Why a Chair in European Law?
In 1957 Europe was created in the aftermath of the wars with the aim of bringing back peace.
Fifty years later a remarkable institutional and legislative work is done. However, although Europe appeals to the elites, it does not appeal to the citizens. Lawyers, researchers, professors and students cannot ignore this fact. Using other means, university research and teaching work is likely to re-enchant the European project, to overcome fears and meet expectations.
Which Chair of European Law?
Noting the fact that the major European debates of recent years have amplified institutional themes that are rather far removed from the concerns of citizens and actors in society, the originality of the Chair is to focus on so-called material, concrete European law (what does Europe do?) rather than on institutional law (who makes Europe?).
The Chair of European Law must meet the needs of the future. These needs are many and varied, so it will be marked by interdisciplinarity: commercial law, family law, criminal law, fundamental rights. In various fields, from business services to the migration of foreigners, Europe is building a common law.
The Chair of European Law will focus on the study, in various disciplines, of European law as an instrument of integration, as a means of bringing people and actors in society closer together, whether political or economic.
Why a "Louvain" Chair (UCL)?
Belgian universities, and the UCL in particular, occupy a privileged position in the research and teaching of European law. From the earliest years, this subject has been the subject of general and in-depth courses, particularly in the context of specialised study programmes, which are among the oldest in Europe. Several generations of researchers have succeeded one another in an effort which is now reflected in numerous renowned publications and in the creation of or participation in high-level European networks. This tradition will continue in the context of Bologna.
The UCL intends to invest even more in this sector of the future by increasing the visibility of its research teams in European law. Through the Academic Chair, it aims to develop know-how acquired in the field of the unification of law in the European context, whether in comparative private law or in the private international law of the European Union.
At the beginning of 2004, the Louvain Foundation launched a Chairs programme in order to support the development of the Catholic University of Louvain in teaching and research areas that are strategic for its future on the European stage.
An academic Chair allows :
- to anticipate the commitment of young professors
- to strengthen research teams
- to create new multidisciplinary courses or training
- to generate and/or dynamise the constitution of national and international networks in the subject studied
Among the various projects, the Chair of European Law emanating from the Faculty of Law (Department of International Law) is particularly crucial to maintain UCL's positioning and to continue its momentum in this field of researchs.