A Practical Guide on EU Law for Local Governments: Responding to EU Legal, Institutional and Jurisdictional Challenges to Sub-state Entities

Project number: 1950001

Course venue to be determined, Brussels (BE)

Date & pricing

06/11/2019 - 07/11/2019
Register before: 14/10/2019

€ 900,00 per attendee

€ 810,00 for EIPA members*

A Practical Guide on EU Law for Local Governments: Responding to EU Legal, Institutional and Jurisdictional Challenges to Sub-state Entities

From:  810,00

The seminar, which has a practical aspect, will aim to transfer to its participants the practical skills required to voice and represent the interest of local governments in the process of adopting EU legal acts.

SKU: 1950001 Categories: , Tags: ,

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About this course

EU law and EU law requirements produce an enormous weight on sub-state entities (federated units in federal states, regions, provinces and municipalities). Indeed, all these entities are responsible for the material application of EU law, having to ensure their administrative application and judicial enforcement. Moreover, depending on territorial repartition of state power among constituent units, some of these sub-state entities could have been awarded rule-making capacities to a different degree. Hence, and in these cases, these entities would also be responsible for the legal application of EU law requirements, resulting in the necessity of having to adopt transposition norms, regulatory provisions and legal acts of a different nature (from legislative acts to administrative acts).

In addition, all these sub-state entities have legal standing before the Court of Justice of the EU, to contest EU acts which are of their individual and direct concern. Also, they can ask for their participation as intervening parties in other ongoing procedures. Consequently, and in both cases, they can act as litigants against the action of EU institutions they presume illegal and resort to the procedures established by the court.

Moreover, many of these entities pursue an active policy of advocacy of their interest vis-à-vis the EU institutions and at different European fora through different formulas (representation offices in Brussels, lobby strategies, etc.). Finally, all of them can intervene in the decision-making process of the legal instruments they will have to adopt later on. Although the type of participation and their degree of influence in these processes is regulated by national law provisions, there are some EU instances or procedures where they can participate (European Committee of the Regions, working parties of Council, lobbying in the European Parliament, etc.).

Against this backdrop, this training will strive to chart the position of sub-state realities in the EU legal system.


Who this course is for

  • Public sector employees from sub-state entities in their different levels (federating units in federal states, regions, provinces, municipalities) in charge of, or involved in, the transposition of EU law and in the administrative application of EU legal requirements;
  • Elected officials from the above-mentioned entities, holding a political mandate and responsible for conceiving and devising public policy on the basis of EU demands and requirements;
  • Personnel from offices in Brussels in charge of the representation and advocacy of territorial interest vis-à-vis EU institutions and in formal and informal negotiation fora;
  • Magistrates from these jurisdictional demarcations, who want to gain a further grasp on what their role is in the jurisdictional application of EU law;
  • Private practising lawyers, consultants and other interested actors from the private sector, who wish to update their knowledge on this topic and obtain a comprehensive overview.

Course methodology/highlights

This seminar will present up-to-date and in-depth contents of highly practical professional value for its participants, delivered by a team of expert speakers from the relevant EU entities and sub-state authorities. The seminar will combine content sessions with others of an interactive nature (case studies, panel discussions), allowing ample time for exchange and networking among experts and participants. A study visit to relevant European and national authorities is also foreseen.

What you will learn in this course

The seminar, which has a practical aspect, will aim to transfer to its participants the practical skills required to voice and represent the interest of local governments in the process of adopting EU legal acts. The seminar will equip them with the know-how necessary to ensure their correct legal absorption and administrative application once the acts are approved. This correct enforcement and application is necessary to avoid situations where these authorities breach EU law, whose prosecution by the Commission could lead to imposing severe economic sanctions on the Member State in question. Finally, the seminar will instil in participants the necessary know-how (strategies and skills) to defend the interest of local governments before the court when these governments decide to participate in the procedure as plaintiffs or as a intervening parties.

By the end of the course, you will

  • have acquired an up-to-date knowledge of the different sources of EU law and an understanding of the obligations on sub-state entities resulting from them, so you can ensure their correct material and legal application;
  • have a clear understanding of the criteria for the distribution of competences between the EU, state and sub-state authorities, so you can determine the roles of your entity in the implementation of European policies and, hence, devise a coherent normative and policy plan in connection with the policy actions of the other two levels (EU and state);
  • have an insight into the different EU mechanisms (formal and informal) and fora where sub-state interests can be presented and advocated, and a grasp of the most useful strategies to influence EU policy outcomes;
  • have a clear comprehension of the principles (primacy, direct effect, etc.) that govern the relations between the legal order of the EU and that of the Member States, and their implications on the work of civil servants of sub-state administrations when applying EU norms (duties of consistent interpretation, of dis-applying the state/sub-state provision contradictory to EU law, etc.);
  • have an understanding of the situations and cases in which sub-state entities can initiate a legal procedure before the Court of Justice of the EU and the practical know-how to properly operate in the different phases of the procedure (how to draft a complaint, how to respond to the written allegations of the defendant EU institution, how to plead before the court before and during the hearings).

Practical information

Course venue
To be determined

Programme Organiser
Ms Christiane Lamesch
Tel: +352 426 230 302

The fee includes documentation and refreshments. Lunches, a reception or dinner are included if mentioned in the programme. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.


EIPA offers a 10% discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Early bird discount

For this course EIPA offers an early bird discount of 50 euro. The early bird deadline is 7 October 2019.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic) can be indicated once you receive the confirmation of the seminar.

Hotel reservations

EIPA has special price arrangements with a number of hotels. All rates are including breakfast and tourist tax. Should you wish to make use of this possibility, please book directly via the links below. Payment is to be made directly and personally to the hotel upon checking out. At the time of booking, please mention in the requested field the reservation code: EIPA, unless indicated otherwise.


City Centre

Railway Station Area

  • Hotel City****, at the rate of €189 (Monday to Thursday) and €150 (Friday to Sunday), tel.: +352 29 11 22; e-mail: mail@cityhotel.lu; cityhotel.lu (Reservation code: EIPA)


Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.).

The programme

08.30 Registration of participants
09.00 Welcome of participants and opening of the seminar
Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz, Senior Lecturer, European Centre for Judges and Lawyers, EIPA Luxembourg
Local governments and the EU legal order
09.15 Repartition of competences between the EU, Member States and sub-state entities

  • The EU as multilevel-governance system. Who does what?
  • Typology of EU competences
  • The principle of subsidiarity and its control by national and sub-state parliaments

Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz, Senior Lecturer, EIPA Luxembourg & Benjamin Hurard, Head of the External Relations Directorate, Parliament of Wallonia

10.00 The system of sources of EU law. EU legal instruments and their impact on local governments

  • Typology of EU norms and their respective legal force
  • Legislative acts vs delegated and implementing acts
  • Normative implementation and administrative application of EU norms by sub-state entities
  • The special case of directives: comparative overview of transposition methods

Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz & Benjamin Hurard,

11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Relations between EU law and the legal order of sub-state entities. Practical consequences for local governments and their administrations

  • Primacy and direct effect of EU law
  • (Sub) state liability for breaches of EU law
  • Repercussions of these principles on local governments (duties of conform interpretation, legal redress and economic liability).

Petra Jeney, Senior Lecturer, EIPA Luxembourg

12.15 Lunch
13.45 Coordination between central and local governments in the normative application and administrative application of EU law

  • The Belgian and the Spanish cases
  • Exchange of experiences

Sabrina Van De Velde, Attachée, Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs (FPS), Directorate General for Legal Affairs & Alejandro Rubio, Abogado del Estado, Legal Service before the European Court of Justice), Secretariat of State for the European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Madrid

14.45 Coffee break
Representing local governments at EU decision-making fora
15.15 The participation of sub-state entities in formal EU rule-making procedures

  • Involvement and interest representation of local governments in EU decision-making fora: Commission’s committees, Council working parties, etc.
  • Practical commentary of legislative procedures with special reference to the ordinary legislative procedure
  • Comparative overview of solutions offered by Member States to coordinate local and central governments’ interests in view of EU negotiations

Petra Jeney & Sergio Alonso de León, Legal Adviser, Legal Service, European Parliament

16.15 Advocacy of sub-state interests in Brussels

  • Analysis of mechanisms (formal and informal) for territorial interest representation
  • Effective lobby strategies to influence policy outcomes
  • The role of local government offices in Brussels.


17.00 Coffee break
17.30 Study visit to the Committee of the Regions
18.30 End of first day and reception
Local governments and the EU judicial system
09.00 Sub-state entities before the Court of Justice of the European Union

  • Respective roles of the national judge and the Court of Justice of the EU in the control of EU legality
  • Structure, powers and competences of the Court of Justice of the EU
  • The legal standing of the sub-state entities before the Court: the capacity to act as applicants and participate as intervening parties

Ludovic Bernardeau, Legal Secretary, Chambers of Judge Ingrida Labucka, General Court of the European Union, Senior Lecturer, Université Paris X

10.15 Coffee break
10.45 The defence of local government interests’ before the Court: the action for annulment

  • Admissibility questions in annulment actions: reviewability of the challenged acts and the standing of the applicant
  • Key procedural issues of annulment actions
  • Possibility of appeal against the decisions of the General Court
  • Examples of recent litigation in annulment matters

Ludovic Bernardeau

11.45 The infringement procedure and sub-state entities

  • Who can breach EU law? Sub-state entities infringing EU law
  • Practical commentary of the procedure and its administrative and litigation phases
  • Effective strategies allowing Member States to improve their position throughout the procedure

Minas Konstantinidis, Legal Adviser, Legal Service, European Commission

12.30 Lunch
14.00 Coordination between central and local governments in procedures before the Court of Justice of the EU

  • The Belgian and the Spanish cases
  • Exchange of experiences

Sabrina Van De Velde & Alejandro Rubio

17.30 Study visit to an institution of the Belgian federal entities in Brussels
18.30 End of the seminar