On the 25th of April 2019, the international conference entitled “Economy, law, and sovereignty in the EU - coordinating interests and obligations of the Member States in the global economic space” was organized by the University of Szeged, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, International and Regional Studies Institute, Europe Direct Szeged, and European Public Law Organization (EPLO).
Opening remarks were delivered by Prof. Dr. László Trócsányi, Minister of Justice of Hungary, and Prof. Dr. Spyridon Flogaitis, Director of the European Public Law Organization. Professor Trócsányi highlighted the importance of the conference topic from the legal point of view which he described as a complex mixture of public law and private law. He stressed the economic strength of the Member States which reinforces the economic strength of Europe. Regulations to protect the national market and the investors in the different sectors may vary across the Member States.
Mr. Flogaitis started his speech by highlighting the importance of the EPLO’s relationships with Hungary which constantly have been developing and will be developed on a mutual ground in the future as well. He started out of the current nature of the topic and applauded the organizers for the well-timed choice. Besides the several important points, the EPLO President highlighted the governments’ responsibility to protect their citizens’ interests and added that this conference would bring the much needed dialogue between the different realities and the various needs to offer European people a better future.
Prof. Dr. Zoltán Csehi, Hungarian Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union, gave his speech about the new EU Regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (2019/452/EU). He evaluated the most important Articles of the Regulation together with the definitions of the terms used. The judge added CJEU case law examples to illustrate the future interpretation of the new Regulation.
Márton Varju, Researcher at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, presented a research project completed by a Research Group (ex-Lendület HPOP) established for mapping legal and regulatory flexibility in economic governance within the European Union taking into account national interests. The results of the research were published in the book “Between Compliance and Particularism”.
Balázs Horváthy, Senior Lecturer at the Széchényi István University in Győr delivered a speech regarding the competences given by the EU to the Member States in the field of Common Commercial Policy. A dynamic approach taken by the CJEU in the cases mentioned was the main focus of his evaluation.
Prof. Dr. Jorge Bacelar Gouveia, of the University NOVA in Lisbon, discussed national security and economic interests regarding certain investments. His focus was mainly on Golden Shares, symbolizing the idea of keeping certain sectors in the hand of Member States’ led by national interest, in case national security is a concern for the Member States.
After the lunch break, Prof. Dr. Beáta Farkas from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Szeged explained the several aspects of trends in world economy and their relations to EU economy illustrated by charts, tables, and statistical data.
Prof. Dr. Yao-Ming Hsu from the National Chengchi University, Taiwan, painted a picture about China’s EU investment interests by raising such controversial issues as lack of reciprocity, state owned sectoral hegemony, and the problem of Chinese investments concentrating only on a small number of EU Member States. At the end of the presentation, he proposed several solutions such as establishing more bilateral relationships between China and the EU Member States or creating a Free Trade Agreement between China and the EU.
Dr. Bálint Kovács, Lecturer at the Law School of Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, in Romania, presented the effect of international law on national law, and the effect of sovereignty on economics on the basis of the pacta sunt servanda principle together with the history of the principle and the examples illustrating the relevant practice.
The final presentation was given by Prof. Dr. István Csongor Nagy, from the University of Szeged, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, who described the EU as a “new guy” in the field of international investment protection and whose behavior is unpredictable at the moment.
Prof. Dr. János Martonyi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs leading up the Hungary’s EU accession, moderated the afternoon panel and also gave his closing remarks on the day’s discussions focusing on the role of identity and openness in global trade and also in the context of the European Union.
The Conference brought several researchers, experts, and students varying from the field of law, economics, and international relations, and became a meeting point of fruitful discussions.
13 May 2019, Szeged
Gizem Gültekin Várkonyi and Norbert Tribl