Research projects and publications

Dutch influence on EU rule of law conditionality (October 2022 – February 2023)

This project consists of a case study for an evaluation on the Dutch influence on EU policy and legislative making, with a focus on the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This evaluation is coordinated by the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB). If focuses especially on the adoption of Regulation 2020/2092 on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget as well as the negotiations in the context of the Multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 & NextGenerationEU, focusing primarily on the year 2020. The study consists of an analysis of internal memos and policy briefs as well as interviews with policy officials involved in the negotiations.

Contribution on the EU’s accession to the ECHR (October 2022 – May 2023)

A chapter will be written for the edited volume with Cambridge University Press entitled Access to Justice and the EU's Remedies System (edited by Melanie Fink, Leiden University). This chapter takes stock of the external fundamental rights context potentially conductive to access to justice. Most notably the EU’s accession to the ECHR. Following Opinion 2/13 it was long though that accession would be difficult or of limited added value. Nonetheless, negotiations in relation to the EU accession to the ECHR have kickstarted in recent years, facilitated by the Russia’s recent exclusion from the Council of Europe. After accession, individuals can turn to the European Court of Human Rights and complain about fundamental rights violations of the EU. Strasbourg can thus critically examine the gaps identified in previous chapters (i.e. strict locus standi requirements, high threshold for damage and exclusion of CFSP from jurisdiction of the CJEU) in legal protection from an ECHR perspective. In addition, to ex post accountability, accession could potentially have a preventive function and influence the position of the CJEU and other EU institutions and agencies. Accession could, however, also contribute to a more formalistic complacency on the side of the CJEU in line with its often repeated mantra that there is a ‘complete system of remedies’, without any substantive changes in its approach to remedies. This chapter will try to forecast the impact of accession to the ECHR by examining the EU’s experience with other external regimes, such as the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.