From the foundation of the Irish College in Leuven by the Franciscans in 1607 till the present day, thousands of people have passed through our doors in the hopes of furthering their knowledge. Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a group of law students from the National University of Ireland Galway and amongst the various activities planned for them during their stay was a trip to Luxembourg City to visit the European Court of Justice and the European Investment Bank.
After clearing security upon arrival in Luxembourg the group was brought to one of the courts chambers so as to view a retransmission of a recent case heard. As this was a Spanish case the students were shown how the courts intricate translation system worked and due to the Judges use of French, how fast these translations had to be made by the team involved.
A round table meeting with Mr. Eugene Regan (President of Chamber), Mr. Colm Mac Eocaidh (Judge at the general court), Mr. Gerard Hogan (Advocate general) and President of the court of justice Mr. Koen Lenaerts gave the students a fantastic chance to tap into the vast experience of some of Ireland and Europe's finest judicial minds. Talking about certain cases, the difficulties they had faced, how they felt like they were genuinely making a difference in helping to improve the lives of everyday Europeans and answering any questions the students had about the judicial process and other topics with questions pertaining to disability law and employment accessibility being of most importance to the group. Lunch was then served and Mr. Hogan stayed to chat and answer any further questions the students had.
Finally, the group was brought to the Courts grand chamber, the centre of European Justice before making the short journey to the European Investment Bank situated across the road from the ECJ. Upon arrival the students were brought to their presentation room and were introduced to one of the banks press officers Tim smit, who then gave a presentation on the history of the bank and an explanation of its activities and the work that they do. Brendan McDonagh an Irish secondee to the EIB then gave a talked on the types of projects funded by the EIB and gave a number of Irish examples including a 60 million Euro loan received by NUIG for the redevelopment of its campus and an investment of 40 million Euro into Irish Agri tech company Devenish Nutrition, the banks largest ever investment in the Irish Agri-business sector. The EIB’s Advisory Hub was then discussed. The Hub is designed to act as a single access point to various types of advisory and technical assistance services. It supports the identification, preparation and development of investment projects across the European Union by the bank’s advisors working directly with the organisations and businesses involved to create tailor made packages to support their projects.
- Dylan Lynch