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European Commission - Press release

European Commission welcomes foundation of the European Law Institute

Paris, 1 June 2011 – Viviane Reding, the European Union’s Justice Commissioner, marked the foundation of the European Law Institute as an important contributor to the EU’s wider goal of building a European area of justice. The Institute, an independent non-profit organisation, will help improve legal consistency in Europe by providing practical advice to policymakers and authorities.

"The foundation of the European Law Institute is an important milestone in building an EU-wide area of law, rights and justice," said Vice-President Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. "The Institute has the potential to bring a significant added value to European legal research, improving the implementation of EU law and helping to put it to work for citizens and businesses. I am confident that the European Law Institute will make the most of the rich diversity of Europe's legal systems and contribute to the development of a European legal culture."

European law has a profound impact on the daily lives of European citizens, businesses and national political and legal structures. Academic research and judicial training is needed to further develop and strengthen all areas of European law – whether civil, criminal or administrative.

The Institute will help analyse the difficulties faced by legal professionals, identify possible solutions to help improve the application of EU law, and develop suggestions for reforms of EU legislation in all areas. It will also be a forum for exchange and discussion for lawyers, academics and professionals.

The initiative to create a European Law Institute – promoted by the Commission in its action plan for delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe's citizens (IP/10/447) – draws inspiration from the American Law Institute, a non-governmental body that played a crucial role in developing the Uniform Commercial Code, which facilitates sales and other commercial transactions across the United States’ 50 states.

In addition to strengthening European legal research, the Commission intends to step up the training of legal practitioners in using and applying EU law in practice. It therefore plans to present a comprehensive action plan for European judicial training in the autumn.


The European Law Institute will:

  • evaluate and stimulate the development of EU law, legal policy, and practice;

  • make proposals for the further development of the body of EU law and for the enhancement of EU law implementation by the Member States;

  • identify and analyse legal developments in areas within the competence of Member States that are relevant at the EU level;

  • study EU approaches regarding international law and enhance the role EU law could play globally, for instance in drafting international instruments or model rules;

  • conduct and facilitate pan-European research, such as drafting, evaluating and improving principles and rules that are common to the European legal systems;

  • provide a forum for jurists – academics, judges, lawyers and other legal professionals – from different legal traditions to hold discussions

The Institute’s Council may appoint fellows and observers – either on its own initiative or following an application submitted by candidates. Its seat will be in Vienna, Austria.

For more information

Vice-President Viviane Reding welcomes the European Law Institute in a speech to the European University Institute in Florence on 10 April 2010: SPEECH/10/154

Programme of the opening conference of the European Law Institute in Paris on 1 June 2011:

Justice Directorate General Newsroom:

Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner:

European Law Institute:

Contacts :

Matthew Newman (+32 2 296 24 06)

Mina Andreeva (+32 2 299 13 82)

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