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October, 2013 - Estonia, Estonia



LAWIN Partner Egons Pikelis spoke on EU Expansion at this Year’s Global International Bar Association Conference in Boston, USA


LAWIN actively participated at the latest annual International Bar Association (IBA) conference, which took place in Boston, USA from 6-11 October. The conference assembled more than 6,000 lawyers from around the world who took part in a week of presentations and panel discussions on topical issues relating not only to law, but also politics, economics and social issues. The conference this year kicked off with a high-calibre opening presentation from former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, while other speakers later on in the conference included such luminaries as Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the US Supreme Court.

LAWIN partner EGONS PIKELIS was asked to take part in a panel discussion under the heading - „The Nobel for Europe – a prize for peace and reconstruction or a recipe for economic meltdown and disintegration?”.

Given that the award of the Nobel Prize was a seminal point in the development of the European Union, the aim of the panel was to focus on various aspects of the EU, particularly in light of the global economic crisis, and the plight of the euro. The panel discussed such diverse topics as the plans for fiscal and economic integration of the euro zone, the development of a banking union, the sovereign debt crisis and whether spending or austerity is the answer, and the reasons for the failure to adopt a European constitution.

Egons Pikelis in his presentation addressed the question of EU expansion, whether or not this is likely and what factors might influence such expansion and in which direction, while also considering whether a shrinking of the EU may be likely or possible.

The overall view of the panel was that the economic crisis had highlighted some of the structural and institutional problems within the EU, but that the crisis at the same time had been a significant motivator for adopting much needed reforms. While recognising that much had already been achieved, the panel concluded that the question remains whether there is sufficient political will to push through all necessary reforms, or whether, as is often the case with the EU, the divergent cultures and interests of the member states would result only in a partial adoption of the necessary measures.

More about the panel is here: http://www.int-bar.org/conferences/Boston2013/prog_detail.cfm?uid=860a5817-881c-4fb8-bbc1-9d082148857d

The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies it influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

The IBA annual conferences are considered the largest annual gatherings of the world’s international lawyers and also represent a unique opportunity for lawyers from so many jurisdictions to meet once a year in one location to hear top-level speakers, establish new contacts and to exchange views relevant to their practices and to their clients’ businesses.


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