The course is set
A year ago, in August 2022, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg informed the Max Planck Society of its intention to transfer the Max Planck Institute for International, European, and Regulatory Procedural Law to the University of Luxembourg. This Institute, which is fully funded by the Grand Duchy, will be transferred as part of the Luxembourg Strategy for Research and Innovation. This strategy, reformulated in 2019, aims to consolidate research efforts within the Grand Duchy. While all parties initially anticipated a transition period of three to four years, the transfer is expected to be completed as early as the beginning of next year.
The decisive factor in this situation is the collective decision of both directors to realign their paths, leading them to step down from their positions at the Institute on September 1 and October 1, 2023, respectively, ahead of their originally scheduled retirements set for the end of 2025 and mid-2026. Hélène Ruiz Fabri will be returning to the Sorbonne in Paris, while Burkhard Hess will be relocating to the University of Vienna.
As this imminent transition takes shape, the university will assume responsibility for all of the Institute's personnel, the allocated budget, as well as ongoing programmes, projects, and contracts. A significant portion of the MPI's doctoral candidates are already actively pursuing their research studies at the University of Luxembourg.
Over the recent months, dedicated efforts have been channelled into ensuring a seamless transition for all stakeholders involved. Special emphasis has been placed on maintaining the researchers' project momentum. The ongoing activities will be continued at the MPI and gradually integrated into the university's overall strategy. "The Max Planck Society is deeply grateful to Berglind Fridriks, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute and a member of both the previous and current Management Boards, for her exceptional and professional dedication in shaping and facilitating this transition,” says Christian Doeller, Vice President of the Max Planck Society responsible for the MPI.
The revised statutes of the Foundation took effect on July 14, 2023. Subsequently, the newly structured Executive Committee was officially recorded in the Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés (RCS). This redefined Executive Committee comprises Patrick Cramer, who assumed the role of President of the Max Planck Society on June 23, 2023, Christian Doeller, and Reinhard Zimmermann, all representing the Max Planck Society. From Luxembourg, Romain Martin, Premier Conseiller at the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and Jens Kreisel, Rector of the University of Luxembourg, complete the Executive Committee’s composition.
The Institute's Management Board includes Pierre-Henri Conac from the University of Luxembourg and a Fellow of the MPI, alongside Berglind Fridriks, who has served as the Chief Operating Officer of the MPI since 2020. The Executive Committee had appointed Paul Heuschling from the University of Luxembourg to serve as the Chairman of the Management Board, a position he assumed on July 26, 2023.