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

Project number: 2050001

Brussels (BE)

Date & pricing

09/06/2020 - 10/06/2020
Register before: 14/04/2020

€ 1.000,00 per attendee

€ 900,00 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:  900,00

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.

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About this course

EU law ad EU law requirements carry out 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 amongst 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 acts 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 for a 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 later on adopt. 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 (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 is this seminar for?

  • Public sector employees from sub-state entities in their different levels (federated 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 of 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 in the jurisdictional application of EU law is.
  • Private practicing lawyers, consultants and other interested actors from the private sector, who wish to update their knowledge in this topic and obtain a comprehensive overview.

Seminar 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 experts speakers from the relevant EU entities and sub-state authorities. The seminar’s program will illustrate content with practical cases, allowing for ample time for exchange and networking with amongst experts and participants. A study visit to relevant European and national authorities is also foreseen.

What you will learn in this course

The fundamental objective of this seminar is to strive to chart the position of sub-state realities in the EU legal system. The seminar has a practical vocation and aims at transferring its participants the practical skills required to voice and represent their interest in the process of adoption of EU legal acts. Once the acts are approved, the seminar will equip them with the knowhow necessary to ensure its correct legal absorption and administrative application. This correct material / legal application is necessary to avoid situations where a Member State breach of EU law, whose prosecution by the Commission could lead to impose severe economic sanctions on the Member State in question

By the end of the seminar, 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 that 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 that 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 knowledge of 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 conform 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 complain, how to respond to the written allegations of the defendant EU institution, how to plead before the Court before during the hearings)

Practical information

Course venue
Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia
Ufficio di collegamento di Bruxelles
Rue du Commerce 49
1000 – Bruxelles

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

The fee includes documentation and refreshments, two lunches and a reception. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.


EIPA offers a 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 27 April 2020.

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.

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.

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.).

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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, and 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 (to be confirmed)

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 European Affairs (DGE), Brussels and 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 (to be confirmed) and 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.

Gino Cormon, Presidenza della Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, Direzione Generale – Servizio relazioni internazionali e programmazione europea, Ufficio di collegamento di Bruxelles (to be confirmed)

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, Chambers of Judge Chambers of judge Virgilijus Valančius, General Court of the European Union, Senior Lecturer, University Paris Nanterre and Sergio Alonso de León

10.15 Coffee break
10.45 The defense 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 and Sergio Alonso de León

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