Research institutes

Maastricht Centre for European Law

The Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL) is committed to the study of European law from an interdisciplinary, transnational, and multilingual perspective. It seeks to foster cooperation between scholars working in the field of European law who are based in Maastricht University and elsewhere.


The Maastricht Centre for European Law focuses on the law of the European Union in its constitutional and political context, with particular attention for the tension between, on the one hand, uniformity and centralisation at the European level and, on the other hand, differentiation and autonomy of Member States.

The activities of the centre include the organisation of academic conferences and workshops, the organisation of a regular series of research seminars and of occasional visiting lectures, the development of externally funded research in areas of interest to the centre, and the supervision and facilitation of doctoral research in cooperation with the Maastricht Graduate School of Law.

Research lines

  • Constitutional Law of the EU
  • Interplay Between European & National Public Law
  • Balancing Between Market & Non-market Issues
  • European Citizenship & Migration Law

 Go directly to Research lines


The scholars of the Maastricht Centre for European Law offer courses in various bachelor's and master's programmes, within the Faculty of Law, but also for example at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and University College Maastricht.

Download the MCEL Annual Reports: 2015, 2014, 2013

  • Book between flexibility

    Between Flexibility and Disintegration - The Trajectory of Differentiation in EU Law

    Friday, March 3, 2017

    New publication, edited by Bruno de Witte, Andrea Ott and Ellen Vos

    Read more
  • Tarn logo

    TARN Call for Papers

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

    TARN launches a call for papers for a two-day international TARN conference to be held at the University of Luxembourg  in Luxembourg on 27-28 June 2017 on the external dimension of EU agencies and bodies, looking at activities of EU agencies reaching beyond the borders of the EU and discussing matters of control and supervision in these dimensions.

    Read more
  • Europe calling

    Maastricht University and Europe

    Monday, December 12, 2016

    Leading up to the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, UM organised three 'Europe events'. A photo report of these events can be found at the bottom of this page.

    Read more
  • Dr Vigjilenca Abazi gave a Jean Monnet lecture at University of Salamanca

    Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Read more
  • Prof. Lisa Waddington delivered two seminars while visiting the School of Law of Leeds University

    Monday, November 7, 2016 Read more
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Can Asian carbon trading schemes learn from EU case law?

    Friday, November 4, 2016

    Professor Marjan Peeters has delivered a presentation to the conference “Lessons from the evaluation of existing Emission Trading Schemes in China, Korea and the European Union for future design”

    Read more
  • Mariolina Eliantonio has been awarded Jean Monnet Grant

    Friday, September 9, 2016 Read more
  • Maastricht Journal Special Issue on ‘A Balanced Data Protection in the EU’

    Friday, September 9, 2016 Read more
  • Dr Francesca Galli, MCEL member, participated on 24 and 26 March 2016 to the Italian talk show Omnibus

    Monday, July 25, 2016 Read more
  • Newsletter 206-1

    MCEL Newsletter 2016-1

    Thursday, July 7, 2016

    The latest news from the Maastricht Centre for European Law.

    Read more

Law Blogs Maastricht

Looking for information on a current topic, research relevant to society, more in-depth information about a legal subject? Want to talk to an expert in law, conduct an interview or invite an expert to your programme? Find more information on research and the legal experts at Maastricht University Faculty of Law on our Law Blogs Maastricht. Our legal expertise, research findings and contributions to topical debates are made available for a general public of lawyers and law students, non-lawyers, the press, and (civil) society. Authors of all our contributions are staff members of Maastricht University Faculty of Law.

    • EuCourts Master Class V
      European Integration and National Constitutional Identity

      Friday 7 April 2017
      14:00- 16:00 Master Class - 16:00 drinks
      Statenzaal, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University

      Peter Huber
      Judge at the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany
      Bruno de Witte
      Professor of European Union law at Maastricht University and the European University Institute in Florence

      In this fifth EuCourts master class we will address the Order of the German Federal Constitutional Court of 15 December 2015 concerning the surrender under a European Arrest Warrant of a person convicted in absentia. The Court ruled that in
      individual cases, the protection of fundamental rights by the Federal Constitutional Court may include review of acts determined by Union law, if this is indispensable to protect the constitutional identity guaranteed by the eternity clause in the German Basic Law.

      In the case at hand, however, such identity review was not
      deemed necessary, and there was no need to restrict the primacy of EU law, because the requirements under Union law with regard to the execution of a European arrest warrant were not less protective of the rights of the accused than those required by human dignity as protected under the German Basic Law.

      The case raises a number of questions: Can the EU indeed be identified as a “union of states, constitutions, administrations and courts” as the Court states in paragraph 44 of the Order? Which court has the last word in cases where constitutional identity may be at stake? Can a national court refuse to apply EU law
      in order to protect the national constitutional identity? Who decides whether the ‘national identity’ is at stake? Is it the same for all member states?

      Marc de Werd, Judge at the Amsterdam Appeals Court and Extraordinary Professor at Maastricht University will chair the meeting.

      Second year law students of the Maastricht University Law College will contribute to the discussion and present a comparative legal study and a societal impact study.

      The master class is open to all (master) students and academics, and we warmly welcome members of the judiciary and legal practice to register here:

      *Please be advised that appropriate preparation for the master class is
      recommended: Link to the order of 15 December 2015, BvR 2735/14 (press release
      and full text).

      EuCourts Master Class 07/04/2017 E
      8 hours 54 min ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      Blog post:

      'How Juncker can make ‘The European Pillar of Social Rights’ deliver a powerful message that the EU is an area of dignity, autonomy and social justice'.
      Claire Kilpatrick (EUI), Elise Muir (Veni Fellow, Maastricht) and Sacha Garben (College of Europe, Bruges)

      The Juncker Commission has recently launched a “European Pillar of Social Rights” that aims to secure a “Social Triple A Rating” for the EU. The Pillar consists of a broad range of social principles.

      In a first policy brief (, Garben (College of Europe), Kilpatrick (EUI) and Muir (member of our Centre) examined how this initiative could be used to upgrade and safeguard the existing EU social acquis. The authors now react to the High Level Conference organized by the Commission on 23 January 2017. This conference was intended to prepare the next steps towards the final shape of the European Pillar of Social Rights expected to be announced in Spring 2017.

      Their four reflections and proposals, just published at, are: (1) The Pillar is an open process with an impressive participation by civil society and EU institutional actors; (2) The frames of discussion failed to give EU social rights and values their central place in the Pillar. The authors argue that the EU cannot afford not to have a Social Europe founded on dignity, autonomy and social justice.(3) They evaluate the EU constitutional implications of President Juncker’s confirmation that the Pillar would initially focus on the Eurozone and his announcement that it would include guarantees of minimum pay and income; (4) Beyond the Juncker announcement, the absence of focus on strengthening and broadening the existing EU social acquis and socialising the European Semester needs to be addressed in the Pillar.

      Find the blog post here:

      Photo credit: Euranet Plus Inside (via eulawanalysis)
      3 days 7 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      Last Tuesday, The MCEL research seminar featured a case law discussion by Annalisa Volpato (PhD candidate). The case at stake was C-613/14, James Elliott Construction Limited v Irish Asphalt Limited, EU:C:2016:821.
      In the case C-613/14, the Court of Justice was asked to give a preliminary ruling concerning the application of a harmonised standard, issued in compliance to a New Approach Directive, in a contractual dispute between two Irish undertakings. In its judgment, delivered on 27 October 2016, for the first time the Court of Justice established its jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on the interpretation of harmonised standards, but clarified that said standards cannot be used for interpreting general contractual clauses in national law. The case sheds light on important issues concerning the role of standardisation in relation to the EU legal system, such as the judicial review of harmonised standards, the relation between harmonised standards and EU law, and the position of the standard-setting bodies within the institutional framework. Although not directly addressed in the judgment, this case reignites the debate on the delegation of powers to the standard-setting organisations.
      At the end of the presentation, Mariolina Eliantonio acted as a discussant and MCEL members asked several questions which led to a fruitful discussion in the group.

      3 days 7 hours ago
    • REMINDER: EU Equality Law as the ‘First’ Fundamental Rights Policy of the EU’
      Roundtables, 4 April 2017, Maastricht

      Organised by Elise Muir
      This event is an invitation to reflect on the constitutional challenges raised by efforts to shape fundamental right policies at European Union level. A selected yet increasing number of EU competences indeed allow for decision-making by EU political institutions - and therefore politicization of the debate - on EU intervention on fundamental right matters. The increasing use of such competences triggers a set of questions on the interplay between primary and secondary law making as well as European and national law making in matters of fundamental right protection. The economic, financial, migration and security agenda as well as burning questions on the legitimacy of the EU in the past few years intensify the need to engage in a deep reflection on the system of check and balances at hand when shaping fundamental right protection at EU level.

      Find more information including an updated programme and the registration here:…/eu-equality-law-first…

      Oops - Maastricht University
      3 days 21 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL shared Maastricht University Faculty of Law's post.

      Maastricht University Faculty of Law
      3 days 21 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL shared Centre for European Research in Maastricht's post.

      Centre for European Research in Maastricht
      1 week 2 hours ago

Maastricht Centre for European Law