Europa Institute members engage in world-class research on various academic and policy-oriented aspects of European integration. Research projects, often led by Europa members, are funded by the Institute as well as prestigious external funders and research networks. These projects involve innovative and cutting-edge research, produce academic knowledge and real-world insight and serve to establish European and international research networks.

The Europa Research Projects are academic initiatives undertaken by Europa Institute members and financially supported by the Institute.

The Europa Institute welcomes Visiting Scholars from around the world to conduct research on European integration and contribute to the Institute’s events and activities.

Applications are considered on a competitive basis for short-term and long-term stays, normally not exceeding four months in the academic calendar. The Institute usually hosts several visitors each academic year.



Past projects

[ List of past project posts ]


Europe’s Constitutional Mosaic


Europe’s Constitutional Mosaic was a series of five seminars organised by Neil WalkerStephen Tierney and Jo Shaw in the Edinburgh Law School. The programme was supported by the James Madison Trust and funded by a British Academy small grant for research. It was closely linked to other projects within the Europa Institute and the Centre for Law and Society.

The seminars sought to explore the complex constitutional arrangements of the European space as an interconnected mosaic. There has been much recent debate concerning the constitutional future of Europe, focusing almost exclusively upon the EU in the context of the (failed) Constitutional Treaty and subsequently the Treaty of Lisbon. The premise was that this focus, while important, offers only a partial vision of the complex constitutional terrain of contemporary Europe.

In addition, it explored other threads of normative authority within and across states, embracing internal challenges to state-level constitutional regimes; the growing jurisprudential assertiveness of the Council of Europe regime (in particular through the ECHR); as well as Europe’s ever thicker relations with broader international institutions, in particular the United Nations. Together, these create increasingly dense networks of constitutional authority within the European space. This fluid and multi-dimensional dynamic is difficult to classify, and indeed may seem in many ways impenetrable, but that makes the academic challenge all the more important and pressing. Without this fuller picture, it becomes impossible to understand the legal context of Europe today or the prospects of ongoing changes.

The seminars took place on Friday afternoons during the 2008/2009 academic year at the University of Edinburgh. The focus was on the discussion of pre-circulated papers. The papers discussed at the seminars were brought together as a collective volume edited by the organisers, published as Europe’s Constitutional Mosaic (Hart, 2011).


MERCURY: Multilateralism and the EU in the Contemporary Global Order

Practicing EU Government

2009 |
Practicing EU Government: Problematisation, Mobilisation and Legitimation

Staff from the Europa Institute (Caitríona Carter), the School of Social and Political Science (Richard Freeman) and the Centre for Educational Sociology (Martin Lawn) organised a seminar series, funded by the Europa Institute, on: Practicing EU Government: Problematisation, Mobilisation, Legitimation. This series brought together a group of scholars seeking to engage and take a lead in debates to consolidate a ‘political sociological’ approach to EU studies.

To provide direction and focus, we critically appraised the ‘distinctiveness’ of political sociology’s application to EU government in two concrete ways: First, regarding the object of study, we asked a sociology of ‘what’? Second, regarding methodological tools, we asked ‘how’ to study ‘government’ as a set of institutionalising regulatory practices and interactions, instruments and ideas. Our discussions were organised in five half-day seminars centred upon cross-cutting debates within political sociology and as applied to ‘practicing EU government’. Each seminar was led by an invited external speaker, followed by papers from Europa/Edinburgh colleagues. All seminars were held throughout 2009, to maximise the intensity and continuity of the discussions.

EU, Climate Change and Global Governance

2020 |
The EU, Climate Change and Global Environmental Governance

This series of three seminars was organised by Chad Damro (School of Social and Political Science), Elizabeth Bomberg (School of Social and Political Science) and Navraj Singh Ghaleigh (Edinburgh Law School) at the University of Edinburgh throughout 2009. The seminar series was made possible by financial support from the Europa Institute.

EU External Environmental Policy


Age of Austerity Workshop

2020 |
The Age of Austerity: A New Challenge for State Powers

This workshop examined how the powers of the state are affected where austerity measures are prescribed to national governments by supranational organisations, and where austerity measures are imposed by central governments to devolved or federal administrations in composite systems.

European Union and the Financial Crisis

2009 |
The European Union and the Financial Crisis

Friday 4 December 2009
The University of Edinburgh · St Cecilia’s Hall

Organiser: David Howarth (Jean Monnet Chair, University of Edinburgh)

The Europa Institute funded a half-day conference and additional seminars with academic and practitioner speakers. A project by David Howarth and Iain Hardie from Politics and International Relations (School of Social and Political Science).

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

2010 | 2012
Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

The European Commission awarded the University of Edinburgh a prestigious Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for 2010-2013. This award was in recognition of the leading role played by Edinburgh academics in the study of the European Union. The application was submitted in conjunction with the Jean Monnet Chair and the Europa Institute Steering Group. The University received the only centre awarded in the UK, and was one of only ten awarded in the EU, for this period.

The Director of the Centre was Dr Chad Damro. As part of the Jean Monnet Network, the Centre supported and expanded research and teaching activities at the University of Edinburgh, including the organisation of conferences, workshops, visiting speakers, visiting scholars and outreach events.

ETHYRN Student Workshop

2010 |
ETHRYN: The Edinburgh - Tilburg - Helsinki Young Researchers' Network

The inaugural meeting of ETHRYN was held in June 2010 with the theme of Europeanisation: What are the legal, political and sociological driving forces behind the ongoing process of Europeanisation? What is the impact of Europe on your field of research and how is your field of research influencing Europe in turn?

This workshop encouraged young researchers and PhD students to contribute to the building up of a network of excellence between the Universities of Edinburgh, Helsinki and Tilburg. The individual sessions focused on clarifying the impacts of Europeanisation and provided young researchers with an opportunity to present their own work and gain feedback from their peers, as well as from experienced academics, who also offered an insight into how research regarding the phenomenon of Europeanisation could be tackled.

Eurasia Workshop

2016 |
Eurasia – Going East or West?

Organisers: Anthony Salamone and Nataliya Muzyka

The Edinburgh Europa Research Group held a one-day international postgraduate workshop exploring the (geo)political challenges facing the Eurasian post-Soviet space: Eurasia – Going East or West?

Keynote Speaker

Prof Christoph Bluth FRHistS
Professor of International Relations and Security
University of Bradford

Workshop Theme

This upcoming December will mark the 25th anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR. The Eurasian post-Soviet space (including the Baltic States, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and others) has undergone dramatic political and economic change in the intervening quarter century. At the same time, the trajectories of the different countries within the space have varied tremendously – with the Baltic States eventually joining the European Union, Georgia engaged in protracted disputes with Russia, and Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan developing their natural resources.

One of the major geopolitical considerations impacting upon their trajectories has been the countries’ orientation towards the West (the EU and the US) or the East (Russia or, increasingly, China). More recently, Ukraine has become a political and military battleground in the conflict between these opposing directions. This workshop explored these highly topical contrasts and challenges.

Impact of EU Law on National Criminal Law

2017 |
The Impact of EU Law on National Criminal Law

Friday 30 June 2017
The University of Edinburgh · 50 George Square – Room G.05

Organiser: Dr Leandro Mancano

Workshop Theme

The aim of the workshop is to understand how the peculiarities of the European Union as a legal order shape the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU)’s approach to criminal liability at national level. The impact of EU law on national criminal law has significantly increased over the years. This can be traced back to two main factors. Starting with the Maastricht Treaty, the Union has been provided with growing powers in criminal law, resulting in the adoption of many legislative instruments in this area. Furthermore, EU competences more broadly have expanded, as shown by the establishment of EU citizenship and Union provisions on immigration. This heightened the chance of interplay and conflict between state criminal law and EU law.

These two dynamics have had three main consequences. Firstly, even more pieces of national legislation have fallen under the umbrella of EU law and, as a consequence, the interpretative monopoly of the CJEU. Secondly, unprecedented principles have been applied to criminal law, as in the case of mutual recognition. Thirdly, traditional guarantees (the principle of legality, ne bis in idem) have been involved in this interaction, and their content has been redefined. This has had a huge impact both on sovereignty and fundamental rights. The Court has had a key role in promoting and managing that dialogue. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which has taken on legally-binding value following the Lisbon Treaty, has been an integral part of such an interpretative task.

In this workshop, we discuss landmark judgements of the CJEU arising from the interaction between criminal liability at national level, on the one hand, and rights and principles protected by EU law, on the other. In order to provide a more reliable account of the impact of EU law on state criminal law, we take into account the peculiarities of the EU legal order. Therefore, we look not only at the relationship between Union norms and criminal liability per se, but also at the effects that the latter has on individual rights protected by EU law. Furthermore, we evaluate the impact that these judgements have had both at EU and national law levels.

The judgements have been selected by taking into account the substantive impact they have had on: the specific area of law and policy concerned, the definition of the rights and principles at stake. We analyse the following decisions, each covering a different area of EU law: C-387/02, Berlusconi et al. (Substantive criminal law – retroactivity of more lenient penalties); C-105/14, Taricco (Procedural criminal law – principle of legality); C-617/10, Fransson (Scope of application of the Charter – ne bis in idem); C-304/14, C. S. (EU citizenship – protection against expulsion and effects of criminal convictions); and C-61/11 PPU, El Dridi (Immigration – effectiveness of EU law and de-criminalisation).

Brexit and Rights Engagement Network

2018 |
BREN: Brexit and Rights Engagement Network

The Brexit and Rights Engagement Network (BREN) is a network of early-career legal scholars working in the areas of rights, devolution and Brexit. The network – supported by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award and led by Europa Institute Co-Director Dr Tobias Lock – aims to provide younger scholars with opportunities to share the findings of their research with an audience outside the academy. Over the course of one year, BREN will organise three roundtables in Edinburgh, Belfast and London.

The Edinburgh roundtable (3 July 2018) dealt with the topic of Adjudication and Enforcement of Rights after Brexit. The Belfast roundtable (26 September 2018) was dedicated to the theme Brexit and Devolution. The final roundtable – organised in cooperation with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the Equality and Diversity Forum– took place in London (7 December 2018) and combined both topics.

Blog posts based on the presentations given at the various BREN roundtables can be found on

If you are interested in attending one of the future roundtables, please contact Dr Tobias Lock.