The 48thAnnual Conference of UACES at University of Bath provided the forum for the Network to showcase scholars across disciplines and different career stages. The RN hosted two panels on the Effective Enforcement of EU Law and Policy with papers on the role of the courts and preliminary rulings (Václav Stehlik, Palacký University), and judges (Federica Casarosa, EUI), as well as ‘street-level bureaucrats’ dealing with compliance with asylum and immigration issues (Katerina Glyniadaki, LSE). Other papers focused on regulatory techniques of enforcement such as mutual recognition (Karsten Engsig Sorensen, Aarhus) and enforcement in key EU policy areas such as the environment (Monica Garcia Quesada, ULB), Ricardo Pereira (Cardiff), and competition (Ildiko Bartha, Debrecen). The RN also held its second network meeting with more new members recruited and a fruitful discussion on the challenges of interdisciplinary research collaboration, and what issues members would like to see the RN addressing going forward.
Interdisciplinary research on enforcement continues to present challenges. The use of different disciplinary language, different methodologies, as well as different pressures and incentives on academics can present barriers to furthering the debate. For sure, it is easier to stay in disciplinary silos that will support your grant applications because the grant awarding body understandings the disciplinary paradigms, and submit to journals in your specific discipline because you are more likely to be accepted by the editors and referees. However, particularly in relation to compliance, it is more crucial than ever that scholars resist the urge to play it safe as conversations within disciplines become stagnated and stratified. Sara and Melanie are pleased to have met with members who were open-minded and prepared to jump out of their disciplinary silos to start a conversation and discuss common themes and research paths. With membership of the network growing, the prospect of future collaborations bodes well for 2019.