Welcome

Dear EELA members and friends, 

 

It is a good and longstanding EELA tradition to accompany the registration link activation with a short welcome address from the board member hosting the Conference. Our upcoming Conference will be held in Athens, 23-25 June 2022 – so it is my pleasure to write these lines to you.

Joy and anticipation are the feelings that not only I as host, but all board members are experiencing now that we are entering the final stage of preparations for the Conference. Joy, arising from the fact that in Athens we will – at last, after three years (let us not forget that our last physical Conference was held in Tallinn in 2019) – be given the chance to literally sit next to each other (hopefully not very far apart!) and raise our glasses again. We all recall that very special atmosphere EELA conferences managed to generate, and I think all of us would be happy to know that this event will continue to be a given “save the date” note in our annual calendars.

Anticipation, on the other hand, has to do with the fact that nothing will be what it used to be before the pandemic. “Everything flows” as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus put it over 25 centuries ago. When we announced the cancellation of the Hamburg conference in 2020, we were aware of the challenges ahead and took a steadfast commitment: to keep in touch with our members on a more regular basis by making more use of technology but also in the traditional way, that is by continuing our annual conference and the EELA-ERA Brussels seminar in November; and to make EELA the most relevant scientific and professional platform for employment lawyers across Europe.

We are confident that the program in Athens lives up to this commitment: We will discuss the most important aspects of the digital transformation of work, such as non-standard forms of employment, work through digital platforms and the role of AI in the workplace; we will address the challenges in creating a working environment ensuring diversity and inclusion; we will give a fresh look to “classics” like the multinational transfer of undertakings/outsourcings and the mobility of workers; we will give full update on the latest EU law / ECJ case law developments; and last but definitely not least, we will have a first-class keynote address and discussion panel addressing the fundamental institutional and political developments in the EU.

It would be like bringing owls to Athens if I said that great attention has been given to the social program of the conference. I can only guarantee that you will enjoy the cultural wealth and diversity of the city, the natural beauty of Attica, the weather, the food and the wine, and – above all – this very special Greek attitude that surrounds all these tangible assets.

Finally, I want to thank all fellow Board members for their work, their ideas and their commitment in organizing and shaping this restart. What you will see in Athens will be the fruit of a common effort (hoping that it will be as good as our intentions). And, I think it is fair to say that it is especially the merit of Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt, Chair of EELA, who put in this task all his good efforts as he had previously done for the Hamburg 2020 conference that had to be cancelled.

 

Kostis Bakopoulos

Chair of the Organising Committeec

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