Universiteit Leiden

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APART-GSK grant for Melanie Fink

Melanie Fink has been awarded the APART-GSK grant of the Austrian Academy of Sciences to carry out her research project ‘No right without a remedy: Making EU fundamental rights enforceable’ for a period of four years.

Similar to the NWO’s Veni grant, the APART-GSK is an open-topic funding programme for researchers who have recently obtained their PhD to develop their own research projects for a period of two to four years.

Melanie’s project ‘No right without a remedy: Making EU fundamental rights enforceable’ is a four-year project looking into the possibilities of a much needed reform of the EU’s remedies system. While we still often associate the EU with a dreary rule-maker, deciding on the shape of bananas and cucumbers, this does not reflect the EU’s actual role and impact on individuals’ lives. The EU today investigates and prosecutes crime, supervises banks, and deploys armed border guards to control the external border. To do so it makes extensive use of new technologies and artificial intelligence and heavily influences how Member State authorities do their job. Yet, the EU’s remedies system was drafted with the EU as a ‘rule-maker’ in mind. As a result, individuals whose human rights are affected by the EU’s many tasks outside the realm of law-making lack judicial avenues to invoke their rights against the EU. In her project, Melanie explores how we can reform a system of remedies the EU has ‘outgrown’ so as to make EU fundamental rights practically useful to those they seek to protect.

Starting in June 2021, the project will be implemented at the Central European University in Vienna with research stays at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) and Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Lisbon, Portugal). During this period, Melanie will stay connected to Leiden University as a part-time Assistant Professor at the Europa Institute.

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