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Foreign Policy Objectives in European Constitutional Law: Book Launch and Panel Discussion

On 21 April 2016, Leiden University College The Hague, in collaboration with The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the T.M.C. Asser Institute, hosted a book launch and panel discussion for Dr. Joris Larik’s new monograph “Foreign Policy Objectives in European Constitutional Law”, which has recently been published by Oxford University Press. The event featured academics and practitioners to discuss some of the book’s main findings in the auditorium of Leiden University College, followed by a reception.

Prof. Kutsal Yesilkagit, Dean of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at Leiden University, provided the introductory remarks to the event, in which he emphasized the importance of research on governance structures which are capable of making constitutional aspirations a reality. Following a brief presentation of the book by the author, Dr. Tamara Takacs, Academic Programme Coordinator of the Centre of the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER) at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, and Prof. Roel van der Veen, Academic Advisor and Head of the Global Governance Project at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, gave comments and linked the themes of the book to their own research and work. The panel concluded with an outlook by Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice and former Director of Strategic Planning in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in which he highlighted the need for the UN to reclaim the purpose of its founders and stressed that regional organizations such as the EU remain in the vanguard of an open international architecture.

Presenting the first comprehensive account of foreign policy objectives as a growing part of European constitutional law, the book confronts the trend of enshrining international ambitions in the highest laws of states and of the European Union. Closely examining the provisions of foreign policy objectives, it differentiates their legal force and functions, situating them into the overall legal order of the state, the EU, and the complex “European constitutional space”. Larik argues that the codification of foreign policy objectives suggests a progression in the evolution of the role of the constitution: from limiting public authority to guiding it towards certain goals, both at home and in the wider world.

Joris Larik is Assistant Professor of Comparative, European, and International Law at Leiden University College and Senior Researcher at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. “Foreign Policy Objectives in European Constitutional Law” is based on Larik’s doctoral dissertation, which he defended in June 2013 at the European University Institute in Florence, where it was subsequently awarded the 2014 Mauro Cappelletti Prize for the Best Thesis in Comparative Law.

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