On 11 October 2019, the 5th CML Rev. on Tour conference took place in Paris, at the beautiful Salle des Conseils in Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas University.
The conference was organized by Loic Azoulai, Sciences Po, and Eduard Dubout, Paris 2. Loic Azoulai is a member of the Editorial Board of Common Market Law Review. The topic was A Cultural and Identity-related Shift in European Union Law?
The aim of the CML Rev on tour conferences is to encourage discussion on all aspects of EU law, also in places other than our “home base” of Leiden, or a major centre for English language discussion such as London. The Editorial Board play an advisory role in the programme, and also help with chairing the event. So far these events have been held in Liverpool, Oslo, Bonn and Warsaw.
European Union law has mainly been framed in economic, rational and utilitarian terms. But it seems there may be a shift, whereby Member States who wish to justify their conduct under EU law also portray the actions they pursue as stemming from commitments that are presented as central to the identity integrity of their society and people. This hypothesis was tested in relation to issues of migration, religion and the environment. Moreover, the topics were examined by lawyers and political scientists or philosophers, in order to try to get a grip on this new phenomenon – if indeed it is actually taking place, and is new.
The conference was opened by Alison McDonnell. Loic Azoulai and Eduard Dubout then set out the framing hypothesis. The case of migration was examined by Ségolène Barbou des Places,Panthéon-Sorbonne University Law School, and Sophie Guérard de Latour, Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Centre de philosophie contemporaine. Barbou des Places started by emphasizing the difficulty of pinpointing the meaning of the term “culture”, but also highlighted the difference between Member States using this as a justification for action which may otherwise breach U law, and using this, in the field of migration, as a factor in reallocation of refugees.
Questions of Religion were addressed by Ronan McCrea, University College London, Faculty of Laws, Elke Cloots, practising lawyer and University of Antwerp, Faculty of Law, and Nadia Marzuki, Sciences Po, Centre de Recherches Internationales.
A lively session on the environment covered the idea, launched by Gareth Davies (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Law) that the EU should become an organization focused on environmental protection, and also the fundamental aims of the EU, and how these could relate to the need for a reconnection of human beings to the land from which they live, and not just the land on which they live, presented by Bruno Latour (Médialab, Sciences Po).
Finally, a panel composed of Leonard Besselink, Amsterdam University, Faculty of Law, Marise Cremona, European University Institute, CML Rev. Editorial Board, Michael Dougan, University of Liverpool, CML Rev. Editorial Board, Cornelia Woll, Sciences Po, Centre d’études européennes, looked at The Strength Of The Cultural Argument In Today’s Europe – EU Law and EU Politics Compared, focusing on issues such as external relations, Brexit, artificially constructed and inherently contradictory identity discourses.
On this occasion, the 2018 CML Rev. Prize for Young Academics was awarded to Leandro Mancano, for his article “Storming the Bastille: Detention conditions, the right to liberty and the case for approximation in EU law” (56(1) CMLRev.).