Call for Papers: 5th Young European Law Scholars Conference



Event Date: 


Location name: 

University of Innsbruck, Austria


University of Innsbruck and King's College

The 5th annual Young European Law Scholars Conference (YELS) will be held on Friday 3rd June 2022 at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. The conference is co-organised with King’s College London, UK. We invite young scholars of European law (i.e. all scholars who have not yet secured a full professorship) to come together and discuss reforming the European Union’s (EU’s) principal Treaties. In keeping with the format of previous YELS conferences, scholars whose papers are selected will be given the opportunity to present their work at the conference and to receive dedicated, individualised feedback on their paper from a distinguished scholar in the field of European law.

Conference theme

The spring of 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (Treaty of Paris). Spring 2022 will also see the Conference on the Future of Europe reach conclusions and report its findings. The Conference is intended to discuss and make recommendations on various issues, including: “building a healthy continent, the fight against climate change and environmental challenges, an economy that works for people, social fairness, equality and intergenerational solidarity, Europe’s digital transformation, European rights and values including the Rule of Law, migration challenges, security, the EU’s role in the world, the Union’s democratic foundations, and how to strengthen democratic processes governing the European Union…”

According to the Joint Declaration on the Conference, the Presidents of the European Parliament, Council and Commission “jointly commit to listen to Europeans and to follow up on the recommendations made by the Conference, in full respect of our competences and the subsidiarity and proportionality principles enshrined in the European Treaties.” Furthermore, upon receipt of a report detailing the final outcomes of the Conference, the Presidents of the EU institutions “will examine swiftly how to follow up effectively to this report, each within their own sphere of competences and in accordance with the Treaties.”

Despite discussing and debating a wide range of issues related to the future of Europe, therefore, it appears from the Joint Declaration that reform of the EU Treaties is not currently on the agenda. However, recent developments in Germany and elsewhere in the EU have arguably given renewed impetus to the process of fundamental Treaty reform in the not-too-distant future. Indeed, the new German coalition agreement supports reforming the EU Treaties and stipulates that the Conference on the Future of Europe “should lead to a constitutional convention and the further development of a federal European state” (p. 132, line 4421). Furthermore, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, coupled with the manifold crises which have engulfed the Union in recent years, have given rise to a pressing need to seriously consider amending and updating the foundational Treaties of the European integration project. Against this background, the time is now ripe for young European scholars to begin considering reforming the EU Treaties.

Keynote speech

The keynote speech will be delivered by Kenneth A. Armstrong, Professor of European Law at the University of Cambridge and Vice-Master of Sidney Sussex College.

Guidelines for submissions

The conveners of the 5th YELS conference invite young scholars of European law to submit an anonymised abstract (max. 600 words) by 31 January 2022 to Contributions shall be submitted and presented in English. Submissions on any aspect of the conference theme are welcome, including those which consider holistic reform of the overall structure and content of the Treaties themselves, as well as those which deal specifically with individual Treaty provisions. By way of guidance, a list of non-exhaustive examples of the type of topics to be considered include:

- “Deconstitutionalising” the EU Treaties;

- (Re)merging the EU Treaties;

- Amending the competence conferring and competence limiting provisions of the EU Treaties (e.g., Article 5 TEU, Articles 78(2) and 79(2) TFEU, Article 114 TFEU, Article 207 TFEU etc.);

- Revising provisions relating to the composition and powers of EU and national institutions (e.g., Articles 12-19 TEU, Articles 223-287 TFEU);

- Updating the fundamental values and principles of the EU (Article 2 TEU, Article 4(3) TEU, Article 21 TEU, Article 80 TFEU) or the mechanisms that serve to uphold these values (such as Article 7 TEU);

- Reforming EU citizenship (Article 20-25 TFEU);

- Reconsidering provisions concerned with ensuring the uniform interpretation and effective application of EU law (e.g. Article 258 TFEU, Article 263 TFEU, Article 267 TFEU, Article 7 TEU etc.);

- Modifying the substantive provisions of the EU internal market (Article 34 TFEU, Article 45 TFEU, Article 101 TFEU etc.);

- Altering the scope of application and/or specific rights contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

- Improving the legislative and other law-making processes in the Union (Articles 288-299 TFEU).


Scholars who have their abstracts selected for the conference will be required to submit a full paper (8,000-10,000 words including footnotes) by 30 April 2022. These papers will be sent to the other speakers and to expert commentators to be read in advance of the conference.

It is the present intention of the conveners of the conference to publish a selection of the papers presented in Innsbruck in a special journal issue, taking into account both the comments of commentators and participants on the day and feedback provided via peer review. Abstracts should be submitted on the basis that the paper will be available for publication.


The conference will take place on Friday 3rd June 2022 in the “Aula” of the main building of the University of Innsbruck. Participants will present their papers in thematic panels and receive individual feedback by senior scholars of European law, followed by a plenary discussion. The conference conveners have applied for external funding to contribute to the travel and accommodation expenses of selected speakers, but reimbursement cannot be guaranteed at this stage. Participation in the conference is free of charge. General registration for the conference is open until 15 May 2022. Please send an e-mail to Numbers are limited and early registration is recommended. You can find this Call for Papers and further information on our website:

Conference conveners

Darren Harvey (King’s College London), Madlen Karg, Janine Prantl, Clara Rauchegger, Bernadette Zelger (University of Innsbruck)

Contact email: