Workshop Explores European Economic & Financial Integration through the Regulatory Framework

On April 8-9, 2013, the Institute of Law (IoL) at Birzeit University organized a workshop on European economic and financial integration through its regulatory framework. Palestinian and international academics were invited to join in the workshop, which brought together representatives of the Palestinian public and private sectors, as well as law students at Birzeit University.
The workshop shed light on key legal issues in the European Union (EU) model of economic and financial integration. Presentations were designed to provide adequate answers to a set of questions, e.g., to what extent can the Arab League activate its competent bodies and protocols of Arab integration in light of the political change the Arab world is witnessing? Can the European experience offer any lessons to push the integration process in the Arab World? What should the Palestinian Authority do in terms of structural and legal reforms to appropriately comply with the integration theory?
The workshop comprised four sessions organized over two days. A total of 15 working papers were presented, covering various thematic areas. On the first day, presentations included: Extension of Exclusive EU Common Trade Policy to Foreign Direct Investment; EU Investor Protection after the Financial Crisis; European Legal Framework for Cross-Border Integration of Investment Funds; and Sector Measures of the Internal Market in European Union: How Do Consumers get Advantage?. Presentations also addressed the Role of Prospectus Directives in Unifying EU Capital Markets Regulatory Cooperation to Remove Non-tariff Barriers to Trade in Products; Key Challenges and Opportunities for the Palestine-EU Potential Trade Agreements; Arab Economic and Financial Integration: Challenges and Prospects; and Comments on the European Commission Proposal for the Introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax.
On the second day of the workshop, the following presentations were made: The Investment Regime in the EU International Agreements; Banking Union as a Single Supervisory Mechanism; Impact of Palestine Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the Liberalization of Trade in Services Sector; Palestinian Draft Law on Competition: A Critical Review from a Global Perspective; World Trade System and Free Trade Agreements; Required Legal and Structural Adjustments for Palestinian-European Possible Aspects of Integration; Cross-border Companies Merger; and Corporate Mergers under the EU Rules of Competition Protection.
In partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – Ramallah Office, this project is funded by a grant provided to the IoL by the Jean Monnet Program’s “Lifelong Learning Program”. A final, follow-up conference will be organized in July 2013.