FIDE-Uniting Great Minds of European Law: 50 years of the International Federation for European Law

Author:Julia Laffranque
Position:Judge, European Court of Human Rights. Professor of European Law, University of Tartu. President of the Estonian Association for European Law and President of FIDE 2011-2012
Pages:173-181
 
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Julia Laffranque
Judge, European Court of Human Rights
Professor of European Law, University of Tartu
President of the Estonian Association for European Law
and President of FIDE 2011–2012
FIDE Uniting Great Minds
of European Law:
50 years of the International Federation for European Law
Many people might associate ‘FIDE’, rst and foremost, with the World Chess Federation (Fédération
Internationale des Échecs, known as FIDE from its French initials). Among the legal profession, how-
ever, ‘FIDE’ refers to the International Federation for European Law (Fédération Internationale pour le
Droit Européen). This has been the case for several decades already: FIDE is celebrating its 50th birth-
day in September 2011. To me, personally, this letter combination means even more: ‘F’ as in friends and
friendship, ‘I’ as in interest and in uence in European law, ‘D’ for dynamic development of ‘E’uropean law.
Or one could just think of FIDE as ‘Friends of Institutions and Development of the European Union and its
Law’!
FIDE— more than just an association
FIDE is not a regular not-for-pro t organisation, nor is it an ordinary lawyers’ association. It is a federation
that involves traditions and rules of conduct; it is an institution that has become a symbol of sorts in the
eld of European law and has shaped a particular cultural area of European law.
Established in September 1961 in Brussels, where the rst FIDE congress also took place, FIDE is com-
mitted to research and development of European Union (hereinafter referred to as the EU) law and EU
institutions.
Although FIDE specialises more narrowly in studying the law of the (former) European Communities,
nowadays that of the European Union, that does not rule out dealing with European law generally, as the
name of the association suggests. European law means, among other things, the European law drafted
by the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights as the latter interprets the European
Convention on Human Rights. The law of the European Union is often closely related to European law in
a broader sense, and increasingly so—for instance, the 2012 FIDE Congress is going to include a topic area
in which we plan to analyse the connections between the law of the European Union, Member States’ laws,
and the European Convention on Human Rights. It is clear that European law cannot be viewed separately
from the law of Member States, and many elds of study and FIDE Congress topics address precisely the
interpretation and application of European law in the context of Member States’ laws.
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JURIDICA INTERNATIONAL XVIII/2011

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