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Constitutionalism in Europe: Current Challenges and Prospects for the Future

On 25 November, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), in partnership with Vytautas Magnus University and the European Humanities University, will hold the International Conference “Constitutionalism in Europe: Current Challenges and Prospects for the Future”. 

Constitutionalism is widely defined as a set of norms and principles which advances the idea that the authority of government is derived from and is limited by a fundamental body of law. Importantly, it also implies that the legitimacy of governments depends on their respect of these very principles.  Over the past decade, democracies in Europe and globally have seen worrying trends of erosion of these norms and principles - separation of powers, independence of the judiciary, individual rights, and others.  Some extreme examples, referred to as democratic backsliding, include cases of executive aggrandizement and weakening of democratic checks and balances. 

The conference seeks to bring together leading researchers and practitioners to discuss the contemporary challenges to constitutionalism and its underlying values and principles. The expert speakers will assess the state of constitutionalism from various angles and in different country contexts, and will discuss national and supranational responses to these challenges. In doing so, the conference aims to contribute to identifying approaches for the prevention of the erosion of constitutionalism and securing its future in Europe and globally.

Speakers will address the following three topics:

  • Challenges to constitutionalism that countries across Europe and worldwide have faced recently, and the relevant legal and institutional responses to them;
  • Opportunities and strategies for countering the erosion of democratic constitutionalism; 
  • Securing the future of constitutionalism in Europe and worldwide.

International IDEA as a thought leader and convener in the constitution-building field is pleased to be co-hosting this timely discussion. The conference comes at a momentous time, marking the 30th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, adopted on the 25th of October 1992; and the 100th anniversary of the University of Lithuania—the predecessor of Vytautas Magnus University.

Event date
25 November 2022
Organising parties
International IDEA
Vytautas Magnus University
European Humanities University