TALLINN - It has become a tradition in Europe to elect different cities as capitals of culture. According to the Estonian Convention Bureau, the year after celebrating its status as European Capital of Culture, Tallinn will also become European Capital of Law for 2012, and will host a conference of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE).
During the same year, the European Law Association (FIDE Estonia) and Estonian Lawyers Association will host several activities in Tallinn which will introduce European Union law, as well as will prepare Estonia for the presidency of the European Union in 2018.The culmination will be the Congress of FIDE (Federation Internationale pour le Droit Europeen).
Julia Laffranque, the president of FIDE Estonia, Justice of the Supreme Court, and Tartu University assistant professor of EU Law, said that Estonia will be the first country from Eastern Europe to host the conference. The event, which is held every two years, will bring together more than 500 lawyers from all over the world. “By organizing the FIDE Congress in Tallinn in 2012, FIDE Estonia and the whole country would be the first in Eastern Europe to host this international conference which brings together top jurists from around the world. In turn, the event would help to introduce Estonia, Tallinn and our jurisprudence to the world and to influence the decision making processes in Europe,” said Laffranque.
“I think it would be appropriate to recognize capitals of European law and, thereby, bring attention to the achievement of advanced legal culture and laws that are as fair as possible,” she added.
The conference that presumably will take place in Tallinn at the end of May or in early June 2012 is expected to focus on the following three topics: protection of human rights in Europe; relationships between energy, environment and competition policy in the EU; and legal aspects of the information society in Europe based on freedom, security and law.
A year earlier, at the end of May 2011, a high-level delegation made up of national FIDE presidents will visit Estonia to look at preparations for the conference.
Laffranque added that the idea to choose capitals of European law, in addition to European capitals of culture and green capitals, emerged in the course of preparations for the conference. Tallinn will be the first city to bear this title. “Being the Capital of European Law gives the ordinary citizen a unique opportunity to participate in, and to influence, justice related decisions made in the European Union, to learn more, and to get answers to questions about individual rights,” Laffranque stated.