international colleagues, as well as engage in research, contact Prof. Patrick Hugg at, and for specifics about the ELFA Annual Meeting, see

November 7, 2014

Job Opportunity: Executive Director of HEC-NYU EU Regulatory Policy Clinic in Paris (deadline: Nov 9)

Network member Alberto Alemanno (HEC-Paris/NYU) has asked us to forward the following notice of a job opportunity.  Please pass on to potentially interested parties and also note the (extended) deadline for applying is November 9:

New York University School of Law and HEC Paris are seeking qualified applicants for a full-time term-limited non-faculty position as the Executive Director of HEC-NYU EU Regulatory Policy Clinic in Paris. The Executive Director will be responsible for engaging in case selection and advocacy to promote the clinic's mission and goals; supervising students in all aspects of the clinic's work; and teaching clinical skills under close faculty supervision. The initial term of the appointment will be January 1, 2015 to June 30 2015. Subsequently the agreement will be evaluated for renewal annually.

The candidate must hold a law degree with a specialization in European Union Law, be a qualified lawyer in at least one jurisdiction, and have a good understanding of EU policymaking, a public interest vocation and an entrepreneurial attitude. A PhD, a record of relevant publications and teaching and previous exposure to US legal education would be a plus.

Please note that this opportunity closes on November 9, 2014 (extended deadline). 

Candidates for this position should provide:  a cover letter; a one page statement of interest and vision for the position; and a resume or C.V. to Prof. Alberto Alemanno, Scientific Director of the HEC-NYU EU Regulatory Policy Clinic at NYU School of Law and HEC Paris are committed to a policy of equal opportunity.

For more information about the clinical program, visit the HEC-NYU EU Regulatory Policy Clinic webpage:

October 30, 2014

The Network on SSRN: Philomila Tsoukala on Household Regulation in the Crisis of European Integration

Network member Philomila Tsoukala (Georgetown) has posted a new article on SSRN, entitled “Household Regulation and European Integration: The Family Portrait of a Crisis.”  The article is forthcoming from the American Journal of Comparative Law and can be downloaded in full here.  The abstract is below.

* * *

This article develops a theoretical framework for analyzing the regulation of the household and its effects on the economy. Incorporating insights from family economics, comparative family law, legal realism, political economy and feminism, it describes the array of different legal regimes that can affect household composition and function. The article then analyzes the case of Greece using this framework. It argues that the role of households organized as families was a central element in the Greek debt crisis, overlooked by scholars and policymakers alike. It identifies the host of legal regimes that helped consolidate families as the main providers of both welfare and employment and analyzes the consequences of this organization for Greece’s economy. Finally, the article argues that a household based analysis offers useful comparative insights in the context of the euro crisis and its management. More specifically, it elucidates how the structural reforms now required through the European Semester necessitate a dramatic transformation of basic schemes of welfare provisioning. It argues that without additional support these transformations are likely to fail or have dramatic unintended consequences.

October 21, 2014

National Constitutional Rights as a Limit on the Application of European Law in Integration's Early Decades (Will Phelan)

Network member Will Phelan (Trinity College Dublin) has let us know about a new article entitled "The Limited Practical Relevance of National Constitutional Rights as a Constraint on the National Application of European Law in the Early Decades of European Integration". The article is available from the Irish Journal of European Law and can be downloaded in full here. An abstract is below.

Scholarship on the early development of the supremacy of European law has frequently been dominated by discussion of the possibility that a directly effective European law obligation would not be applied in the national legal order because it violated a national constitutional law fundamental right, as discussed, for example, in the Frontini and Solange decisions of the Italian and German Constitutional Courts. This paper argues that such a possibility should instead be seen as of limited practical relevance. This claim is supported by early scholarship on the application of European law in the national legal orders and by the practice of constitutional review of laws giving execution to treaty obligations in Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Germany, including the German Constitutional Court’s 1955 decision on the Saar Statute. Two conclusions are drawn from this discussion. First, scholarship examining the development of European law supremacy in relation to national constitutional law fundamental rights in particular should be situated within the context of the flexible and politically sensitive approach to adjudication demonstrated by Europe’s national courts in their decisions on potential conflicts between constitutional rights and international legal obligations. Second, scholarship offering a general explanation of the development of the supremacy of European law should not focus on the national constitutional rights question to the exclusion of a thorough examination of national law solutions to European law’s lex posterior problem. 

October 8, 2014

Announcement: Picketty and Ashton at EUSA Conference (March 5-7, 2015 in Boston); extended deadline until October 10 to submit panels

Network member Michelle Egan (American), also Chair of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA) Executive Committee, asked that we forward this important announcement:

Dear EUSA members,

As the extended deadline approaches this Friday Oct. 10 for submissions for the biennial conference in Boston, March 5-7,2015, we'd like to share with you one more reason that this is a EUSA that is not to be missed! In addition to Thomas Piketty's plenary lecture on the evening of Friday, March 6, a plenary session at noon the same day will feature Lady Catherine Ashton, outgoing High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in a discussion involving Peter Katzenstein, Kathleen McNamara, and Brian Rathbun.

We look forward to seeing you in Boston!