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

Opening conference September 2017


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: 20162015, 2014, 2013

  • sabrina

    Promotion Sabrina Roettger-Wirtz

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    On the 18th of December, Sabrina Roettger-Wirtz successfully defended her PhD thesis ‘The Interplay of Global Standards and EU Pharmaceutical Regulation’ supervised by Prof. Ellen Vos and Dr. Andrea Ott.

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  • newsletter pag 1

    MCEL Newsletter 2017-2

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    The latest news from the Maastricht Centre for European Law.

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  • Miglio

    Visiting researcher Dr. Alberto Miglio

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Visiting researcher Dr. Alberto Miglio. We are glad to hear that Dr. Alberto Miglio enjoyed his stay here and we hope to welcome many more scholars!

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  • Mcel 7 okt

    Conference on December 7

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Conference on EU Agencies in the Future Europe with livestream!

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  • Lisa Waddington Aned

    Presentations by Professor Lisa Waddington

    Monday, November 20, 2017

    MCEL member Professor Lisa Waddington made a number of presentations at the annual seminar of the Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED) held in Brussels on 16 and 17 November. 

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  • Andre Ott China

    Dr. Andrea Ott in Beijing

    Friday, November 17, 2017

    Dr. Andrea Ott, Associate professor in EU law and MCEL researcher, taught Chinese students at the master programme in EU and International Law of the China-EU School of Law in Beijing from 6 to 10 November 2017.

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  • Bilyana Petkova

    Dr. Bilyana Petkova co-organizer conference

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Dr. Bilyana Petkova co-organizer of an one-day conference on privacy.

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  • ICIS Marjan Peeters

    Prof. M. Peeters presentation on “EU climate law and its impact on national climate legislation”

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

    Prof Marjan Peeters delivered a presentation on “EU climate law and its impact on national climate legislation” during the workshop “Role and functioning of national and regional climate laws and climate committees in the light of EU climate and energy policies”

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  • Maja Brkan King's College London

    MCEL member Dr. Maja Brkan presented at King's College London

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Dr. Maja Brkan presented at the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL) at King's College London on June 12 - 16 2017. 

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  • Maastricht Centre for European Law

    MCEL member quoted in judgment of Irish Supreme Court

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    The Irish Supreme Court has quoted MCEL member Professor Lisa Waddington in a recent judgment.

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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.

    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      On 23 January, the monthly MCEL Research Seminar took place.

      Gareth Davies, Professor of European Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, presented on the topic: “Strategies of resistance to the Court of Justice: interpretative pluralism”, followed by a lively discussion among MCEL members.

      His presentation was based on the forthcoming Chapter 18 in M. Avbelj and G. Davies (eds) Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law (Edward Elgar, 2018). The chapter is available at:

      Continue reading the abstract of the presentation below:

      The Court of Justice has become a very problematic actor in European integration. It propagates a vision in which it is the apex court in a federal European legal order, whose interpretations of EU law should bind all organs of the Member States and prevail even over their constitutions. Yet this vision is clearly not accepted by the supreme courts of the Member States, nor, in all probability, by the lower courts or public, and nor is it easy to defend from the perspectives of democracy, social legitimacy, or even the practical functioning of the European Union as an area, rather than an institution – such functioning requiring a higher degree of decentral deviation, initiative and experiment than the Court would seem to embrace. On the other hand, this is not to say that EU law should be subordinated to national law, even national constitutional law, for that in turn would threaten the essence of the implicit inter-state bargain on which the EU is founded. Theories of constitutional pluralism attempt to finesse this difficult choice by treating the standoff between national and EU courts as a least-bad option which in fact reflects desirable constitutional values, embodying a sort of dialogue, a sort of self-restraint and a sort of tolerance of different points of legal view. However, looking at the situation in terms of a conflict between constitutions, or texts, or legal orders, essentialises the conflict to a degree that is both implausible and undesirable. There is, in all likelihood, nothing in the Treaties and in national constitutions which could not be reconciled if the interpretative will was there. This then, is the task that national courts, particularly supreme courts, should embrace: they should treat their own constitutions and EU law as both binding and equal, and their challenge should be to read them together and use them together to solve specific cases. Resort to hierarchy is not necessary. The situation is a little similar to that found where constitutional provisions are in tension, or pull in different directions. The judge in a free speech case does not reject privacy or free speech, and neither does she need to proclaim an abstract hierarchy, but she interprets and unpacks them to allow a sensible reconciliation or balance to be found in the case. If national courts were to embrace the interpretation of EU law in this way – which some do – that would create a richer and more constructive dialogue than the one envisaged under constitutional pluralism, in which national and EU courts define their position essentially according to their own texts. They talk past each other, about different subjects, whereas they could be formulating their differences in terms of the meaning of a text that they both share and accept.
      What this interpretative pluralism requires is an acceptance that ECJ interpretations of the Treaty do not in fact bind national courts – although the existence of enforcement actions means that they need to be taken seriously – but this is no more than a detail: the principle of conferral, and the principle common in legal systems that one judge may not instruct another, both provide persuasive arguments why the Court can only advise, but not bind, national courts. The differences between courts in different nodes of the EU legal systems can then be seen as differences about the meaning of EU law – and surely the meaning of that law is something that deserves to be opened up to debate far more than has been the case – but not about the more sterile issue of which rule prevails.

      Interpretative Pluralism within EU Law by Gareth T. Davies :: SSRN
      3 weeks 2 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      Call for papers

      TARN launches a call for papers for two events to be held from 11-13 April in Brussels:
      - 12-13 April: Conference on Performance, Operability and the Accountability Overload of EU Agencies
      - 11 April: TARN workshop on Agencification of EU executive governance

      Abstracts should be sent to tarn[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl by Friday 9 February 2018. This deadline applies for both events.

      For more information visit:

      3 weeks 4 days ago
    • The MCEL activites resumed on Tuesday with the third Research Forum of this Academic Year.

      The Forum hosted two presentations.
      Cristina Fasone (LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome) talked about Parliamentary representation and accountability in the Eurozone, touching upon the asymmetric powers of national parliaments on budgetary matters, their relationship with the European Commission and with the European Parliament, in particular in the context of the European Semester.
      Bilyana Petkova reflected on the concept of 'Leading Rights': the prominence of human dignity in Germany or free speech in the United States seems undisputed. ​​Is privacy maybe becoming the 'leading right' in Europe or is it that Europe does not have a leading right?

      1 month 4 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      Call for Proposals for Special Issues for the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law

      Deadline: 15 March 2018
      More Information:

      1 month 1 week ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      The Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM) has published its very first papers as part of its Online Paper Series, which is edited by MCEL member Diane Fromage and Thomas Christiansen. To access Laura Dohmen's paper on the European Parliament's legislative influence during the economic crisis and MCEL member Pauline Melin's paper on the EU's social security coordination with third-world countries, please visit the following link:

      Interested in publishing in CERiM's Online Paper series? Please feel free to contact CERiM at cerimwp[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl.

      1 month 3 weeks ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for European Law - MCEL

      The Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM) will be organizing a one-day PhD workshop on 22 March 2018 to offer PhD candidates an opportunity to present papers related to CERiM’s research agenda. Leading researchers including CERiM Directors Prof. Thomas Christiansen and Prof. Ellen Vos will comment on these papers, and after the workshop, the revised papers are expected to be published as Working Papers in CERiM’s online paper series.

      CERiM welcomes paper proposals on "The future of European governance" by PhD candidates pursuing research in law, political science and history. Abstracts (250 words maximum) should be sent, together with a short CV, to cerim[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl before 8 January 2018. Decisions on the abstracts can be expected by the end of January 2018. Selected paper givers will be required to send a draft paper by the 8 March 2018.

      More information can be found on

      1 month 3 weeks ago
    • On Tuesday, 19 December 2017, MCEL had the honour of welcoming Andrea Ott and Raymond Luja at the monthly MCEL research seminar.

      Raymond Luja presented on the topic “The FIDE 2018 General Report on State Aid and Taxation: first observations”.
      For the International Federation of European Law (FIDE) 2018, a questionnaire was sent around to the various national societies of European Law on the topic ‘Taxation, state aid and distortion of competition’. In his presentation he focused on preliminary observations from the national reports received and possible conclusions that may be drawn. The presentation highlighted the second part of the questionnaire on the topics of state aid procedure, interaction between national law, EU law and international/bilateral agreements. The general report can be accessed here:

      Andrea Ott presented the national report of the Netherlands prepared for FIDE 2018, entitled “The external dimension of the EU policies: horizontal issues; trade and investment; immigration and asylum”. The report was co-authored with Ramses Wessel and can be accessed here:

      These two interesting presentations were followed by a lively discussion among the MCEL members.

      The next MCEL seminar will take place on 23 January.

      2 months 5 hours ago
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Maastricht Centre for European Law