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Protecting European Citizens and Market Participants

The research programme Protecting European Citizens and Market Participants (PECMP) addresses the question to what extent the developments in European law afford or improve the protection of European Citizens and market participants in the Member States of the European Union and of European international organizations. It addresses key legal aspects of European integration and its implications for the legal orders affected by it.

The theme of Protecting European Citizens and Market Participants is diverse, in that activities in many sub-disciplines of law fall within its remit; at the same time, it focuses on the rights of individuals – natural and legal persons— in their dealings with public authorities, whether at European, national, regional, or local level, and with each other. Thus, it embraces matters as diverse as rights of free movement, consumer and environmental protection; competition law; shareholders’ rights; employment, and tax. The programme deals with issues and policies at the central European level as well as studying the national-level impact and application of rules founded on European action. The programme brings together researchers primarily focused on European law and researchers from various branches of national law who are interested in the effects of European law in the national legal order.

The emphasis is on research dealing with two streams:

  1. The legal aspects of the aims and functioning of the European Union itself, including its relations with third countries and international organizations, and the interaction between the various fora in which European integration is pursued.
  2. Research examining the effects which the actions and policies of these actors have or may have on the legal systems of the various Member States and their component elements. The concept of the State and national law have traditionally been the basis for the protection of legal and natural persons: States protect their nationals and natural persons within their territory through national law, and afford them protection against (perceived) external threats at home and abroad; the State has thus hitherto been the natural reference point for citizens and market participants seeking protection of their rights; to an ever-increasing extent, however, European law is the ally of the citizen against the power of the Member States.
Looking at protecting European citizens and market participants at European level, the research programme examines the activities of the European Union relating to the protection of its citizens and market participants; the European Convention on Human Rights (including its influence on EU law itself); the protection of minorities and of the rights of third-country nationals within the EU; the application and enforcement of EU competition policy; the enforcement of the European internal market regime, and the development of rights forming part of European citizenship. The programme specifically sets out to consider the contribution which European developments, the internationalization of law, and internationalization in general, make to the protection of European citizens and market participants. It is intended that the research programme should also offer cross-fertilization opportunities for research between the various areas of national laws, and between the various areas of European law itself. The different specializations are not isolated islands but have to be viewed in the context of their contribution to the development of European law and European integration as a whole and within the broad context of the various legal systems concerned.
Last modified:11 April 2019 11.52 a.m.