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. MCEL studies the law of the European Union in its constitutional and political context, with a specific focus on 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 research programme of the Centre analyses the European integration process from both an institutional and substantive perspective in a global context. MCEL research covers most areas of EU law. MCEL currently has 45 members, belonging to the department of International & European Law and the department of Public Law.
- one of the largest groups of scholars in the world studying European law
- close cooperation with political scientists within the framework of the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM)
- multinational and multilingual team of scholars
- large community of PhD researchers
- led by Prof. Ellen Vos
MCEL’s research is an integral part of the Faculty’s research programme and relates to both the ‘integration’ and ‘interaction’ poles of that programme. It deals with the different dimensions of the legal integration process that takes place in the context of the European Union, and it pays due attention to the interactions, on the one hand between the EU legal order and public international law, and on the other hand between EU law and the national legal systems of its Member States.
There is thus a natural fit between the research agenda of MCEL and that of the Law Faculty as a whole. More specifically, the research of MCEL members relates to all five pillars of the Faculty’s research programme, with some prevalence for the pillar Institutional Transformations.
MCEL’s research takes place in all five Faculty research pillars:
1. Global Justice
2. Institutional Transformations
3. Globalising Markets
4. Cross-border Cooperation and Mobility
5. Law and Technology
The Consul Association has jointly decided to award a prize (value: 1000 euro) for the best master thesis in the field of EU law, written at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University during the academic year 2022/2023. The Prize will be awarded to the student who wrote a thesis of outstanding quality.
The Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL) has released two videos highlighting projects of PhD researchers working at the Centre. The videos aim to increase the visibility of MCEL’s activities by spotlighting some of its main research strands.
The European Green deal aims to strengthen the regulatory approach towards climate change and environmental degradation. The way power is exerted around this topic, asks for critical reflection. That’s why a selected group of students and staff members joined forces in a thesis project to study EU environmental law, with a focus on how it contributes to environmental protection.
On Friday 15 October 2021 Prof Herke Kranenborg held his inaugural lecture on “The state of data protection in the European Union – 20 years after the Lindqvist case".
This book launch event will focus on one of the key challenges facing international refugee law, externalisation of protection obligations. Convened by the Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL) at Maastricht University, and co-sponsored by the European Society of International Law (ESIL), and Oxford University Press (OUP).
On 26 February 2021, ECPC and MCEL are organizing, in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, an online conference on “The GDPR and International Organisations: Issues of EU Law and Public International Law”.
On 20th October 2020, MCEL member Assistant Professor Lilian Tsourdi jointly convened an inter-institutional webinar with Dr. Salvo Nicolosi, Assistant Professor in Utrecht and RENFORCE member.
On 28 October, MCEL members Professor Lisa Waddington and Dr Andrea Broderick presented their Study on The Post-2020 European Disability Strategy at a Workshop on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities hosted by the Petition’s Committee of the European Parliament.
Greening Europe is this year’s MCEL master thesis project which brings together students and staff members of MCEL who are interested in the study of EU environmental law.
On 10 October 2022 MEP René Repasi lodged an action for annulment against the complementary taxonomy delegated regulation 2022/1214. The same regulation is also challenged by Austria, a privileged applicant under Article 263 TFEU. As a result, the General Court will in any event be required to verify whether the Commission has respected the limits to its delegated powers under Article 290 TFEU.
Throughout the EU, the rights of asylum seekers come under pressure. Overdue policy changes remain stuck in negotiations because of lacking political will. It is up to the European Commission to step up and protect the fundamental rights of asylum seekers.
Recently, politicians in different EU countries have suggested barring Russian tourists from visiting the EU (see reporting here and here). Such a ban would be in retaliation for the war waged by Russia against Ukraine. From a legal perspective, these suggestions raise the interesting question whether such a blanket ban would be lawful. A recent post for Verfassungsblog makes the claim that a ban would simply be unlawful.
The horrendous military activities of Russia in Ukraine have caused a severe backlash from tech giants. YouTube clamped down on Kremlin-backed channels for spreading war propaganda. Meta allowed its users to wish death to Russian armed forces. On top of that, Twitter is constantly policing tweets by Russian embassies denying the invasion.
24 February marked a turning point in modern history: Russia barbarously attacked Ukraine. Apart from other drastic implications, including the expulsion of Russia from the Council of Europe, the war set off a new wave of political repression within a country.
PhD Research at MCEL: video on EU Fundamental Rights
MCEL PhD researchers Elin, Stevi and Valentina talk about their projects dealing with EU fundamental rights. Elin Börjedal examines the constellation of actors involved in fundamental rights protection in the EU and the division of responsibilities between them. Stevi Kitsou aspires to devise EU-wide principles and standards for countering hate speech online.
Zooming in on the challenge of protecting fundamental rights in the digital dimension, Valentina Golunova tackles the risks stemming from the use of AI in content moderation.
Watch their research stories