ESIL is a member-based association. Its purpose is to bring together international law researchers, scholars and practitioners from both Europe and other parts of the world, and to provide a platform for an in-depth exchange of ideas amongst them. The Society aims to foster inquiry, discussion and innovation in international law, and to promote a greater understanding of the role of international law in the world today.

To assess whether the society succeeds in doing so or whether there is any room for improvement, the ESIL Secretariat sent a satisfaction survey in March 2021 to all current ESIL members. 169 ESIL members took part in the survey. The ESIL Board would like to express its appreciation to all members who shared their feedback. In the survey, members were asked to indicate their primary reasons for joining ESIL, to assess the quality of the main activities carried out by ESIL, to rate various ESIL outputs and to make any suggestions in order to improve the ESIL activities.

The satisfaction survey has shown that the overall satisfaction with ESIL activities amongst the members of the society is high. 91% of the survey participants indicated that they have been either very satisfied (51%) or satisfied (40%) with ESIL. Comparably high is the overall satisfaction with the ESIL Secretariat (84% either very satisfied or satisfied)

The survey has also demonstrated that the primary reasons for joining ESIL are  to stay abreast of international law developments, to meet other scholars through networking at ESIL main events and through the work of the 20 ESIL interest groups. Interest groups, in general, feature among the most attractive elements of the ESIL activities. The survey participants have indicated that they attended ESIL annual conferences (25%), interest groups events (18%) and research fora (14%). The overall satisfaction with these events is again high (70-80% of the survey participants have found these events excellent or very good).

Among ESIL publications, the ESIL Newsletter, the ESIL Updates and the ESIL Reflections are very popular and read each time they are published, by respectively 73%, 60% and 45% participants. In addition, ESIL members get information about the activities of the Society mainly through the ESIL website and the ESIL Twitter. Since the realisation of the survey, an ESIL LinkedIn account– has been created to expand the channels of communication of the Society. Scoring relatively low in the survey in terms of consultation rate are the ESIL Teaching Corner, and the ESIL Youtube channel though over 60% of the participants have indicated checking them on a regular (weekly, monthly, or annually) basis.

An important number of survey participants have made suggestions aimed at further improving the ESIL activities. Among them, three have been expressed repeatedly.

The first one pertains to the increase of the activities for practitioners within ESIL. In response to this suggestion, the ESIL Board has decided to work, in cooperation with the local organizers, to more actively encourage the participation of practitioners in ESIL events.

The second suggestion concerns the opportunities that ESIL offers to younger and early-career scholars. There are already initiatives aimed specially at younger scholars, namely the annual research forum, the reduced membership and registration fees available to students or the Young Scholar Prize. In light of the survey, however, the ESIL Board has decided to expand the scope of such initiatives by introducing special mentoring online events on relevant topics (how to make career in legal practice/academia, how to write a good academic article).

The last, by far most common, suggestion concerns the format of ESIL events. Although ESIL members look forward to the return of events held in person, they would welcome more online or hybrid events in future. The three formats (in presence, hybrid and online) have their advantages and disadvantages and the society will therefore seek to combine them.

In conclusion, the ESIL Board and Secretariat would once again like to thank the ESIL members who took part in the satisfaction survey and to reaffirm that the Society is dedicated to continuing to do its best to maintain a high level of satisfaction among members. For those who missed the opportunity to send their feedback, the decision has been made to make the satisfaction survey part of the life of the society and to conduct it on a regular, most probably biannual, basis. We hope that the survey will become yet another helpful tool of communication within ESIL and that it will contribute to ensuring that the society remains made by its members for its members.