The Editorial Board of ELTE Law Journal decided to devote a special issue to Brexit – considering it is probably the most fateful event of the decade in Europe. The articles map the historical roots and the present political context of this unprecedented move, along with its impact on the free movement of persons, on the area of freedom, security and justice, on common agricultural policy and on the future role of English as the lingua franca of the Union. The foreseeable triggering of Article 50 TEU poses unprecedented political, legal and procedural questions to be answered. Central Europe, including Hungary, has to reconsider its position in a rapidly changing European Union. Of course it is impossible to grasp all the legal consequences of this historical change; the major elements of the farewell deal still have to be hammered out by the negotiating parties, but we have to face the fact that something has dramatically changed: The Anglo-Saxon world represented by Great Britain is prepared to cut its former ties with the European Union. The United Kingdom strives for an independent and global role instead of being a member of the ‘European concert’. An important epoch of the continent has been irrevocably completed.
The majority of the authors are members of our Faculty, representing the remarkable intellectual power of our 350 year old institution. We are especially honoured that Tibor Navracsics, member of the European Commission and János Martonyi, former minister for foreign affairs of Hungary, contributed to this issue and three ambassadors of the Hungarian diplomatic service offered their analysis and notes on the sweeping changes as well. In this way, readers may learn not only the views formulated in the ‘ivory tower’ of the university but the opinions of those, who have confronted the multiplicity of tasks while ‘in the commanding bridge’.
Budapest, December 2016