Vigjilenca Abazi defends doctoral thesis


On 11 December 2015, Vigjilenca Abazi successfully defended her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Secrecy and Oversight in the European Union: The Law and Practice of Classified Information’ conducted at University of Amsterdam under the promotion of Professor Deirdre Curtin. 
The Doctorate Committee praised the thesis for its major contribution that brings novel insights in an under-researched topic and it puts the question of secrecy firmly on the EU research agenda.

Based on a legal inquiry that draws from 40 interviews with EU officials, MEPs, experts, and civil activists as well as perspectives from political science and public administration, Dr. Abazi provides the first systematic and in-depth account of the regulatory regime of official secrets in the EU and its practice. 

The thesis demonstrates that the current EU secrecy model is engineered by executive actors and ensures their discretion in the exchange of official secrets, whereas the EU oversight institutions have incorporated confidentiality rules that disproportionality affect public deliberation and fundamental rights but do not limit the executives’ discretion on final disclosure. 

Adaptations to the EU constitutional oversight structure have been pragmatically developed behind closed doors leading to an administrative practice that legally thrives outside EU primary law.

From a democratic perspective, Dr. Abazi argues that EU oversight institutions should assume more responsibility in paving the way forward to establish more openness in the regime of official secrets in the EU.

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