The Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, based in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, will be transferred to the University of Luxembourg on 1 January 2024. This was announced by the Minister for Higher Education and Research Claude Meisch and the Rector of the University of Luxembourg Jens Kreisel on 21 September at a joint press conference. The integration aims to optimise the promotion of excellence within national governance structures.
The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law (MPI) has existed since 2012 and was founded on an agreement between the Luxembourg government and the Max Planck Society. It has since then significantly contributed to the national promotion of excellence. In light of the near emeritus status of the two MPI Luxembourg directors, the Luxembourg government proposed to maintain the MPI’s research activities, but within a new governance model as part of a new research centre of the University.
As Prof. Kreisel explained, the academic activities of the MPI Luxembourg will be integrated into a new research centre in January 2024, and the current MPI employees will start working at the University. This integration represents an exceptional opportunity to further strategically position the University of Luxembourg in the international research landscape.
By building on existing academic strength and by capitalising on its proximity and collaborations with key EU legal, financial and currency institutions, the new research centre can establish itself as central hub for European law. “Collaborations of this nature, aligned with long-term EU political objectives such as the dual transition towards digitalisation and sustainable transition, hold the potential to elevate both the University and the country as the forefront of European legal expertise”, states Prof. Jens Kreisel, rector of the University. “The new centre will strive to combine academic excellence with research with impact, fitting neatly in the University’s strategic framework for 2039.”
On 23 October, the University’s Board of Governors will decide on the thematic orientations of the new centre. The University is currently leading a comprehensive integration and migration procedure. The aim is that academic staff will be able to continue their projects at the new centre without delays. In this light, the University also regularly informs MPI and University staff members of the ongoing steps, and dedicated onboarding sessions are being organised.
“We are looking forward to working with our new colleagues, to focus together on building this new entity and realising its potential”, continues Jens Kreisel. “Like the existing research centres of the University, the new centre will strengthen national expertise and knowledge in its field and reinforce Luxembourg’s profile on the international research map. As such, it will act as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, but also for attracting talent to Luxembourg.”
The framework of the national research and innovation strategy
“In recent years, Luxembourg has developed a series of instruments for promoting excellence that are specifically adapted to the national scientific and socio-economic conditions and challenges,” explained Claude Meisch, Minister for Higher Education and Research. These include the successful talent attraction programmes of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), the innovative structures of the interdisciplinary centres at the University of Luxembourg (whose potential quantity was increased to six as part of the 2018 amendment of the University law) or the recent Institute for Advanced Studies, also hosted at the University of Luxembourg.
The Luxembourg research and innovation strategy foresees that this promotion of excellence progresses in a research landscape that allows the best possible coordination between all actors.
“Considering the strengthening of coherent governance of the entire Luxembourg research landscape, it makes sense to continue the MPI activities in the context of the Luxembourg governance principles and the Luxembourg initiatives of excellence. This also takes into account that we are a much more mature research location today than in 2009 and that we can now say that there is a Luxembourg governance model in research,” says Claude Meisch.
In order to ensure a smooth transition and successful continuation of the institute’s activities, which currently has 61 employees, within the University of Luxembourg, the Max Planck Society and the government agreed to adapt the foundation statutes of the MPI Luxembourg at short notice. Romain Martin, First Government Advisor in the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and Jens Kreisel, Rector of the University of Luxembourg, joined the MPI’s administrative board since 23 June 2023. Furthermore, the University’s Paul Heuschling has headed the institute’s board since 26 July 2023.
With the transfer of the MPI, the state endowment of 9.4 million euros (2024) will flow into the budget of the University of Luxembourg.
Photo from left to right: Léon Diederich (First Government Advisor in the Ministry of Higher Education and Research), Jens Kreisel (Rector of the University of Luxembourg), Claude Meisch (Minister for Higher Education and Research) and Romain Martin (First Government Advisor in the Ministry of Higher Education and Research)