Book Publication: ‘Law Enforcement by EU Authorities’, by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman

Following the publication of their edited volume ‘Law Enforcement by EU Authorities’, Dr.  Miroslava Scholten and prof. Dr. Michiel Luchtman invite you to the accompanying presentation on Thursday the 7th December (10.00 – 12.00), at the European Parliament in Brussels (ASP 5G-1).

For your information: the edited volume can be found here, while the invitation to the presentation can be found here.

With the support of RENFORCE, 30 international scholars, including a number of RENFORCE members, and practitioners from the EU Commission, agencies and the World Bank have gathered together to accomplish the comprehensive study. The foreword of the volume was written by Prof. Annetje Ottow, dean of the Utrecht University Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. The book discusses a new development in the field of EU law and governance – proliferation of EU enforcement authorities – from a perspective of political and judicial accountability.

At the book presentation, together with Prof. Alex Brenninkmeijer, the authors hope to discuss with attending practitioners and academics the growing administration of the ‘shared enforcement but separated controls’ within the EU.



Workshop “Resolving the Tensions between EU Trade and Non-Trade Objectives: Actors, Norms, and Processes”

On 10 November 2017, RENFORCE organizes the workshop on: “Resolving the Tensions between EU Trade and Non-Trade Objectives: Actors, Norms, and Processes”. The focus of the workshop is on the recent issues concerning the EU’s unilateral and bilateral actions (as opposed to multilateral action) in the realm of EU’s external trade law and policy. The provisional program is available here.

The workshop is closed, but we have limited space for additional participants. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to before 3 November 2017.



LECTURE – EU law as a source of international law? By Prof. Dr. Ramses A. Wessel

The Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) invites you to attend the lecture by Prof. Ramses A. Wessel (Professor of International and European Law & Governance, University of Twente), on “EU Law as a Source of International Law?” The lecture takes place on Tuesday 10 October 2017, 12.00-13.30, at De Stijlkamer, Janskerkhof 2-3.

Please find attached the event Flyer. The lecture is open to all, but the place is limited. Please register with:



Two new articles by Ton van den Brink on National Discretion in EU Legislation

Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies: ‘The Impact of EU Legislation on National Legal Systems: Towards a New Approach to EU /Member State Relations’

‘Refining the Division of Competences in the EU: National Discretion in EU Legislation’ in: S. Garben, & I. Govaere (Eds.), The Division of Competences between the EU and the Member States. Oxford: Hart.

In these publications, one of the key issues of the RENFORCE research program is examined: the phenomenon of regulation in a multilevel context. The first article seeks to assess how EU/MS relations are shaped in concrete contemporary EU legislation by national discretion (the EU legislature granting freedom to the Member States). As such, it responds in particular to political scientists (who seek to ‘measure’ the impact of the EU in a quantitative manner).

The book chapter assesses how national discretion in EU legislation contributes to the understanding of the division of powers between the EU and the MS. It includes a typology of national discretion; it assesses how it relates to constitutional principles (e.g. differentiated integration) and evaluates the benefits but also the problems thereof.

The full article may be read here. The book: S. Garben, & I. Govaere (Eds.), The Division of Competences between the EU and the Member States. Oxford:Hart 2017..



New research project into improvement of fight against illicit tobacco trade

UPDATE: Utrecht University has informed PMI Impact that it will not accept funding for a study into tobacco smuggling. The study by professor Vervaele will continue but will be funded by the University itself. For more information check here.

RENFORCE has been awarded a grant for a multi-disciplinary research project on ‘The enforcement dimension of the fight against the illicit tobacco trade in the EU’. The project is funded by PMI Impact and was approved by a prestigious council of external independent experts in the fields of law, anti-corruption and law enforcement (Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, Suzanne Hayden, Alain Juillet, Paul Makin, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Jürgen Storbeck, Catherine Volz).

The project will be coordinated by Prof. John Vervaele and Dr. Michele Simonato and conducted (from February 2018 until February 2020) by a team of researchers at Renforce (Dina Siegel, Brenda Oude Breuil, Daan van Uhm, Machiko Kanetake, Koen Bovend’Eerdt), together with five external experts from Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Poland, and Germany. For further information: