• Startdatum:
  • 31 augustus 2023
  • Cursusduur:
  • 2 dagen
  • Rechtsgebied:
  • Europees recht
  • Soort:
  • Congres

About the conference 
“Smart and lean integration: finding regional solutions to global challenges”

Our world is facing unprecedented challenges which demand a joint response. Climate change cannot be solved by any country alone, no matter how strategically autonomous it is. Migration is a global phenomenon, which cares little about sovereignty. And a modern (digital) economy is inherently interconnected. Even if dependence on some global value chains might be reduced, full autarky is therefore a myth, certainly if climate goals are to be actually realized, standards of living are to be retained, and some form of market mechanism is to remain.

To make matters worse, these shared challenges have to be addressed in a rapidly renationalizing world. Multilateral institutions like the UN and the WTO are struggling, torn by the economic and geo-political strive that accompanies the shift to a multipolar global order. Major powers are racing to protect their own strategic autonomy, leading to nationalistic agenda’s that threaten effective and efficient collaboration. Instead of more global collaboration, we may be headed for more fragmentation and conflict.

Regional integration may be one tool to help solve this conundrum. To begin with, regions may be large enough to effectively tackle some of the major challenges, but small and coherent enough to enable effective collaboration. In addition, for all but the largest nations, regional integration might offer the safety and collective clout countries need to defend their interests in a renationalizing and less stable multipolar reality where major powers are primarily pursuing their own interest. And though it faces some of the same challenges as multilateral collaboration, including nationalistic reflexes, regional collaboration may be more realistically and quickly achieved than global collaboration. This is vital considering the clock is ticking on key challenges such as climate change. Regional integration may, therefore, help ensure sufficient collaboration, and at a sufficient level, especially where regions manage to collaborate between themselves as well.

For regional integration to play this role, however, we need to find better ways for countries to collaborate than the mechanisms that exist today. Ways that better fit the very different challenges and realities in Africa, Asia, Latin-America, the Middle East, and Europe. This also means finding alternatives to the EU model. For even though the EU remains the most advanced form of regional integration so far, and offers vital successes and failures for other regions to learn from, its approach simply cannot be copy-pasted to other regions. This is already the case because of the high legal and sovereignty ‘overhead’ of the EU model, which is too high for many other regions to bear. But it is equally imperative in light of the fundamental differences between regions and their constituent states, and the subsequent need to respect the voice, knowledge and culture of all relevant actors, including non-governmental ones, and to avoid the pitfall of imposing European constructs.  

For these reasons, this conference explores the potential of regional collaboration for meeting some of the key challenges facing our world today, and to do say in a smarter and leaner way than ‘just’ copying the EU model. It does so in the context of CompaRe, the Leiden Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on comparative regional integration, and in collaboration with UNU-CRIS, the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies.

Substantively, the conference focusses on three core challenges: climate change, migration and economic collaboration in a digital, renationalizing reality. In addition, it focusses on two key underlying academic challenge: the methodology of comparative legal integration and the challenges raised by overlap between regional initiatives.

Conference speakers

The speakers during the conference can be found in the program alongside different panels and the subjects.

Target audience

This conference is targeted towards academics and practitioners engages in (comparative) regional integration and/or one of the three key substantive areas under discussion (climate change, migration and the modern economy). The event has a focus on the law of regional integration, but takes an interdisciplinary approach, inviting papers and participants that can combine different disciplinary angles. 

Remote attendance      
A livestream for this conference will be arranged. In case you are not able to join the conference in person, you will be able to watch (and ask your questions to the speakers during) the conference online. Please do select the option “online” when you register for the conference. Leiden Law Academy will send you the livestream link for this conference in an e-mail 2 working days before the start of the conference. The conference will be recorded. We will send the recording to all participants within 5 working days.

Do you have any questions?
We will gladly answer them.

E-mail: events@law.leidenuniv.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 8666
All contact details

Day 1
Thursday 31-08-2023

12:00 Coffee and registration

Welcome and key note addresses on key theme of Lean integration and regional challenges


Panel 1: Comparative (legal) methods and innovative approaches

Chair: Darinka Piqani (Leiden Law School)


  • Stefan Gänzle (University of Agder), Jens Uwe Wunderlich (Aston University) and Tobias C. Hofelich (University of Agder):
    Differentiated Disintegration in and beyond the European Union: A Comparative Regionalism Approach for Studying Member State Withdrawals from Regional Organizations
  • Boyka Stefanova (University of Texas at San Antonio):
    Beyond Comparative Regionalism: The EU and the BRICS Regionalist Challenge
  • Nelly Stratieva (Leiden University / Berlin):
    Regional integration, value chains and the private sector
15:00 Coffeebreak

Panel 2: regional integration and climate change

Chair: Joris Larik 


  • Bella Nathania (Indonesian Center for Environmental Law):
    The Opportunity of Plastic Packaging Reduction Standards in ASEAN
  • María Victoria Alvarez (National University of Rosario, Argentina):
    The Role of LAC-EU Interregionalism in Driving Global Governance: A Critical Analysis of the Climate and Environmental Protection Agenda
  • Aidul Fitriciada Azhari (Muhammadiyah University of East Kalimantan), Ali Salmande (Banten Public Administration School), M Robbi Qawi (Trisakti University, Jakarta):
    The ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in Indonesia: it’s Ratification in Parliament and Use in Court
17:00 Drinks
18:00 End of day 1


Day 2
Friday 01-09-2023

09:00 Welcome with coffee

Plenary Panel discussion: Overlap and interregional collaboration: how to make it work?

  • Armin Cuyvers (chair)
  • Frank Mattheis (UNU-CRIS)
  • Darinka Piqani (Leiden Law School)
  • Emmanuel Sebijjo (International University of East Africa)

Panel 3: Regional integration and migration

Chair: Prof. Jorrit Rijpma (Leiden Law School)


  • Diego Acosta Arcarazo (Bristol):
    Comparing free movement of people regimes at global level
  • Dr Niringiye Aggrey (Principal Research Fellow East Africa Community, Arusha, Tanzania):
    A baseline Assessment on Mobility of Selected Professionals and Students Across EAC Partner States
  • Mark Klaassen (Leiden University):
    Liberalising immigration control to limit irregular migration: the potential of international cooperation
12:00 Lunch

Panel 4: Regional economic integration in a digital and renationalizing world

Chair: Tom Ottervanger (Leiden Law School)


  • Jackline Nyaga (Riara Law School, Nairobi):
    Jurisdictional Conflicts and Trade Disputes Settlement in Africa: Collaboration versus Competition Between WTO, AfCFTA and African RECs
  • Gregorio Buzzellia (University of Milan) and Francesco Nicolib (Polytechnic University of Turin):
    The impact of technological breakthroughs on the trajectories of regional integration
  • Ali Abdillah (Utrecht University):
    Escaping the political economy trilemma in ASEAN: towards a smart legal framework for ASEAN regional economic integration
  • Emmanuel Sebijjo Ssemmanda (International University of East Africa),
    The Nature of AfCFTA Law: A Comparative Analysis of EAC, EU and WTO Law
15:30 Coffee

Concluding debate: the role of regional collaboration in a renationalizing world facing global challenges

  • Philippe De Lombaerde (UNU-CRIS, Chair)
  • Diego Acosta (Bristol)
  • Nelly Stratieva (Leiden University, Berlin)
  • Niringiye Aggrey (Principal Research Fellow East Africa Community, Arusha, Tanzania)
  • Armin Cuyvers (Leiden University)
17:00 End of the conference
mr. dr. A. Cuyvers Juridisch PAO Leiden
prof. mr. dr. A. Cuyvers
A. Abdillah Juridisch PAO Leiden
A. Abdillah
prof. D. Acosta Arcarazo Juridisch PAO Leiden
prof. Diego Acosta Arcarazo
dr. N. Aggrey Leiden Law Academy
dr. N. Aggrey
Maria V. Alvarez Leiden Law Academy
M.V. Alvarez
prof. dr. A.F. Azhari Leiden Law Academy
prof. dr. A.F. Azhari SH, M. Hum
G. Buzzelli Leiden Law Academy
G. Buzzelli
dr. P. De Lombaerde Juridisch PAO Leiden
dr. P. De Lombaerde
S. Gänzle Juridisch PAO Leiden
S. Gänzle
T.C. Hofelich Leiden Law Academy
T.C. Hofelich
mr. dr. M.A.K. Klaassen
mr. dr. M.A.K. Klaassen
dr. J.E. Larik
F. Mattheis Leiden Law Academy
F. Mattheis
Bella Nathania Leiden Law Academy
B. Nathania
prof. dr. F. Nicoli Leiden Law Academy
prof. dr. F. Nicoli
Jackline Nyaga JD Leiden Law Academy
J. Nyaga JD
dr. D. Piqani Leiden Law Academy
dr. D. Piqani
Jorrit Rijpma
prof. dr. J.J. Rijpma
M. Robbi Qawi S.Hut, M.Si
A. Salmande SH, LLM
Emmanuel Sebijjo Leiden Law Academy
E. Sebijjo
dr. B. Stefanova Juridisch PAO Leiden
dr. B. Stefanova
Nelly Stratieva Leiden Law Academy
N.G. Stratieva
dr. U. Wunderlich

Schouwburgstraat 2, 2511 VA Den Haag

€ 0,-

Registration is required to attend the programme