Clifford Larsen, Welcome Address Integration and Disintegration in Europe – A View from Inside and Outside in:

Jörn Axel Kämmerer, Markus Kotzur, Jacques Ziller (Ed.)

Integration und Desintegration in Europa | Integration and Desintegration in Europe | Intégration et Désintégration en Europe, page 35 - 38

1. Edition 2019, ISBN print: 978-3-8487-6131-9, ISBN online: 978-3-7489-0222-5,

Series: Societas Iuris Publici Europaei (SIPE), vol. 13

Bibliographic information
Welcome Address Integration and Disintegration in Europe – A View from Inside and Outside Clifford Larsen Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning. My name is Clifford Larsen, I am Professor of Law, Dean of the Master of Law and Business Program, and Vice-President of the Bucerius Law School here in Hamburg. On behalf of the Bucerius Law School, and especially on behalf of my colleague, Professor Jörn Axel Kämmerer, Secretary General of SIPE, I welcome you to this XIIIth SIPE conference. Je voudrais également souhaiter la bievenue à nos invités francophones – und möchte natürlich auch unsere deutschsprachi‐ gen Gäste willkommen heißen. At first glance, I may be the least appropriate person in this room to be speak‐ ing to you today, as I am neither a European, nor a Public Law scholar. A further look, however, will make clear why it is perhaps appropriate – and certainly a pleasure – for me to join you here. One reason is that while I represent the Bucerius Law School, one of the two co-organizing institutions of this Congress, I was also a student, many years ago, here at the other co-sponsoring institution, the University of Hamburg. It is here that I first studied outside of my home country, the United States. Thus, it is al‐ ways a privilege for me to be back on this campus. Another reason why I am pleased to be at this SIPE Congress is that for some 40 years, I have been following the European integration project. I am both an outsider and an insider to your discussions today. I am an outsider, in that I come from the mixed legal jurisdiction of Louisiana and practiced law in New York City. Yet I have also been fortunate to spend over 20 years living in Europe. That time began with study here in Hamburg and at Oxford, thus exposing me to two very different perspectives on what is “European”. As a French lawyer in Paris, as a professor in Hamburg, and as a parent here, I have also had the opportunity to see what European integration means on both the professional and everyday personal level. From both my “external” and “internal” perspectives, your topic, “Integration and Disintegration in Europe”, seems particularly timely and well-chosen. Euro‐ pean Union integration has, of course, been an enormous success story. Older Congress participants, such as myself, are well-placed to affirm the tremendous 35 advances Europe has made in the past decades. In some ways, the European Union is the victim of its own success, in that these advances now seem to many to be self-evident and irreversible, and thus that European integration can contin‐ ue only in one direction. European integration has always faced challenges, however. It would be sur‐ prising if it were otherwise. Well over 200 years since the American “integra‐ tion” project began, the topics with which the Founding Fathers wrestled – the proper role of the central government versus that of the individual member states, methods of representation, open markets, movement between citizens of different states, and many others – are still debated intensely and controversially today. It is also the case the some of today’s challenges to European integration are neither new nor unexpected. In the 1970’s, there were already predictions that, as the power of the European Union expanded at the cost of the European Union Member States, old ressentiments would resurface, leading to centrifugal forces that could tear the European Member States apart. Recent experience regarding Catalonia has highlighted exactly this issue. Yet it is probably fair to say that the diversity of challenges to European inte‐ gration has seldom been greater than it is today. As well as the Catalan experi‐ ence, there is the obvious example of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. In addition, there is the feeling – justified or not – in many E.U. countries that the European integration has proceeded too far, too fast, without the necessary groundwork being laid for the project to be supported by significant segments of the population. This feeling is ignored at the peril of those supporting more integration, for it transcends traditional party boundaries and is even creating new political landscapes in countries throughout the Euro‐ pean Union, with Euro-sceptic parties now playing a significant role in various Member States. The challenges that European integration faces are not only those recognized by what our French-speaking colleagues refer to as le grand public, but also those of a more technical nature. Thus, it is to be welcomed that topics such as integration of E.U. financial markets are on the SIPE Congress agenda. In addi‐ tion, your conference organizers have wisely decided to include non-E.U. per‐ spectives from Turkey and Switzerland in your discussions. From my “out‐ sider’s” perspective, the influence of the European integration project – whether in connection with trade regulation, the influence of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice in non-E.U. countries, or in other areas – is both enor‐ mous and often overlooked outside of specialist circles here in Europe. Finally, speakers at this Congress include not just academics, but also politicians and judges who must address European integration issues in very concrete circum‐ Integration and Disintegration in Europe – A View from Inside 36 stances. The presence of these individuals will add immensely to your discus‐ sions. This Congress focuses, as conferences tend to do, on the presentation of pa‐ pers. Yet the personal interaction that takes place here will be particularly impor‐ tant as well, especially in those cases in which SIPE members do not share the same perspective. In the United States, we have seen all too often that individu‐ als and groups with opposing views simply do not speak with each another any‐ more. Yet it is often interactions between individuals with different backgrounds – as difficult as those interactions are in practice – that can advance the discus‐ sion, or at least prevent what one refers to in French as a dialogue des sourds. Finally, it is my pleasure to welcome you here to my adopted city of Ham‐ burg. You could hardly have chosen a more appropriate location for this Congress. For centuries, Hamburg has been a trading city open to the world. (The city’s nickname is indeed “Gateway to the World”). During your visit, you will perhaps have the opportunity to visit Hamburg’s thriving port and the city’s new landmark, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall. Some 1.8 million people live here; of those, some 320,000 are non-German and over 200,000 are from countries out‐ side of the European Union. The percentage of Hamburg’s population that is for‐ eign has grown from 13% in 2013 to over 18% today – a 38% increase in only 4 years. Over 185 nationalities are represented here. Despite – or perhaps directly because of – this openness, the city continues to thrive. Hamburg is an excellent example of European integration – with the many advantages, and some of the challenges, that such integration brings. For example, every year, my students and I visit not only the city’s many economic and cultural highlights, but also take a Hamburg tour given by the city’s organization of homeless people – an organization that includes people from many countries from within and without the European Union. Many of the homeless have moved here in the hope of find‐ ing work, but have wound up living on the streets; some are here legally, others are not. How should European cities react to such circumstances? The answers to such difficult questions will also play a role in determining the success of the European integration project. You have a full Congress agenda in the upcoming days, during which time you will address topics of central importance to the further development – or not – of European integration. I wish you a stimulating XIIIth SIPE Congress here in Hamburg and a safe journey home upon its conclusion. Clifford Larsen 37

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The EU’s vulnerability to crises is not a novelty, but disintegrative trends have reached a new quality. The financial and fiscal crisis shook the Union, which had just been consolidated by the Lisbon Treaty, to its foundations. The refugee crisis becomes a heavy test of European solidarity. For the first time, a member state, the United Kingdom, wants to leave the Union and in doing so, as at least the Brexiteers argue, regain its sovereignty. Even the member states themselves are not spared from moments of disintegration. One might think of the secessionist movements in Catalonia or Scotland etc. Against this background, the SIPE Congress in Hamburg has brought together high-ranking experts from all over Europe in order to explore the tension between integration and disintegration, as well as Europe’s prospects of being “united in diversity”. The discussions paint a differentiated overall panorama of the constantly challenged integration project. With contributions by Francisco Balaguer Callejón, Roland Bieber, Jernej Letnar Černič, Jenö Czuczai, Daria de Pretis, Ian Forrester, Ece Göztepe, Ana Maria Guerra Martins, Christian Heitsch, Stefan Herms, Ann-Kathrin Kaufhold, Panos Kazakos, Markus Kotzur, Clifford Larsen, Friedrich-Joachim Mehmel, Eleftheria Neframi, Dimitrios Parashu, Argelia Queralt Jiménez, Andrea Romano, Tilman Repgen, Sebastian Scholz, Christian Starck


Die Krisenanfälligkeit der EU ist kein Novum, doch haben desintegrative Strömungen eine neue Qualität erreicht. Die Finanz- und Fiskalkrise erschütterte die eben erst durch den Lissabonner Vertrag konsolidierte Union in ihren Grundfesten. Die Flüchtlingskrise wird zur schweren Belastungsprobe für die europäische Solidarität. Mit dem Vereinigten Königreich will erstmals ein Mitgliedstaat den Integrationsverbund verlassen und, so die Brexit-Advokaten, seine Souveränität zurückgewinnen. Auch die Mitgliedstaaten selbst bleiben von Desintegrationsmomenten nicht verschont, man denke etwa an die Sezessionsbestrebungen in Katalonien oder Schottland. Vor diesem Hintergrund hat die Hamburger Jahrestagung der SIPE hochrangige Expertinnen und Experten aus ganz Europa versammelt, um im Spannungsfeld von Integration und Desintegration auszuloten, welche Zukunftschancen Europas „Einheit in Vielfalt“ hat. Die Diskussionen zeichnen ein differenziertes Gesamtpanorama des immer neu herausgeforderten Integrationsprojekts. Mit Beiträgen von Francisco Balaguer Callejón, Roland Bieber, Jernej Letnar Černič, Jenö Czuczai, Daria de Pretis, Ian Forrester, Ece Göztepe, Ana Maria Guerra Martins, Christian Heitsch, Stefan Herms, Ann-Kathrin Kaufhold, Panos Kazakos, Markus Kotzur, Clifford Larsen, Friedrich-Joachim Mehmel, Eleftheria Neframi, Dimitrios Parashu, Argelia Queralt Jiménez, Andrea Romano, Tilman Repgen, Sebastian Scholz, Christian Starck