The European Union is rapidly creating a European space in which citizens can live in Justice, Liberty and Security. This bold push forward in the European integration process touches on three highly sensitive societal subjects: immigration and asylum, civil law, and criminal law. At the same time, work in this area necessarily has an external dimension, as shown most prominently by the international fight against terrorism following September 11.
Within the EU, this dynamic development of the external side of justice and home affairs raises challenging issues: friction over the division of competences between the Union and its Member States and between EU institutions; cross-pillar coordination issues; legal and political tensions due to 'variable geometry' with numerous 'opt-ins' and 'opt-outs'. In addition, international cooperation brings its own problems: how to explain the internal issues to international partners? How to allow them to become comfortable with an ever more assertive EU role? How to support global governance structures while preserving European human rights standards?
Against this background, the Brussels Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and its LL.M. Program on International Legal Cooperation (PILC) organised a series of lectures in the winter of 2007, involving well-known speakers from academic and professional circles as well as European institutions, third countries and international organisations. Their views have now been bundled in this book and provide an excellent overview over the sensitive areas of immigration and asylum, private international law and international criminal law and procedure. This book is structured in a user-friendly way and should be easily accessible to a broad audience of students, teachers, practitioners and the interested public. It is warmly recommended to anybody who wants to broaden his or her understanding of the increasing importance of the external side of the European policies on Justice, Liberty and Security.
Prof. Dr. Bernd Martenczuk holds a doctoral degree in law from Frankfurt University. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University). He is presently a Member of the Legal Service of the European Commission and Professor in EU External relations at the LL.M. Program on International Legal Co-operation (PILC) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Prof. Dr. Servaas van Thiel graduated in law and economics from the universities of Nijmegen and Brussels and hold a doctoral degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL). HE Presently works for the EU Council of Ministers and is Director of the Brussels LL.M. Program (PILC). He serves occasionally as a Judge in the Regional Court of Appeal, Den Bosch (NL) and as a guest lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam (since 1993), the Vienna University ofEconomics and Business Administration and New York University (both in 2008).