6 May 2019

Fireplace talk on 40 years direct EP elections: Challenges and changes

Second meeting Alumni Circle European Law School / International Laws

In May, Europeans will elect their European representatives. These elections, which come at a particularly tumultuous time for the European Union, will mark the 40th anniversary of the direct elections to the European Parliament. Many in fact claim that the European Union is bound to change dramatically soon after the elections.

This event will feature two presentations:

Diane Fromage (Maastricht University)
Wouter van Ballegooij (alumnus; EPRS)

The speakers will seek to evaluate how the European Parliament has evolved over the last 40 years and where it might be going.  

Christine Neuhold (Maastricht University) will act as discussant and kick off the debate with the audience.

Sarah Schoenmaekers (Maastricht University) will introduce the speakers and act as chairperson.

This event will be organised in close cooperation with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS). FASoS alumni are therefore also welcome to attend.  

Please join us for drinks and snacks afterwards.


Dr. Wouter van Ballegooij has extensive and in-depth knowledge of European law and policy. He has been working in the European Parliament since 2007, on Better Law making, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and Internal Market issues. At the same time he obtained a PhD on the basis of his dissertation on 'The Nature of Mutual Recognition in European Law ' at Maastricht University in 2015. Currently he is a Policy Analyst for the European Parliamentary Research Service writing Cost of Non-Europe Reports and European Added Value Assessments of Legislative Own Initiatives put forward by the European Parliament. Previously he was a Group advisor on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. In this role he successfully negotiated a number of key pieces of EU legislation including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Directive on Access to a Lawyer in Criminal Proceedings. Prior to that Wouter was an Administrator for Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and a Parliamentary Assistant to a British MEP. Before entering the European Parliament he was a Researcher in European Law at the T.M.C. Asser Institute in the Hague (2003-2007).


Diane Fromage has been Assistant Professor of European Law at Maastricht University since February 2017. She was previously Assistant Professor in EU Law at Utrecht University and a Max Weber Postdoctoral fellow in Law at the European University Institute of Florence, Italy. She obtained her PhD in November 2013 from the Universities of Pavia (Italy) and Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). 
Her research focuses on Regional and national parliaments in the European Union and, more generally, on any topic related to parliaments in the EU, such as interparliamentary cooperation. She is also interested in Independent fiscal institutions and the European Banking Union. Generally, EU institutional matters and comparative constitutional law are of her interest.​


Christine Neuhold is Professor within the Department of Political Science and Head of Department of the Political Science Department at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Maastricht University (UM) and Director of UM Campus Brussels. She is a Political Scientist by training and holds her doctoral degree from the University of Vienna (awarded in 2000 with cum laude). Her research focuses on issues on accountability in networked systems of governance, which took her to a research stay at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (in 2011). She has (co-)coordinated two international Initial Research and Training networks on EU governance and inter-institutional cooperation financed by way of the EU Research Framework Programmes (FP 5 and FP 7). She was also co-Investigator for the University of Maastricht within the Open Research Area project “Observatory of Parliaments After Lisbon”  (OPAL), ANR-DFG-ESRC-NW0, http://www.opal-europe.org/ .  Apart from this, she has participated in more than 10 international research projects and networks on EU (Parliamentary) Democracy and EU Governance. She is part of the editorial board of the Journal “Politics and Governance” and co-editor of the Palgrave Handbook on National Parliaments.  


Sarah is assistant professor and programme director of the Master European Law School and Master International Laws at Maastricht University, visiting professor at Hasselt University, practising lawyer at OMNIUS (Belgium). She frequently publishes on European integration and public procurement in (inter)national journals, has edited two books and has organised several conferences. She has been successful in acquiring public money and has acquired a Jean Monnet module for setting up the course 'State aid and Public Procurement in the EU'. She has been the project leader of a CEDEFOP research project on 'The role of qualifications in governing professions and occupations' and was a core member of the team that successfully applied for a European Commission's tender on the 'Evaluation of the legal framework for the free movement of lawyers'. Sarah regularly speaks at international congresses. She spoke at a public hearing of the European Parliament on the new Diploma Directive and was invited to speak about public procurement law at the World Bank in Washington and at George Washington University. Sarah lectured/presented/chaired workshops in New York, London, Stockholm, Oslo, Brussels, Torino, St.Gallen, Thessaloníki and is a visible member of the academic community.