We present the report on the International Conference of CEJM „Fundamental Rights in the European Union and the National Identity of the Member States” which took place at the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics of University of Wrocław on 29-30.05.2017.
Several months of preparations allowed to organize the conference which became an opportunity to gather numerous excellent experts on the EU law from all Europe. The conference’s events were split for two days; the first day was entirely devoted for the expert presentation sessions; the second day continued the expert sessions and additionally brought to the audience an additional sessions for doctoral students.
Just before the Conference, the general meeting of the Polish European Law Association had place. The Meeting was a closed gathering of the member of Association and served for the purpose of execution on statutory tasks of its governing bodies. The Meeting was held in the Polish language. The Conference itself, which subsequently followed, went on without any sudden incidents or interruptions. Everything went in line with the schedule provided by the organizators. Many people attended the Conference, including students, PhD candidates and academicians.
After the registration of participants, the Conference begun with the opening speech given by His Magnificence Rector of University of Wroclaw, Prof. Adam Jezierski, what underlined the importance of the event. The further opening speeches were given by Vice-Dean for Research and International Cooperation of the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics, Prof. Dariusz Adamski, and Director of the Centre of Excellence Jean Monnet, Prof. Dagmara Kornobis-Romanowska.
For the first day of Conference, the two expert sessions were included into merit schedule. The first one was conducted by Prof. Władysław Czapliński; the following experts took part in it: Advocate General of CJEU, Prof. Maciej Szpunar („The Scope of the Application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union”), Prof. Alina Kaczorowska („What is the European Union Required to Respect under Article 4(2) TEU? – The Uniqueness Approach”) and Prof. Dimitry Kochenov („Making Article 7 Nuclear”). The discussion which followed the presentations was very vivid and differences in opinions were quite significant. However, as the exchange of thoughts and ideas is crucial for the quality of academic debate, the first panel should be found to be fruitful indeed. Due to the the fierce debate, the short coffee brake between the panels had to be postponed.
The second panel was conducted by Prof. Robert Grzeszczak. The following experts took part in it: Prof. Matthias Niedobitek („National Identity as Protected by the Law of the Union and German Constitutional Identity”), Judge of Court of CJEU Prof. Nina Półtorak („Who Needs the Charter of Fundamental Rights – the Charter as a Challenge or a Chance for the National Legal Systems?”) and Prof. Mirosław Wyrzykowski („„Hostile Takeover” of the Constitutional Identity”). Also that panel was followed by a long discussion focused on mertis, which ended the first day of the Conference.
The second day begun with the third, two-hours-long expert session, conducted by Director of the Centre of Excellence Jean Monnet, Prof. Dagmara Kornobis-Romanowska. The experts were: Dr Patrycja Dąbrowska-Kłosińska: („Protecting the Right to Family Reunion or National Identity? The Fundamental Rights of Third-country Nationals and the Integration Requirements in the Light of Directive 2003/86/EC and the CJEU Case-law”); Prof. Sylwia Majkowska-Szulc elaborated on the up-to-date topic of language rights in our rapidly changing reality in the times of so-called migrant crisis in Europe („Linguistic Human Rights in Times of Migrant Crisis in Europe”); Prof. Monika Szwarc was the first during the conference to move the academic discussion towards criminal law („Searching for Equilibrium: Obligation to Respect Fundamental Rights versus Ius Puniendi Exercised by the Member States (as Emanation of Their National Identity”); the panel ended with the presentation of Dr Jakub Kociubiński, who analysed the problems faced by the EU law due to the rise of of so-called sharing economy („Freedom to Conduct a Business in the Age of Sharing Economy”).
The doctoral students panel was the last part of the official conference program. Certainly, for the attenders of doctoral studies and programs, it was the possibility to talk and consult the experienced experts what presented the most significant value during the conference. At the same time, scientifical work includes a need of presentation of one’s work outcomes, either in a form of articles, books etc., or in a form of conference presentations. The participants of the doctoral panel had thus a possible to practice the latter of the skills and forms, under the supervision and lead of Prof. Agnieszka Grzelak, who conducted the panel. Mgr Jan Ludwik was the first to present the topic referring to the current jurisprudence of the CJEU (“Impact of the Presumption of Equivalent Protection of Fundamental Rights (the Bosphorus Presumption) on the Autonomy of the EU Legal Order”). Due to the small change in the schedule, the second presenter was mgr Agnieszka Regiec (The New ODR Platform of the EU Commission – a Functional Realization of the Fundamental Right to Consumer Protection and Improvement of the Digital Single Market?”). After that, the presentation of mgr Maria Siemaszkiewicz followed. The presentation analysed whether the right to Internet could be the fundamental right within the EU legal system and it drew a lot of attentions and caused a vivid discussion in the end. The last person to give a speech was mgr Krzysztof J. Jankowski LL.M., who analysed in what degree the EU member states may invoke the national security clause to justify a limitation of privacy rights in the EU. All four presentations were followed by discussions and talks.
Director of the Centre of Excellence Jean Monnet, Prof. Dagmara Kornobis-Romanowska, together with the CEJM Team, as the organizator of the Conference wish to once again thank all those, without who the realization of Conference would not be possible. We would like to thank all the participants of Conference, especially the excellent experts of the EU law from entire Europe, who – despite their often very full schedules – found time to share with the knowledge and research results. Special thanks go to the principals and employees of both the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics, and of University of Wrocław, for your support and help. Thank you!