BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The ongoing challenge of uniting 27 nations,
both politically and socially, into a cohesive European Union is
the subject of a major interdisciplinary conference April 28-29 at
the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy at the University at
Buffalo Law School.
The conference is called "Realizing Europe: The Lisbon Treaty in
Perspective." Presenters will address aspects of the 2009 treaty
that significantly changes the governance of the EU, an
international organization that encompasses over 500 million
citizens of Europe.
The conference will cover issues of EU citizenship, immigration,
education, science and technology, law, cultural policy and
federalism. It includes a reception during which Law School Dean
Makau W. Mutua will greet those in attendance.
UB's "Realizing Europe" conference is the first major
presentation of the university's new Center for European Studies in
the College of Arts and Sciences. The center is led by director and
anthropology professor Deborah Reed-Danahay, principal organizer of
the conference. Also assisting in the conference are UB Law
associate professor Michael Halberstam and assistant professor of
anthropology Vasiliki Neofotistos.
"We wanted to start a conversation both here at the university
and with the wider Buffalo-Niagara community about issues related
to the future of Europe and its political, legal, economic and
social implications," says Reed-Danahay, a political and legal
anthropologist. "The EU is a project that is still in process and
still being realized."
The conference addresses both the EU's evolving political
organization and the organization's "social project." This project
encourages citizens of its member nations to think of themselves
broadly as Europeans, all of whom share a common identity with
others living in Europe. Symbols such as the EU flag and anthem are
meant to foster this sense of belonging. Reed-Danahay has done
research in French primary schools on efforts to guide young pupils
to buy into the idea that they are Europeans, not just French
"For anyone engaged in transactions, international trade or
international institutions, EU law is important," says Halberstam.
"Increasingly, EU law is becoming part of the Law School
EU law is a separate field from international law, Halberstam
says. "It can have a great impact on corporate transactions," he
says. "It's a very complicated field, given that EU law is
superimposed and interacts with different national legal regimes,
both civil law regimes and common law regimes."
In addition to the organizers, presenters at the conference
Rodolphe Gasche, Distinguished Professor and Eugenio Donato
Chair of Comparative Literature at UB.
Daniel Halberstam, Eric Stein Collegiate Professor of Law at the
University of Michigan Law School.
Alexander Somek, Charles E. Floete Chair in Law at University of
Iowa College of Law.
Hans de Wit, Professor of Internationalization at the School of
Economics and Management of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam,
University of Applied Sciences.
Catherine Neveu, director of research at the Centre Nationale de
la Recherche Scientifique and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en
Sciences Sociales, in Paris.
Aires Soares, Minister-Counselor and Head of Science, Technology
and Education for the European Union Delegation in Washington,
Anne-Marie Thiesse, director of research at the Centre Nationale
de la Recherche Scientifique and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en
Sciences Sociales, in Paris.
Wolfgang Wolck, Emeritus Distinguished Service Professor of
Linguistics at UB.
Full information about the conference is available at http://www.law.buffalo.edu/baldycenter/RealizingEurope.
The Center for European Studies is devoted to research and
intellectual exchange among faculty and students on political,
cultural and social transformations of contemporary Europe as well
as Europe's multiple historical traditions and close connections to
North America. The center encourages the creation of networks
across disciplinary and geographic boundaries. It encourages
collaboration with other area universities and colleges, and
develops partnerships with both European and North American
programs in European studies. The University at Buffalo is well
poised to be the home of CEUS, given the international spirit of
Buffalo -- a city with a rich history of European immigration, and
located at the border of Ontario, Canada.
Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo Law School
-- the State University of New York system's only law school -- has
established an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a
leader in legal education. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides
both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools
graduates need to succeed in a competitive marketplace, wherever
they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary
studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical
education makes UB Law unique among the nation's premier public law
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's
more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through
more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree
programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of
the Association of American Universities.