Working Paper: “Antitrust Without Romance”

On the 28th of May RENFORCE researcher Thibault Schrepel published a new working paper entitled “Antitrust Without Romance”.
In it, he analyzes all the speeches given by US and EU Commissioners and shows that they are building on populist rhetoric that pits the elites (often, the technological elite embodied by tech companies) against the people. As such, this paper can be seen as the first article to conduct an empirical study of populism in competition law, and especially, on populism at the European Commission. All the speeches of Margrethe Vestager, who is now running for President of the European Commission, are analyzed in great detail, showing how she has changed competition law for personal use.
To remedy this issue, the paper proposes several institutional and substantial reforms of competition law and authorities, most of them based on public choice theory.
The paper can be found on SSRN!


Expert Talk: Regulating Asylum – The Challenges Behind the Reform of the Common European Asylum System

On Tuesday April 9th, 13.00-14.00 at 5A-34/38 (Newtonlaan 201), Ms. Margareta Djordjevic, (Policy Officer, Asylum Unit, DG Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission) will give an expert talk on  “Regulating Asylum: The Challenges Behind the Reform of the Common European Asylum System”.

Twenty years after the European Council of Tampere that in 1999 set out the political roadmap to establish a Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the European Union and its Member States still struggle to design a solid and future-proof system. The migratory pressure on the EU increases the need for effective responses. With more than 1 million people reaching Europe in 2015 and more than 18,000 drowning at sea since 2014 up to early 2019, a solid asylum system becomes all the more urgent. This Talk will provide an overview of the state of play of the negotiations concerning the Reform of the CEAS and the challenges it raises.

The program for the talk can be found here.

If you wish to attend please inform Salvo Nicolosi at



Workshop: Regulatory Challenges in Europe

On Wednesday the 10th of April, from 11:00 to 13:00, a workshop organized by the IOS Platform ‘Markets and Corporations in Open Societies’ and RENFORCE, will take place at Janskerkhof 2-3 in the Stijlkamer.

The workshop will deal with the topic of ‘Regulatory Challenges in Europe’, and will be chaired by Professor Anna Gerbrandy, with comments by professor Colin Scott. Lunch will be provided for.

To read more about the speakers and other relevant information, please see here.

If you wish to attend the workshop please e-mail Laurens van Kreij at



Podcast Episode: Bestek – de Aanbestedingspodcast

Bestek is a RENFORCE project, initiated by Willem Janssen, over the last couple of months. The first episode has just come out! The episode is in Dutch, and is about circular public procurement and the legal challenges and opportunities of life-cycle-costing.

The podcast aims to discuss, with various authors, innovative academic research on EU and Dutch public procurement law, and other fields of law that could positively improve it. The podcasts’ purpose is threefold. It aims (1) to discuss the conclusions and implications of such research and, thereby, advance it further. Consequentially, (2) the podcast discloses academic findings to a broader audience in policy, practice, politics, and (3) hopes to, ultimately, improve the understanding of this field of law by publishing these podcasts online and free of charge.

Future episode topics may include enforcement, external relations, and scarce rights.

The podcast is predominantly in Dutch, but also welcomes English speakers of course. If you have any thoughts on research integration or any further questions about the podcasts contact Willem, at



Conference: European Union Law Enforcement – The Evolution of Sanctioning Powers

An interesting conference will take place on the 28th and 29th of March in Turin (Italy), on the topic of “European Union Law Enforcement – The Evolution of Sanctioning Powers”. One of the speakers at the conference will be RENFORCE researcher Miroslava Scholten, speaking on “Models of EU law enforcement: What role for EU sanctioning powers?”.

The conference is funded by Compagania di San Paolo, in the framework of the research project of the University of Turin “Offenders’ rehabilitation in the European Union”.

If you’re interested in attending the conference the program can be found here, and the person to contact is Stefano Montaido (University of Turin) at