Publish Date: 10.06.2020

Category: News from the University

The Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, awarded Prof. Verica Trstenjak, employed at the Faculty of Public Administration, University of Ljubljana, the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class, in recognition of her outstanding scientific achievements in European law and her contribution to strengthening relations between the Republic of Austria and the Republic of Slovenia.

The press release by the Austrian Embassy Ljubljana stated, among other things:

“Today, the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Slovenia, Mag. Sigrid Berka, in the presence of the State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tone Kajzer, bestowed on Prof. Verica Trstenjak the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class. Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, the ceremony at the Austrian residence in Ljubljana took place in a small gathering.

In her address, the Ambassador emphasised that on this occasion we are witnessing a very special connection between our countries in the field of science, as the Austrian President honoured an internationally recognised expert in European law who lectures at law faculties in Slovenia and Austria, and thus represents a particularly valuable link between the two countries.

Prof. Verica Trstenjak, born on 9 December 1962, is an internationally recognised expert in European law and served as the Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union from 2006 to 2012. So far, she is the only representative of Slovenia to have occupied this position. Until 2018, she was Professor of European Law at the Faculty of Law, at the University of Vienna. She is currently Professor of European Law in the Master’s programme at the University of Vienna and at the Faculty of Law at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. In addition, she teaches at higher education summer schools in Salzburg (University of Salzburg), Strobl (University of Vienna) and Alpbach (University of Innsbruck). As visiting professor, she has been lecturing at various Austrian institutions for a number of years. She also lectured at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and was a member of many scientific advisory committees, such as at the University of Vienna and the Alpbach International Forum. Since 2013, she has been a member of the board of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, and since 2017, a member of the executive board and management board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Prof. Verica Trstenjak has been closely connected with Austria throughout her career. She prepared her doctoral thesis at the University of Vienna, then, as State Secretary for Science, participated in the preparation of a new bilateral agreement on scientific cooperation between Austria and Slovenia. She has made a significant contribution to improved cooperation, as well as to the knowledge of the legal systems of the two countries and their visibility in the EU.

With her exceptional knowledge, professional contributions and papers, as well as international experience, Prof. Verica Trstenjak is highly esteemed and respected in both Austria and Slovenia. Through her work, she strives for professional and academic interconnection and cooperation.

On this occasion, the Austrian Embassy in Ljubljana congratulates Prof. Verica Trstenjak on her Austrian decoration.”

As Advocate General, Prof. Verica Trstenjak has played an important role in shaping European law, especially in the areas of consumer protection, intellectual property, public procurement, state aid, asylum, fundamental rights and fundamental freedoms in the EU, as well as in other areas. She teaches European law at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Maribor, in its LLM programme, at the University of Vienna, the European Faculty of Law in Slovenia, and the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. She also regularly teaches at several summer schools, e.g. in Salzburg, Alpbach (University of Innsbruck) and Strobl (University of Vienna). She is an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law. Since 2017, she has been a member of the management board, and since October 2017, a member of the executive board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna. In March 2019, she became a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Prior to her tenure in Luxembourg, she was employed at the University of Ljubljana, and worked for several years in state administration as a consultant and as State Secretary for Science. In 2000, she held the post of Secretary-General of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Since 2016, she has been affiliated with the international organisation Energy Community as member of its Advisory Committee, whose function is comparable to that of arbitration in dispute settlement in the field of energy (electricity, gas, etc.) between the Energy Community and individual countries. In May 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia confirmed her appointment as member of the Permanent Court of arbitration in The Hague, and in May 2020 the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed her an alternate member of the Venice Commission (Council of Europe).

She has published several books and over 250 articles, mostly abroad, including in journals indexed by the Social Science Citation index. She is a member of the editorial boards of important international law journals (The European Law Review (SSCI impact factor), European Journal of Consumer Law, EJCCL, and Ecolex, among others.). She is also a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL), a member of Academia Europaea, a member of the International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, as well as a founding member and board member of the European Law Institute (ELI).

She lectures at international conferences – in 2015, she was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Consumer Law and a general reporter at the International Academy of Comparative Law. She has been a visiting professor at many EU universities (e.g. Hamburg, Ferrara, Zurich, The Hague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Malta) and around the world (e.g. Montreal, Sydney, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Kyoto, Seoul, Kazakhstan).

She often comments on EU legal issues in the media, both abroad (e.g. diepresse.at, standart.at, orf.at) and in Slovenia, emphasising the importance of the rule of law and respect for the law.

Her research focuses on European law (European constitutional and procedural law), European civil law, especially European consumer protection and commercial law, EU copyright, public procurement, fundamental rights in the EU, EU citizenship, NGOs and civil law. At the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Administration, she teaches EU Legal Regulation, International Legal Aspects of Human Rights Protection, The Constitutional Law Crisis of the European Union, EU Institutions, EU Law and Administration, Human Rights, and Public Administration.