Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

50 Years Costa/ENEL - Settling the Supremacy of European Law?

Interdisciplinary perspectives on 50 years Costa/ENEL

26June2014 09:30 - 17:45


50 years ago the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave judgment in the seminal Costa/ENEL case. In this colloquium, the actual impact of the judgment will be discussed in an exchange between historians and lawyers. Attendance is free of charge, but subject to registration


Ever since the Costa/ENEL judgment, legal and political science have studied this case, wondering how a set of international treaties, the Treaties of Rome (1957)could lead to what has been claimed to be the establishment of a ‘constitutional practice’. 

After 50 years, it is time to summarize what has been found so far and add a new perspective to the debate: that of historical research. To what extent did national governments and legal elites of the member states accept the development of a ‘constitutional practice’? And what exactly was and is that practice?

In a concluding session, these national perspectives are integrated in a more general discussion of the ‘nachleben’ of the case, both in the development of a ‘constitutional practice’ and in future concerns. 

Speakers and discussants

  • Alexandre Bernier (University of Copenhagen)
  • Leonard Besselink (University of Amsterdam, ACELG) - convenor
  • Anne Boerger (University of Edmonton, Alberta) 
  • Rebekka Byberg (University of Copenhagen)
  • Monica Claes (University of Maastricht) 
  • Bill Davies (American University, Washington)
  • Tom Eijsbouts (Leiden University / University of Amsterdam)
  • Karin van Leeuwen (University of Amsterdam) - convenor
  • Jonas Langeland Pedersen (Aarhus University)
  • Sigfrido Ramirez (University of Copenhagen)
  • Morten Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen) - convenor
  • Jan Herman Reestman (University of Amsterdam)
  • Daniel Sarmiento (Court of Justice, Legal Secretary, cabinet Advocate General Cruz Villalon)

Attendance and registration

Attendance is free of charges, but subject to registration. Interested participants are requested to register with Angela Moisl at

This interdisciplinary conference is hosted by the Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG) and the Faculty of Humanities’ Institute for Culture and History, both at the University of Amsterdam, in cooperation with the Saxo Institute of the University of Copenhagen. The conference is co-organized and co-funded by ACCESS Europe, with the support of the University of Amsterdam, Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law.

Published by  ACELG