Dear friends and members of the UAE,

The economic crisis that has affected our countries and the entire European Union for many years continues to dictate the political, economic and social agenda of public authorities and private businesses on every level.

The solidity of the single currency and the European Union itself has been questioned by many figures due to the widespread discontent and anxiety among a significant part of the population.
Behind the concerns is the increasingly tough economic situation, which has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs all over Europe.

The European Union firmly believes that it must introduce a number of measures to promote innovation and growth, as austerity policies alone have proved incapable of solving the problems.
Innovation and research seem to have an essential part to play in triggering an economic recovery, while the crisis has highlighted the need for regulation of the financial sector and the banking industry in order to restore stability and instil fresh confidence in the markets.

As recently emphasized by the European Commission in the green paper of 25 March 2013 entitled “Long-term financing of the European economy”, the most pressing task for the European Union is to get back on the path of smart, sustainable growth, with the goal of creating jobs and building on its areas of competitive advantage, thus enhancing its competitiveness in the global market place.

Against this backdrop, the congress entitled “The Economic and Financial Crisis in Europe: On the Road to Recovery?” seems highly topical. It will take place in Lisbon on 28 June 2013 and it has been organized by the European Lawyers’ Union under the expert, enthusiastic guidance of the lawyer Carlos Botelho Moniz, who is the president of the Portuguese delegation of the UAE and a founding member of our association.

The XXVII General Congress of the UAE will be held in the wonderful, enchanting city of Lisbon, which has been at the heart of events in the European Union on a number of occasions. There will be contributions from prominent speakers with vast experience of EU matters and efforts will be made to analyse the reasons for the crisis and the remedies introduced by the European institutions.
They include the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism for the eurozone, which was made possible by a special amendment of article 136 of the TFEU. It is one of the pillars of the new European economic governance system and the Fiscal Compact (the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union) which was signed on 2 March 2012 in Brussels during the spring meeting of the European Council.

There will be a particular focus on the banking industry, with a special session on State aid control, which continues to be a cornerstone of the EU’s competition policies. Another session will be devoted to the new banking legislation which will come into force on 1 January 2014.

I hope to see large numbers of you at the general congress of the European Lawyers’ Union. It is an important specialist event that has taken place for 27 years in a row, thus underlining the great tradition of our association.

June 2013

Bruno Telchini
PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN LAWYERS’ UNION