1. How many years in advance will the Board decide on a conference venue?

The decision needs to be taken in good time for the local organisers to arrange practical matters e.g. book a venue, contact sponsors, and raise funds.

In general, proposals should be sent to the Board as soon as possible, but ideally three years in advance.

The Board will aim to give firm acceptance of a proposal three years in advance of the conference.

2. How can members interested in hosting an annual conference indicate their interest?

ESIL members who wish to express interest in hosting a future conference are asked to write to the ESIL President (cc ESIL Secretariat) no later than three and a half years in advance of the event.

Please use the PROPOSAL FORM as a template to cover all the relevant points.

Expressions of interest for hosting the 2026 conference should be received by 30 June 2023.

The proposal document to be sent to the ESIL President should be 4 – 5 pages long.

3. How will the ESIL Board select the best option?

When considering bids for hosting an Annual Conference, the Board will look into the institutional capacity of the respective organisation that is offering to host the event, including the feasibility in terms of funding. The Board will duly take into account the proposed theme, which should be of broad general interest to the Society and not about a very specific topic or a sub-branch of international law. The Board will consider themes that are able to appeal to all members of the Society. When selecting a venue, the Board will also ensure that successive annual conferences take place in different countries and different regions in Europe, with due balance between proximity to transport links for its members and cost of accommodation, the expansion of the Society’s activities into new regions, and equitable rotation between the various jurisdictions and legal traditions in Europe. The prior involvement in the Society of the person(s) making the proposal is also an element that may be taken into account, when relevant. All other things being equal, priority will be given to those who have sent an earlier expression of interest.

As an Annual Conference hosts around 350-500 participants, a detailed budget in the range of 100.000-150.000 EUR should be planned for and prepared. Please note that annual conferences are funded entirely from the funds raised by local organizers (through grants, sponsorship, registration fees, exhibitors’ fees, etc.) and not from ESIL funds. It is only on an exceptional basis and following due explanation that the Board may agree, ex post factum and in light of a detailed final financial report, to grant financial support of up to 10.000 EUR to cover unexpected losses incurred by conference organizers.

If the proposal is accepted, the content of the final programme will be determined jointly by the local organisers and the ESIL Board.

The local organiser (if not already an ESIL Board member) is co-opted to the Board for two years prior to the conference in order to keep the Board informed about conference planning. At the first Board meeting attended by the co-opted local organiser, a Conference Programme Committee will be set up, consisting of the local organiser, who will function as Chair of the Programme Committee, and three Board members, including one of the Board’s vice-presidents.

Timelines for major decisions to be taken in the run-up to the conference are listed in the Guidelines for the organisation of annual ESIL conferences.

For general enquiries about this memo, please write to: esil.secretariat@eui.eu.