2009 - 2 October - CLEER Launch

On Friday 2 October 2009, CLEER was officially launched with a colloquium held at the premises of the TMC Asser Instituut. The topic of the conference, ‘The EU in the world: external relations law for the 21st century’, fell squarely within CLEER’s research programme. A heterogeneous audience of 80 experts from practice (incl. EP, ECJ, Member States' institutions) and academia (from Amsterdam to Zagreb Universities) listened how Mr. Jean-Claude Piris (DG Legal Service, Council) and Prof. Bernd Martenczuk (Legal Service, Commission), and their respondents Prof. Deirdre Curtin (UvA) and Dr. Andrea Ott, evaluated the most important institutional changes to be introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in the field of external relations. A lively discussion ensued on the (political and legal) accountability of the Union’s external actions. In the afternoon, Dr. Adam Lazowski (University of Westminster) and Dr. Geert de Baere (Leuven University) turned the debate to legal mechanisms ensuring the unity in (external) diversity of the EU.  Prof. Ramses Wessel and Prof. Pieter Jan Kuijper (UvA) wrapped up with the changing relationship between the EU and the international legal orders. Pending the positive outcome of the crucial Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the mood among the conference participants was optimistic.