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ELI is an independent non-profit organisation established to initiate, conduct and facilitate research, make recommendations and provide practical guidance in the field of European legal development. Building on the wealth of diverse legal traditions, its mission is the quest for better law-making in Europe and the enhancement of European legal integration.

By its endeavours, ELI seeks to contribute to the formation of a more vigorous European legal community, integrating the achievements of the various legal cultures, endorsing the value of comparative knowledge and taking a genuinely pan-European perspective. As such its work covers all branches of the law: substantive and procedural; private and public.

Among ELI’s core tasks are:

to evaluate and stimulate the development of EU law, legal policy, and practice, and in particular make proposals for the further development of the acquis and for the enhancement of EU law implementation by the Member States

to study EU approaches regarding international law and enhance the role EU law could play globally, for instance in drafting international instruments or model rules

to provide a forum, for discussion and cooperation, of jurists irrespective of their vocation or occupation, inter alia academics, judges, lawyers and other legal professionals, who take an active interest in European legal development and together represent a broad range of legal traditions

to identify and analyse legal developments in areas within the competence of Member States which are relevant at EU level

to conduct and facilitate pan-European research, in particular to draft, evaluate or improve principles and rules which are common to the European legal systems


ELI is an entirely independent non-profit organisation under Belgian law.
The following are its main sources of income


Firstly, the cooperation agreement between the University of Vienna and ELI, which runs until the end of 2023, guarantees the Secretariat's seat which is kindly hosted by the University of Vienna. This comprises the main source of funding of the Institute.


Secondly, fees paid by Individual and Institutional Members constitute a cornerstone for ELI funding.


Thirdly, under a four-year partnership agreement signed with the European Union for the 2018–2021 period, ELI has been granted successive EU Operating Grants.


Additionally, some ELI projects are run jointly with other partner organisations, which contribute towards the projects. Project-specific funding has also been granted by the European Union and interested foundations.

In addition to the City of Vienna, which has generously hosted ELI's Annual Conferences when they take place in Vienna and has been a reliable supporter of the Institute, ELI also benefits from event sponsorship.