INspiRE Jean-Monnet-Centre of Excellence
The research project “INspiRE“ (Jean-Monnet-Centre of Excellence – European Integration – Rule of Law and Enforcement) aims at directing the focus of legal research on European Law to the field of legal enforcement. Law should not only exist as “law in the books,“ but needs to be “lived” because a top quality legal system can only be ensured when law is enforceable.
Participants in the project are Prof. Dr. Möllers, Prof. Dr. Wollenschläger, Prof. Dr. Wurmnest (all from Augsburg), Prof. Dr. Gsell (Munich), Prof. Dr. Ferrand (Lyon), Prof. Dr. Camilleri (Palermo) and Prof. Dr. Zhang (Peking).
The project primarily consists of three pillars. These are:
Europe is undergoing a fundamental change. Is Europe also undergoing a crisis? The financial crisis, the Greek debt crisis, and the refugee crisis raised doubts about whether European Law is still applied and respected. The Jean-Monnet Centre of Excellence (INspiRE) for the research on legal enforcement therefore aims at combining several different areas of law and collaborating across the various disciplines because other member states struggle with similar questions as well. Researchers and the student body will be involved in conferences and speeches. Furthermore, a collaboration of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice and the bar association of Munich, as well as the city of Augsburg aim at involving the practitioners and the general public. The conferences are supposed to focus primarily on legal enforcement in State Aid Law, Competition Law, Consumer Protection Law, Capital Markets and Company Law.
Especially the broad public and not only the expert audience was supposed to be reached by the panel discussion on European legal enforcement. The objective is to raise the insight among the citizens into relations between the national and European law. The topic “Class actions – Blessing or Curse for Consumers?“ seemed to be relevant to discuss especially with regard to the current Volkswagen emissions scandal. So far, suing the Volkswagen group is barely possible for the individual EU citizen. The legal doctrine of the class action could provide some protection. In other jurisdictions, as for instance the USA, the so-called class action already has a long tradition. It is therefore necessary to analyse this doctrine by legal comparison. During the panel debate, several well-known experts from research and business came together.
The renowned database on German and European Commercial Law “CAPLAW“ (www.caplaw.eu) was and continually is enlarged with national jurisdiction related to the European Law. Specifically, national supreme court judgments are translated into the English language that followed preliminary proceedings at the ECJ. This enables legal researchers in Europe and the entire world to analyse under a legal comparison how judgments of the ECJ can affect national judgments and to assess legal enforcement in the individual member states.
Eventually, current issues of legal enforcement play a significant role in academic teaching. The research results of the project are incorporated in the numerous lectures on European and International Law at the University of Augsburg, but also influence the guest lectures at international partner universities and are thus brought to the students.
INspiRE – European Integration – Rule of Law and Enforcement
Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
Universität Augsburg, Juristische Fakultät
Professor Dr. Thomas M.J. Möllers
Phone +49 (0) 821 598 - 4516
Fax +49 (0) 821 598 - 4517
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
The EU is funding the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence „European Integration – Rule of Law and Enforcement“ coordinated by jurists of the University of Augsburg with 100.000 euros.
Augsburg/ThM/KPP – the financial and refugee crisis, Grexit and Brexit, TTIP and CETA – all of these are headlines and incentive terms, which raise the profound: what about the rule of law and enforcement within the scope of the European law question – beyond the day-to-day-politics? The answer to this question will be given by legal scholars from Germany, Italy, France, and China in the upcoming three years. Their research efforts within the context of the Jean-Monnet Centre of Excellence “European Integration – Rule of Law and Enforcement” (INspiRE), which is coordinated out of the University of Augsburg, will be funded with 100.000 euros.
One out of the three existing centres of excellence, which are since this year newly co-funded by the European Union, is the Jean-Monnet Centre of Excellence “European Integration – Rule of Law and Enforcement” (INspiRE). It will be funded with 100.000 euros in the following three years. Conceptualised by a group of international researchers under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Thomas M.J. Möllers, it is located at the University of Augsburg, at which Möllers holds the Chair for Civil Law, Commercial Law, European Law, International Private Law and Comparative Law and Jean-Monnet-Chair ad personam. INspiRE conducts research – with a European-international mindset – on questions of the rule of law and law enforcement within European law. “The financial crisis e.g. or the Greek debt crisis, as well as the refugee crisis are creating doubt across Europe, if European law is still being applied or even receiving attention”, is how Möllers explained the current demand for research of the centre of excellence under his guidance.
On the basis of the research focus in Augsburg
The renowned INspiRE-researchers are from universities in Germany, France, Italy, and China. The cooperation is implemented by collective publications, conferences, and bigger panels, where current topics such as TTIP or Brexit can be discussed with the general public in mind. The collaboration with the Bavarian Ministry of Justice and the bar association of Munich serves the purpose of establishing a connection with the politics and the praxis. Important foundations for the INspiRE-researchers, on which they can build their studies, are the expertise of the Center for European Legal Studies (CELOS) and the Research Centre of Innovation and Legal Studies between China and Europe (RICE) – both established at the University of Augsburg – along with the database on German and European Commercial Law (CAPLAW, http://www.caplaw.eu), which is also maintained by the legal faculty of the University of Augsburg.
High academic obstacles
The Jean-Monnet-Centre of Excellence combines the knowledge and competence of renowned experts working in a research field, which is highly relevant if viewed from the perspective of the EU. They are meant to establish a bond between the different disciplines of EU-studies and also encourage and develop transnational research efforts. The academic obstacles for supporting these excellence centres are extremely high: This year in Germany only two grant applications were successful – one, with which an already existing centre can be continued and another application with which the project in Augsburg can now be started.
Renowned Experts in European Law from Germany, Italy, France, and China
Möllers, the coordinator of the INspiRE project, can already refer to his numerous publications concerning law enforcement. His Augsburg faculty-colleagues Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Wollenschläger and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wurmnest, who also supported the grant application, are specialists in European commercial law and EU state aid law. Prof. Dr. Beate Gsell from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich is specialised in European consumer rights and Prof. Dr. Enrico Camilleri (University of Palermo) is both an expert in European Consumer Rights and Competition Law. Prof. Dr. Frédérique Ferrand from Lyon, on the other hand, is professionalised in European and International Civil Procedure Law. The seventh member of the INspiRE-project is Prof. Dr. Zhang Tong, who is also chairholder of a Jean-Monnet-Chair for European Law at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) in Beijing.