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:



Second Meeting of the Hercule-III Project on the Exchange of Information between Law Enforcement Authorities

The second meeting of the project ‘Exchange of information with EU and national enforcement authorities: Improving OLAF’s legislative framework through a comparison with other EU authorities’ will take place in Utrecht on 9 November 2017.

The meeting will be dedicated to the discussion of national and transversal reports, and will be attended by several researchers from Renforce (John Vervaele, Michiel Luchtman, Michele Simonato, Mira Scholten, Koen Bovend’Eerdt, Argyro Karagianni) and other EU Member States (Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary, UK). The results of the project will be published in February/March 2018.



Conference on Confiscation in the EU

On 23 November 2017, a conference on ‘Confiscation of Criminal Assets in the EU’ will be held at the Paushuize. It will bring together scholars and practitioners from different Member States to discuss challenges and way forward in the international cooperation on confiscation and asset recovery proceedings.

The conference will be followed, on 24 November 2017, by the first meeting of the project ‘Improving Cooperation between EU Member States in Confiscation Procedures’. The project, funded by the EU Commission (DG Justice), is coordinated by the University of Ferrara (Italy) and involves researchers from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the Netherlands. John Vervaele, Michele Simonato, and Wouter de Zanger take part in the project on behalf of Utrecht University.