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The Forum

The Forum brings together researchers and other professionals who focus their activities on topics such as individual rights, regional integration and ethical and juridical issues of scientific research.

ISAAC is coordinated by CNR-IFAC (Valentina Colcelli) and the Università degli Studi di Perugia Department of Medicine and Surgery (Roberto Cippitani) and involves scholars from several universities, research centres, associations and other bodies in Europe, America and in other regions of the world.

Rights and Science

Among the individual rights, the European Union (EU) has highlighted a particular aspect of such a freedom: the freedom of circulation of researchers and, in general, persons dealing with research and technology knowledge, which is also defined as the ‘5th Freedom’ (see, for example, the Commission’s report on better careers and more mobility: a European partnership for researchers, COM [2008]).

As a matter of fact, EU law aims at establishing a European Knowledge Area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology as well as students and teachers can freely circulate (see Article 179 TFEU).

The trans-European movement of researchers and, in general, persons dealing with research and innovation is a phenomenon with very important social, economic and cultural implications. In particular, the trans-European mobility of these persons is several times (at least 3 times) the mobility of the general population (source: OECD, Economic Review—EU, 2012).

However, students, academic staff and institutions do not have enough awareness of the rights and obligations concerning this Freedom or of all the deep interactions between the law and scientific activity or the juridical issues arising from research.

The EU establishes rules and best practises in order to set up an ethical and legal framework for research activities, thus stressing the importance of ethical and societal issues in our lives (in particular, see EU Charter and Article 6, par. 1).

ISAAC will promote the knowledge of the legal, ethical, social and organisational aspects of scientific research, in particular among scientists, PhD students and students not usually trained on EU topics.

Individual Rights and Regional Integration  

Since the Van Gen en Loos case law, the legal system of the European Union has been built on the recognition of rights directly to natural persons and other legal subjects. Such individual rights are enforced by the Court of Justice. The enforceability of the rights supports the EU Law primauté  and contributes to European integration.

The EU is primarily concerned with economic actors and the free market. EU law currently impacts the lives of its citizens and establishes provisions which regulate matters regarding families, children and the status of persons. This impact has been enhancing the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and of the European Convention on Human Rights, which has been constitutionalised by the new article 6 of the Treaty on EU.

The rights (and other legal concepts such as ‘status’) elaborated by the case law and by other legal sources not only impact the vertical relationships (between States or EU Institutions and citizens) but also influence the so-called ‘horizontal’ relationships, that is to say, the relationships regulated by the private law.

The legal integration in the European Union represents the reference for the regional integration processes in other regions of the world.

This is particularly true in Latin America where in the last decades both the political and academic discourse on integration has been developing, in part by means of an interesting comparison with the European model.

Latin America shows several experiments of supranational economic–political integration throughout regional organisations such as Mercosur, Comunidad Andina, SICA, NAFTA and Unasur.