Welcome to The Hague

After almost 40 years, the biannual congress of the International Federation of European Law (FIDE) returns to the Netherlands. From 3-6 November 2021, the Netherlands Association for European Law (NVER) has the honour of welcoming over 450 specialists in EU law in The Hague for the XXIX edition of this “classic” of EU law.

At FIDE the world of European law unites to discuss the state of EU law on both European and national level. FIDE congresses unite academia and practice, including endorsement and active participation of members of the Court of Justice of the European Union. High level debate is combined with the opportunity to meet with colleagues in a more informal setting. The Hague is not only the international city of peace and justice, but also a cozy city of parks, beaches and terraces.

My hope for present and future members of FIDE is to continue the debate and inspire new generations to actively participate in the debate on the future of the EU and the role of the legal framework. The main topics of the XXIX FIDE Congress have been carefully chosen to provide for fruitful and in depth discussions on very important issues of EU law, which cover important challenges of the European society and economy as well:

Topic 1: National Courts and the Enforcement of EU Law – the pivotal role of national courts in the EU legal order

Topic 2: The new EU Data Protection Regime – setting global standards for the right to personal data protection

Topic 3: EU competition law and the digital economy – protecting free and fair competition in an age of technological (r)evolution

The challenges the European Union faces are huge and imminent.  I firmly believe that the European Union can and should be the framework to flourish and enhance the cooperation between the European people, Member States, strengthen free trade, the free movement of persons, solidarity and mutual trust and provide for a sustainable healthy environment. The EU should remain a beacon of fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law, core values upon which it is constructed.

Brexit, current tensions in international relations, whether political or military, huge environmental questions and the migration crises continue to demand answers and solutions from a united Europe.  We will ensure that these topics will be addressed during the congress, bringing together different perspectives on these current issues affecting the European Union. European law is made by Europeans, lived by Europeans and of course, discussed by Europeans.

It is my firm believe that Europe can only continue to function with the full participation of future generations. We are therefore proud to continue the recent tradition of FIDE of organizing a PhD programme in cooperation with the Europa Institute of Leiden Law School. We intend to give ample opportunity to young lawyers and students of European law to actively participate at the congress and meet with each other in an informal setting. This will be organised by the Young European Lawyers (YEL), who had their first event at the FIDE congress in Estoril.

The Dutch organising team is an enthusiastic and flexible team, which combines the best of European law tradition and links it with new generations of European lawyers and modern times. It is inspiring to organise the FIDE congress with this group of people and I am convinced they will inspire those who come to The Hague.

It is no coincidence that FIDE returns to The Hague, for the city is the legal and administrative heart of The Netherlands, seat of its government and global city of Peace and Justice. With its blend of old and new, its historic buildings, museums, parks and last but not least seaside boulevard, we have no doubt that you will enjoy your stay. We will receive you in the brand new The Hague Conference Center, conveniently situated in the centre of the city, close to public transport, and a stone’s throw away from shops, museums and historic sights of interest.

We look forward to making you and your fellow European lawyers at home in November 2021!

With warm regards, on behalf of the FIDE organising committee,

Corinna Wissels

President of FIDE 2018 to 2021 and President of NVER

State Councillor at the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Dutch Council of State