Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
OnderzoekGroningen Centre for Law and GovernanceOnderzoeksprogramma's

Protecting European Citizens and Market Participants

This research programme examines the legal aspects of European integration and its legal implications for the legal orders affected by it.

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, European Law is the ally of the citizen against the power of the Member States.

The central research question is to what extent developments in European law afford or improve the position of citizens and market participants in the Member States of the European Union and of other European international organisations.

Areas in which the level of protection of European citizens and market participants is analysed are:

  1. Protecting European citizens and market participants within the various European States: the role of regionalization and its influence on national law and protection within the States. Examples of this can be seen in the Europeanization of myriad areas of national law, such as private law, administrative law, constitutional law, criminal law, company and commercial law, tax law, information and communication technology law (including privacy law), consumer law, environmental law, and the inter-relationship between national and European level competition law.
  2. Protecting European citizens and market participants at regional level: 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 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 between the various areas of national laws and between the various areas of European law itself, as the different specializations are not isolated islands but have to be viewed in the context of their contribution to the development of European law as a whole and within the broad context of the various legal systems concerned.
Last modified:07 April 2015 2.48 p.m.