Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

The progression of EU law: accommodating change and upholding values

What are the institutional dynamics of the adoption of internal market legislation?

Contact
Stefaan Van den Bogaert

The EU faces crisis after crisis. How to handle the influx of refugees? How to deal with the Dutch ‘no’ in the referendum on the Association Agreement with Ukraine? How to cope with a ‘Brexit’ and placate other Eurosceptic Member States? How to save the Euro and prevent future economic crises? Or how to form an effective united front externally, for example in Ukraine and Syria? All these urgent questions, moreover, take place against the backdrop of more structural challenges.

This self-assessment considers the two consecutive research programmes designed to address parts of these interrelated challenges.

The Progression of EU Law: Accommodating Change and Upholding Values

The new programme – the second to be assessed – started as of January 2015, and is entitled The Progression of EU Law: Accommodating Change and Upholding Values. The programme reflects the broad and diverse challenges facing the EU. It focuses precisely on the dynamics of change in the EU: how does EU law adapt and evolve whilst at the same time promoting its traditional and relatively constant values and objectives? And what does an analysis of the dynamics and constants of EU law and integration tell us about the nature, direction, potential and pitfalls of EU law?

History

The first programme is Regulering van het Internationaal en Economisch Verkeer (‘Regulation of international trade’), which ran from 2009 until the end of 2014. It was a sub-programme of the overarching research programme Securing the Rule of Law in a World of Multi-level jurisdictions (hereafter MLJ). After an assessment of the entire MLJ programme, it was decided to break up this one very large programme into four independent programmes. For Regulering van het Internationaal en Economisch Verkeer, the opportunity was seized to redesign the sub-programme into an independent research programme on European law that could reach beyond the economic perspective and unite the different strands of EU-law research within the faculty.

  • How, for example, to organize our governments in times of globalization and interdependence?
  • How to redesign governance structures for this new global reality with acute distrust in politics and public institutions?
  • How to reconcile increasing activity above the state level with the remaining fundamental importance of national democracy? Or how to strengthen the social dimension of the internal market and European integration more generally?