EUFutures Research Network Launch Report

eufutures, Prof Elaine Fahey, Dr Fabien Terpan, Dr Rebecca Zahn |

On 4 November 2022, the UACES/James Madison Trust funded EUFutures Research Network held its launch workshop at The City Law School, City, University of London. The organisers have now published a report summarising the workshop entitled ‘Understanding legal integration/disintegration: in search of new perspectives’.

The event consisted of four panels bringing together scholars from across the EU at all stages of their career who presented work on ‘Interdisciplinary research on EU law’, ‘Research Methods and EU law’, ‘Understanding the EU’s integration processes’ and ‘Understanding EU law through soft law, discourse, ideas & beliefs’, respectively. The keynote paper was delivered by Professor Mikael Rask Madsen.

The future of EU legal integration is at a significant juncture with the departure of the UK, substantial rule of law challenges, internal and external crises, and an increasingly apathetic multilateral legal order. There is increased recognition amongst EU lawyers, who have historically limited themselves to doctrinal analysis and legal hermeneutics, that methodology plays an essential role in order to understand EU integration and shape its future. The question remains though how to connect interdisciplinary approaches to EU law, policy and politics. How should EU law (as an object) be studied? What are the respective merits of each discipline (political science, sociology, economy, history) in explaining the way EU law is created, applied, used, transformed in the process of EU integration? What is the added value of bringing together different approaches to law? In particular, how can EU law (as an academic discipline) open itself up to the methods of the social sciences and what, in return, can law offer to our understanding of EU studies more widely? In order to answer these questions, EUFutures brings together scholars for this workshop to: reflect on the future methodological direction(s) of EU law and EU integration and consider both how law could open itself up to methodologies from other disciplines, and what legal analysis could offer political, economic and historical approaches.

The full report summarising the presentations and discussions can be accessed here.