FIDE’s most important activity consists in the organisation of the biennial FIDE Congresses and the related publications. These congresses are by many considered to be among the most significant and reputable conferences on EU law bringing together great minds in the area. In 2014, the XXVI FIDE Congress will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The unique FIDE Congresses typically attracts 4-500 participants from all over Europe and beyond. Here, prominent and internationally acknowledged representatives from the academic world meet with judges and advocates general from the Court of Justice of the EU, as well as leading personalities from the General Court of the EU, national supreme courts and other courts, officials from the Commission, the Council, the Parliament, and national ministries, as well as practising lawyers. Over several days of intense legal discussions and debates what could be called the elite of EU law exchanges ideas and visions for the development of EU law.
Form of Congresses
The form of FIDE Congresses is always rather ambitious. In recent years, they have been set up to take place over approximately three days. They are organised in a manner to include both common themes and three parallel topics.
On the day of opening, speeches of eminent politicians, officials, scholars and other experts are delivered.
In order to lift discussions and analyses even further, also detailed comparative studies are provided. Therefore – long time in advance of an actual congress taking place – for each of the three topics, a ‘questionnaire’ is carefully prepared by the ‘General Rapporteur’ responsible of the topic. Based on these ‘questionnaires’, national reports are drafted by national experts appointed by the national associations of FIDE. All these reports are subsequently published in a collection, along with the general reports prepared by the ‘General Rapporteurs’ supplemented by institutional reports prepared by representatives of the EU institutions.
On the days of the congress in question, following a short introduction by the ‘General Rapporteur’ and often supplemented by speeches by key note speakers, issues raised in these reports are discussed in three parallel working groups that take place during typically two days of the congress. Thus, instead of only speeches delivered in a more traditional way, the floor is open to all participants to offer comments. This model of organisation offers an extraordinary context for the analysis of the challenges facing the EU and its legal development.
On the last day of a congress, often speeches in a more classic format are given by distinguished scholars, politicians and practitioners, on topical issues in EU law.
FIDE Congresses also include a more social dimension. The social programme may for instance involve receptions, cultural events, formal dinners, and excursions for participants and for their spouses.