Launching the Global Europe project: The transparency of the global dimension of EU law

Published 13 September 2019


Internal law-making within the EU is now conducted at the highest possible level of transparency and openness in terms of legislative procedure, which is in stark contrast with many international organisations. However, when it comes to its external practices and relations, that seems less to be the case. The Asser Institute is launching the Global Europe project on 20 September with a seminar during which Prof. Elaine Fahey will discuss this apparent discrepancy between the EU’s internal and external levels of transparency, as well as some of the reasons underlying it. 

The ‘global’ forms an increasingly regular, active and explicit part of the daily business of the EU.  In her talk, Elaine Fahey will argue that there is a specific mismatch between the commitment to transparency on a daily level in international and external fields as well as practices of EU law and the actual substantive law-making practice evolving. While the EU’s vision of the ‘global’ is to a degree the most transparent ever, the converse is not necessarily the case as to its legal content. The global dimension to EU law has expansive subjects and objectives, in areas of existing strength in global actorness (e.g. trade) and in more evolving competences (e.g. security). Elaine Fahey will argue that while the EU is a significant soft power in trade, it is arguably less so in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) where its global reach becomes more challenging. The relative weakness of the EU’s global approach in the AFSJ is usually or acutely felt by individuals who face challenges in seeking redress on aspects of transparency. Fahey argues that there is a significant mismatch of internal transparency practices concerning the EU’s global law-making. Ultimately, mismatches between internal procedures and external law-making  with respect to transparency operate adversely upon the ‘global’ in a variety of ways, e.g. regarding  transparency and clarity, good administration and territoriality claims taken by individuals. It outlines the express approach to the global in EU policy in migration, passenger name records, and the non-express approach to the ‘global’ in EU data protection and data transfers.

About the event
When: 20 September, 2019 at 15:30h. 
Where: T.M.C. Asser Instituut

15:30: Introduction and Prof. Fahey’s lecture 
16:30: Q&A session
17:00 Reception
Register for this event here

About the speaker


Elaine Fahey is Professor of Law and Associate Dean (Research) at the Institute for the Study of European Law (ISEL), the City Law School, City, University of London. She was an Emile Noël Fellow at New York University (NYU) Law School and a visiting professor at Keio University Law School, Tokyo, Japan in 2017-2018. Previously, she was a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at Amsterdam Centre for European Law & Governance (ACELG) at the University of Amsterdam, a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, and Assistant Lecturer and Lecturer in Law in Ireland (Dublin Institute of Technology; Trinity College Dublin).

Her research interests span the relationship between EU law and global governance, trade, transatlantic relations, the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and the study of law beyond the State. Her publications include a monograph, The Global Reach of EU Law (Routledge, 2016) and the multi-disciplinary edited volumes The Actors of Postnational Rule-Making: Conceptual Challenges of European and International Law (Routledge, 2015), A Transatlantic Community of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Institutionalisation beyond the Nation State (Springer, 2018) and the textbook, An Introduction to Law & Global Governance (Edward Elgar, 2018).

Elaine Fahey is also Chair of the City, University of London Steering Group on Research Integrity, and the co-convener and Director of the Institute for the Study of European Law (ISEL), City, University of London.

Read Elaine Fahey’s full paper on the topic here.

Global Europe Project
This event marks the launch of Global Europe, a project that is part of a broader research strand of‘Advancing Public Interests in International and European Law’of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. The project is based on three pillars. First, it seeks to explore the internal and external factors that may challenge the EU’s capacity to exercise value-based global leadership on a number of crucial issues. Second, it aims to critically reflect on whether the external projection of the EU as a virtuous normative power comports with its practice on the ground. Third, it addresses the descriptive, conceptual and normative challenges that complement the ever-expanding global reach of EU law. Ultimately, the project deals with questions of trust pertaining to the EU as an international legal actor.

The Global Europe Project is led by Dr Eva Kassoti and Dr Narin Idriz, you can find more information on the project here