The UK Referendum Debate – Burning Questions, 13.06.2016

Organized by the Danish Association of European Law in Cooperation with Centre for European Politics, University of Copenhagen

On June 23rd the Brits are voting on whether they want to ‘remain’ or leave’ the European Union. This seminar focuses on the difficult British liaison with the continent over the past more than 40 years. It discusses the background for the referendum, Prime Minister Cameron’s ‘deal’ with Europe, and the central features of the negotiations that may follow if the Brits vote to leave. The seminar will also discuss the British possibilities in case of a ‘leave’ majority wins the referendum and also what may happen to the EU itself when the British either decides to stay or to leave on the 23rd.  Not only a ‘leave vote’ will have consequences for Europe. So will a ‘stay’ vote, as many other EU countries may want opt-outs and exemptions in the future. What kind of Europe will emerge – both on June 24th and in ten years’ time? To discuss these central issues we have invited Professor Paul Craig from the University of Oxford as a keynote speaker, but also Freja Sine Thorsboe from the European Commission. The seminar will be moderated by Professor Ulla Neergaard, and Professor Marlene Wind will act as discussant. The seminar will be held in accordance with Chatham House rules, which means that speakers can only be cited if they have explicitly consented. After the seminar there will be a small reception.


  • Introduction – Chair
    Professor of EU Law, Ulla Neergaard, University of Copenhagen (and guest professor at University of Oxford 2015-16)

  • Brexit: Process, Substance and Consequence
    Professor of English Law, Paul Craig, University of Oxford
  • A New Settlement for the UK within the EU – Why, How and What?
    Member of the European Commission’s Task Force for Strategic Issues Related to the UK Referendum, Freja Sine Thorsboe

  • Comments
    Professor of Political Science and in Law at iCourts, University of Copenhagen, Marlene Wind, University of Copenhagen

  • Plenary Discussion: Q & A Session
  • Refreshments (from about 17.30)

13 June 2016, 15:00-18:00

Place: Alexander Hall, Bispetorv Annex, University of Copenhagen, Bispetorvet 1-3, DK-1167 Copenhagen K

Registration: Everybody is welcome, but registration should take place in writing to: Dansk Forening for Europaret either at or to:

Registration deadline: 13 June 2016, 15:00

Contact: All questions regarding the seminar can be directed to Ulla Neergaard


Paul CraigPaul Craig is Professor of English law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. John’s College. He specialises in Constitutional law, Administrative law and EU Law. He was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, where he took his BA, MA and BCL. He was a Fellow of Worcester College from 1976-1998, when he moved to St John’s College to take the Chair of English Law. He has written widely on Constitutional law, Administrative law and EU law. His most recent book is the outcome of the Hamlyn lectures, and is entitled UK, EU and Global Administrative Law, Foundations and Challenges (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is also the UK alternate member on the Venice Commission.

Freja Sine ThorsboeFreja Sine Thorsboe graduated from University of Copenhagen as a Master of Laws (LL.M) in 1998. Since October 2015 she has been seconded to the European Commission as a member of the Task Force for Strategic Issues related to the UK Referendum on EU membership (UKTF). Beforehand, she has spent most of her career in the Danish Ministry of Justice dealing mainly with national and international police matters, criminal law and EU law (among other having worked as Justice and Home Affairs Counsellor at The Permanent Representation of Denmark to the EU, head of the Traffic and Arms Division and subsequently the Criminal Law Division, and acting Deputy Permanent Secretary and subsequently Commissioner in the Police and Criminal Law Department). She has a wide experience in teaching, among others as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at University of Copenhagen and has also published within the area of EU law.

Ulla NeergaardUlla Neergaard has been a professor at the University of Copenhagen since 2009, first in EU Market Law and then in EU Law. Before that she was among others Professor of Competition Law at the Copenhagen Business School. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence (1998). Ulla Neergaard has been appointed as an “expert member” to several boards/committees (among others the Danish Council of Competition and the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority). At present she is deputy member of the Appeals Permission Board which holds a central role in the Danish court system. She was the President of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE) from 2013-14 and organised the FIDE-Congress in 2014. She is at present among others the President of the Danish Association for European Law. She is responsible of many of the EU-law courses (BA and MA) at the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen. The academic year 2015-16 is spent at the Faculty of Law/St. John’s College, University of Oxford.

Marlene WindMarlene Wind is Professor of Political Science and in Law at iCourts, University of Copenhagen. She is here also the director of Centre for European Politics and she is strongly involved in the management of the Centre of Excellence, iCourts. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, in which thesis the focus was on the tensions between national sovereignty and supranational law. She is an expert in European Politics and Law and has published extensively on the European constitutional order, national opt-outs and national courts relationship with European courts. She is also an active participant and commentator in the public debate on the EU. Furthermore, Marlene Wind has received several prizes and acknowledgements for her ability to communicate with the wider public on European matter and also for her courage to engage in the sometimes sensitive debate on national sovereignty and European integration. She was also the first recipient of the prestigious ‘Tøger Seidenfaden prize’ handed over on 10 May 2012.



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