“In 1995 when we founded ELFA, there was a widespread understanding and partly even euphoric acceptance of the European idea all over the continent. Throughout the countries, across the border learning from each other and cooperating in building up new structures of common engagement overturned step by step the old deep routed nation bound routines.

Now twenty-five years later, we are confronted with some kind of monstrous decay in this respect. The year started with the gloomy Brexit menetekel; stimulated by anti-European slogans, one of the most important countries left the European Union after a long period of membership. What followed was and is perhaps with the corona virus crisis the most atrocious scenario after the Second World War. Isolation is advised by medical experts for human beings. And isolation is the prevailing reaction of countries as well, who take refuge in rules and activities strictly bound only to their own national interests.

Certainly, there is a great danger of giving up principles of solidarity in Europe. All the more, today and in the future when life will come finally to a normal level again, we need in all fields of culture a continuing feeling of pursuing the same goal, all together. So, with my congratulation to the 25th anniversary of ELFA I send all best wishes for the enduring endeavor of finding a way out of too much state orientated systems of legal education.”

Hilmar Fenge

Leibniz Universität Hannover
ELFA President, 1997-1998

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