News and Events

Presentation of book chapter on EU Biodiversity Law and its Health Impact

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Dario Piselli, programme manager of the Jean Monnet Module on EU Law and Sustainable Development) was invited to discuss the health impacts of EU biodiversity law during a seminar organised by the Centre for International Environmental Studies of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, which took place on November 21st in Geneva. The seminar was part of the Fall 2019 edition of the CIES Lunch Seminar Series, a series of interdisciplinary research seminars on environmental, natural resource and development issues aimed at the dissemination of research results to academic experts and policymakers.

Mr Piselli, who is a PhD candidate and affiliate member of the Centre for International Environmental Studies,  presented the book chapter on ‘EU biodiversity law and its health impacts‘ that he recently co-authored together with EULawSD academic coordinator Riccardo Pavoni. In particular, he focused on the interaction between EU nature conservation legislation and human health and well-being considerations, as articulated in the Birds and Habitats Directives (Dir. 2009/147/EC and Dir.92/43/EEC) and their interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Publication of book chapter on the health impacts of EU Biodiversity Law

Prof Riccardo Pavoni and Dario Piselli, respectively academic coordinator and programme manager of the Jean Monnet Module in EU Law and Sustainable Development, have recently co-authored a chapter on ‘EU Biodiversity Law and its health impacts‘ for the upcoming volume ‘Environmental Health in International and EU Law‘, edited by Prof Stefania Negri and published by Routledge in the new series of Routledge-Giappichelli Studies in Law.

In recent years, and with growing intensity since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the concept of environmental health has emerged as a fundamental prism through which to analyse the complex interplay between global health and environmental law. Environmental risks, ranging from soil, water and air pollution to waste management and land use change, are now estimated to contribute to one quarter of the global disease burden, amounting to at least 13 million deaths per year according to assessments conducted by the World Health Organization.

Debates proliferate in multilateral fora ranging from the World Health Assembly to the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, covering aspects including the environmental determinants of health, the social-ecological dynamics of infectious disease emergence, and the direct and indirect health benefits arising from the fight against environmental degradation. As a consequence, the need to harness synergies between these two areas of global policy-making also becomes more urgent.

Within this context, the chapter deals with the health impacts of current European legislation in the field of biodiversity, and the possibility for a more effective integration of human health and well-being within its provisions. It addresses the progressive incorporation of  health considerations in the Habitats and Birds directives and in the Invasive Alien Species regulation, the use of health-related arguments in the biodiversity jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the linkage between environment and health in the application of the precautionary principle.

Overall, the chapter argues that if one excludes some limited attempts by the European Commission to mainstream socio-economic benefits in the management of the Natura 2000 network, the Habitats and Birds Directives’ critical role for health essentially remains a side-effect of their conservation aims. In particular, as the Directives continue to suffer from poor implementation and compliance at the national level, the chapter suggests that a more effective integration of human health and well-being within their provisions could significantly strengthen these instruments’ contribution to the achievement of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

The volume ‘Environmental Health in International and EU Law: Current Challenges and Legal Responses‘ is now available for pre-order at this link.

New 2019/2020 keynote lecture by Lorenzo Gradoni announced

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The academic staff of the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development is honoured to announce the third keynote lecture of its 2019/2020 EULawSD series, which will take place between the two previously-announced events with Prof Federico Casolari (12 November) and Prof Francesco Munari (22 November).

On November 20th, we will host Prof Lorenzo Gradoni, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, for a keynote lecture on “The Theory and Practice of Counter-Limits Versus the Primacy of International and EU Law“. The lecture will take place in the University of Siena’s Department of Law (via P.A. Mattioli 10, 53100 Siena, Italy).

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About the speaker
Lorenzo Gradoni is Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law. Before joining the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, Lorenzo Gradoni was associate professor of International Law at the University of Bologna. He was also Guest at the Institute (2015), visiting professor at the Ecole de Droit de la Sorbonne (2011-14) and Research Assistant at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (2009-10). He holds a PhD in EU Law from the University of Bologna (2003).

He’s the recipient of the Italian Society of International Law Prize (2008) and the European Society of International Law Book Prize (2010). His main research interests include international legal theory, international inter-systemic law, international law and politics, WTO law, and international criminal law.

Closing of the 16th University of Eastern Finland / UN Environment Course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements

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After two weeks of intensive lectures and negotiating exercises, the 16th edition of the Course on Multilateral Agreements Agreements will come to its conclusion on October 24th, 2019 with a closing event in the Aula Magna of the University of Siena Department of Law. The course, which was co-organised by the UN Environment Programme (UN Environment), the University of Eastern Finland, the Department of Law of the University of Siena and the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development, convened this year under the theme ‘Emerging Issues in International Environmental Law‘.

For 10 days, 35 between diplomats, government officials and NGO representatives attended lectures, videoconferences and roundtables focusing on a broad range of ‘hot’ topics in multilateral environmental negotiations, ranging from the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the protection of marine biodiversity to the regulation of geo-engineering, chemicals and short-lived climate pollutants.

In addition, the participants were provided with key negotiating skills and eventually engaged in a simulation of negotiations relating to the governance of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, mirroring the actual negotiations that are currently ongoing under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The academic staff of the EULawSD module is grateful for the opportunity it had to co-host the course and would like to congratulate all the participants upon their expertise and engagement. The staff also extends its congratulations to organisers from UN Environment and the University of Eastern Finland for the overwhelming success of the initiative.

To read more about the 16th edition of the MEA Course, visit http://www.uef.fi/en/web/unep.

16th edition of the University of Eastern Finland / UN Environment course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements to start in Siena next week

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Siena, 9 October 2019 – From 14 to 24 October, the Department of Law of the University of Siena will host the 16th edition of the prestigious course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements organised by UN Environment and the University of Eastern Finland (UEF).

The course, which is co-funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and UN Environment, aims to equip participants with in-depth skills in environmental diplomacy and international environmental law, building capacity among present and future negotiators of multilateral environmental agreements and fostering North-South cooperation.

For two weeks, more than thirty participants (including government officials, environmental diplomats, researchers and representatives of non-governmental organisation and the private sector) will take part in lectures and practical negotiating exercises together with leading experts and practitioners in the topics of the course.

The course, themed ‘Emerging Issues in International Environmental Law’ for this new edition, reaches Italy for the first time after being hosted by Finland (eight times), South Africa (twice), Kenya, Grenada, France, China and Thailand.

The achievement is a result of the collaboration between UN Environment, the University of Eastern Finland and the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development (EULawSD), co-funded by European Commission for the period 2017-2020 and coordinated by Prof Riccardo Pavoni from the University of Siena’s Department of Law.

The opening event of the course will take place on October 14th at 9.20 in the Aula Magna of the Department of Law, and it will be open to the public. The Rector of the University of Siena, the Rector’s Delegate for International Affairs and the Director of the Department of Law will introduce the meeting with some welcoming remarks, followed by the keynote addresses by Tita Korvenoja, Chief of Branch, Governance and Conventions, Law Division, UN Environment and Elisa Morgera, Professor of Global Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde. The session, chaired by Prof Riccardo Pavoni, will focus on the capacity of the current structure of international environmental governance to deal with emerging environmental issues such as the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and the reduction of short-lived climate pollutants. The agenda of the event is available here (in Italian).

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For additional information, please visit the course’s official website http://www.uef.fi/web/unep.

Media inquiries

Bradlie Luisa Ana Martz-Sigala (Coordinator of the UEF / UN Environment course)
email: mea-course@uef.fi

Dario Piselli (Programme manager of the EULawSD Jean Monnet Module)
email: dario.piselli@unisi.it

New EULawSD Webinar with Brenda King on EU Civil Society and the 2030 Agenda

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The academic staff of the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development is honoured to announce the third webinar of the 2019 EULawSD Webinar Series. On October 7th (12.00pm Central European Summer Time), we will host Brenda King MBE, Chief Executive of African and Caribbean Diversity and Former President of the Sustainable Development Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), for a lecture on “Civil Society Engagement in the EU Sustainable Development Agenda“. The webinar will reflect on existing multi-stakeholder approaches in the sustainable development policies of the European Union, as well as on possible models for greater civil society involvement in SDG implementation.

The webinar will be visible live on our YouTube channel and will be embedded at the bottom of this post.

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About our speaker

Brenda King is the Chair of the nonprofit African & Caribbean Diversity and a UK representative on the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since 2002. She served as the President of the EESC’s Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO) until 2018, and remains one of its leading members. She is rapporteur of an EESC report putting forward recommendations for civil society involvement in the implementation, monitoring and review of the sustainable development agenda in the EU. She was also part of the core team of three members who undertook an impact study in six member states on the EU Renewable Energy Directive.

From 2010 to 2013, Brenda chaired the EU-African Caribbean Pacific subcommittee where she successfully campaigned for 2015 to be the European Year for Development and Cooperation. Between 2006 and 2008, she was President of the EESC’s specialized section in employment focusing on job growth and quality employment. For over 10 years, Brenda has overseen the successful delivery of a youth development programme that has been recognised and awarded in the UK.

First 2019/2020 Keynote Lectures Announced

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The staff of the Jean Monnet Module in EU Law and Sustainable Development is pleased to announce the first two keynote lectures of the 2019/2020 academic year. As with the previous two instalments, this new edition will bring a group of leading scholars to Siena in order to explore a series of hot topics at the interface of European Union Law and sustainable development.

On 11 November 2019 (4pm-6pm), the Department of Law of the University of Siena will host Federico Casolari for a lecture on ‘Systemic Violations of the Rule of Law Before the EU Court of Justice.” Casolari is Associate professor of European Union Law at the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna School of Law where he teaches EU law. He currently serves as member of the Flying Faculty of the China-EU School of Law (CESL), member of the Faculty of the “EU Disaster Response Law in an International Context” Summer School (University of Milano), member of the European Society of International Law and also a member of the Italian Society of International Law.

On 22 November 2019 (11am-13pm), the keynote lecturer will instead be Francesco Munari, Professor of EU law at the University of Genoa, former Jean Monnet Chair of transnational environmental law from 2015 to 2017, and Adjunct Professor at Libera Università degli Studi Sociali (LUISS) Guido Carli in Rome. Prof Munari will deliver a lecture on “The Circular Economy and the New EU Waste Legislation’. This EULawSD Keynote Lecture is organised together with Europedirect Siena.

The EULawSD staff is excited to welcome these illustrious voices, who will expand on the issues discussed during the module’s lectures and provide additional insights about the importance of the EU in realizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More information about the keynote lectures, including the biographies of the guest lecturers, is available here. All the lectures will be open to the public.

EULawSD Coordinator Joins UFMG’s Winter Course

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We are happy to announce that EULawSD academic coordinator Riccardo Pavoni has been invited as a lecturer of the 15th International Law Winter Course of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), which is organised by the Centro de Estudos em Direito e Negócios (CEDIN) and will take place from July 8 to 19 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

In his lectures, Prof Pavoni will teach International Legal Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage in Armed Conflict. This is an important opportunity to expand EULawSD’s research network with a prestigious academic collaboration, which will foster debate on the role of international law in promoting peaceful, inclusive and sustainable post-conflict societies through the protection of the world’s natural and cultural heritage. In addition, the topic presents crucial linkages with a number of issues addressed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ranging from the relationship between Goals 15 (Life on Land) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) to the explicit provision on natural and cultural heritage contained in target 11.4.

#EUGreenWeek Brussels Conference to Focus on Implementation of Environmental Laws

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From May 13 to 17, the European Union will celebrate a new edition of its EU Green Week with a series of events in Brussels and across the EU member states. After the publication of its Environmental Implementation Review in April 2019, the European Commission has decided to use this edition to discuss the findings of that review and focus on the application of environmental legislation in Europe more broadly, including by asking questions such as:

  • What benefits do EU environmental laws bring for citizens?
  • What does successful implementation look like?
  • Where are the problem areas?
  • How can stakeholders take ownership of these laws?
  • How can can EU facilitate the process, making sure that the voices of citizens are heard?

The EU Green Week will culminate with the Brussels Conference, taking place at BLUEPOINT Conference Centre from May 15 to 17. A number of the conference sessions will be dedicated to topics that we have explored extensively as part of the Jean Monnet Module in EU Law and Sustainable Development, including the impact of environmental laws on human health, the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 network, and the synergies between environmental goals and the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

To learn more and register for the conference, click here ▶️https://www.eugreenweek.eu/en/brussels-conference.

EULawSD announces collaboration with UEF/UN Environment Course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements

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The staff of the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development (EULawSD) is proud to announce a new collaboration with the prestigious University of Eastern Finland / United Nations Environment Course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

Pursuant to the agreement reached between EULawSD and UEF, the EULawSD Module (with the support of the University of Siena and its Department of Law) will co-organize the 2019 edition of the course, which will be themed ‘Emerging Issues in International Environmental Law‘ and will take place in Siena from 14 to 24 October 2019. The two-week, high-profile course is entering its 16th year, having welcomed over 400 participants from 122 countries since 2004. It reaches Italy for the first time, having been previously hosted in Finland (eight times), South Africa (twice), Kenya, Grenada, France, China and Thailand.

The ultimate aim of the UEF/UN Environment course is to improve environmental negotiation capacity and governance worldwide by transferring past experiences in the field of international environmental law to future negotiators of environmental agreements. In addition, the course aims to provide a forum to foster North-South cooperation and to take stock of recent developments in the negotiation and implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and in diplomatic practices in the field.

Each edition concentrates on one specific theme under international environmental law. Through interactive lectures, workshops, and excursions, the course equips participants with basic skills in international environmental law-making, diplomacy and negotiations related to that specific thematic area. It is intended for experienced government officials engaged in international environmental negotiations, but other stakeholders (such as representatives of NGOs and the private sector, researchers and academics in the field of international environmental law) are also eligible.

We are honoured of this opportunity to work with the University of Eastern Finland and UN Environment. This collaboration will further EULawSD’s objective of establishing new partnerships and networks focused on the teaching and study of international and European law for sustainable development. We wish to express our gratitude to the Finnish colleagues for giving our JM Module this high-profile opportunity for expanding its activities and worldwide impact.


In order to learn more about the course and apply, visit https://www.uef.fi/en/web/unep