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. 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.


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.

 Visit MCEL's research lines


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    Regional launch of The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law

    Tuesday, June 8, 2021

    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).

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    ECPC and MCEL conference on “The GDPR and International Organisations: Issues of EU Law and Public International Law”.

    Thursday, January 28, 2021
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    Lilian Tsourdi and Ellen Vos latest publication

    Friday, December 4, 2020
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    MCEL/RENFORCE webinar on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum

    Thursday, November 12, 2020

    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. 

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  • MCEL members author studies for the European Parliament

    Thursday, November 5, 2020

    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.

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  • MCEL launches the MCEL Master Thesis Project 2020-2021: Greening Europe

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020

    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. 

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    2020 dissertation prize online award ceremony with Matteo Bonelli

    Friday, June 26, 2020

    Last Wednesday, June 23, Matteo Bonelli received from the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation the 2020 Dissertation Prize for his PhD research ‘A Union of Values – Safeguarding Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Human Rights in the EU Member States’. The PhD was written in Maastricht under the supervision of Prof. Monica Claes and Bruno De Witte and defended in June 2019.

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    Future implications of the judgment of the German Constitutional Court

    Friday, June 5, 2020

    MCEL devoted two online seminars to the discussion of the content and future implications of the judgment of the German Constitutional Court of 5 May 2020 on the European Central Bank's market interventions (variously called the Weiss or PSPP judgment).

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  • Matteo Bonelli PhD thesis

    Erasmus dissertation prize for Matteo Bonelli

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020

    Matteo Bonelli has been awarded the Erasmus prize for his dissertation: A Union of Values. Safeguarding Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights in the EU Member States. Supervisors of the dissertation were: Monica Claes and Bruno de Witte. The award ceremony will take place on 23 juni 2020.


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  • Europese Unie

    New teaching seminar on EU Agencies

    Thursday, May 28, 2020

    New teaching seminar on EU Agencies: As of next academic year, Ellen Vos and Merijn Chamon will be Visiting Professors at the College of Europe (Bruges), teaching a seminar on 'EU agencies: shifting paradigms of EU administration'.


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MCEL Opening Event


The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis posed, and are still posing, unprecedented challenges to the European Union (EU) and its Member States. These events and the consequent response of the EU have significantly affected the political priorities, the integration tools and, ultimately, the legal system of the EU. The effects of Covid-19 on EU law are substantial and multifaceted, touching upon different policies and areas of EU integration. In this MCEL Opening Event of the Academic Year 2021-2022, the speakers will showcase some of the effects the Covid-19 pandemic had on EU law by analysing the responses of the EU to the health and economic crises and their implications in legal and political terms. 


9.00 – 9.10 Welcome and introduction by Ellen Vos

Panel I: The EU’s Response to the Health Crisis

  • 9.10 – 9.30 “The EU’s response to COVID-19: overview and outlook” by Sabrina Roettger-Wirtz
  • 9.30 – 9.50 “'Laws of Fear’ and Free Movement of Persons in the EU in the Time of COVID-19” by Iris Goldner Lang
  • 9.50 – 10. 10 Discussion
  • 10.10 – 10.20 Break

Panel II: The EU’s Response to the Economic Crisis

  • 10.20 – 10.40 “The recovery plan: the legal engineering of an economic policy shift” by Bruno de Witte
  • 10.40 – 11.00 “The institutional dynamics of the adoption of the Recovery Plan” by Natassa Athanasiadou
  • 11.00 - 11.20 Discussion

11.20 – 11.30 Closing by Annalisa Volpato

MCEL is happy to announce that the its Opening Event of the academic year 2021-2022 will take place on Tuesday, the 28th of September from 9:00 to 11:30 via Zoom. The event will feature Sabrina Roettger-Wirtz, Assistant Professor of EU Law at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University; Iris Goldner Lang, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law and holder of the UNESCO Chair on Free Movement of People, Migration and Inter-Cultural Dialogue at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law; Bruno de Witte, professor of European Union law at Maastricht University and Natasa Athanasiadou, Assistant Professor in International and European Law at Maastricht University

Interested? Please fill out this form in order to register. We hope to see you there!