ERC Starting grant

Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel gets an ERC Starting grant for his EUDAIMONIA project

In Research Press releases

Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel, researcher at ULiège Cité research unit (Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology), has been selected to receive an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council for his EUDAIMONIA project. This grant of 1.5 million euros was awarded to him to continue his research in order to better understand and deal with the particularities, appearances, origins and impact of the European Union on the structuring and organisation of the administrations of its member states.


espite the significant progress in European integration, the institutional design and organisation of the administrative structures responsible for implementing and applying European Union law have traditionally remained the responsibility of the Member States of the European Union (EU). However, over the last decade, EU legislation has increasingly imposed organisational requirements on the administrative structures of these Member States. This development is all the more remarkable since EU law has long recognised the existence of a principle of national institutional and administrative autonomy. This principle consists of guaranteeing the freedom of Member States to designate and structure the administrative bodies responsible for the application and implementation of EU rules. To what extent does the wider participation of the EU in Member States' decisions on administrative design really reach its limits and can parallels be found between different areas of regulation? If so, what are the implications for our understanding of institutional autonomy as a principle of EU (administrative) law? So far, legal research, including the IP's earlier work on EU market surveillance, has given only limited attention to these important questions.

The main objective of the EUDAIMONIA project (National institutional autonomy within the EU legal order: uncovering and addressing its distinctive appearances, origins and impact on Member States' administrations) led by Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel, director of the Liège Competition and Innovation Institute (LCII), will be to analyse the extent of Member States' administrative autonomy and to discover, explain and conceptualise the limits imposed on it by European Union law. This will be done by first mapping and comparing the influence of EU law on Member States' administrative models in eighteen EU-influenced regulatory areas. As the traditional legal research toolbox does not sufficiently capture the various factors that have given rise to Member States' decisions on administrative designs, the project will then use the actor-network theory (ANT) to discover these factors. Using this particular research methodology, new and more comprehensive data obtained through case studies and in-depth questionnaires will allow for the formulation of theoretical modifications and policy recommendations.

About Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel is a professor at the Law Department of the Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology of the University of Liège, which he joined in January 2016. He teaches EU substantive law as well as specialised and elective courses in European Union law. Since 1 January 2019, he is also director of the Liège Competition and Innovation Institute (LCII) within the Cité Research Unit. His research focuses on European internal market law, European competition law, the regulation of the platform economy and artificial intelligence, as well as European Union administrative law.

About ERC scholarships

ERC Grants are major instruments deployed by the European Research Council to fund research projects in Europe. The procedure, which is extremely selective, retains only the best researchers and research projects of the highest level, combining audacity and competence to tackle new research avenues likely, if successful, to substantially enrich knowledge. There are
 5 types of grants: Starting
 Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, Synergy and Proof of Concept.

ERC Starting grants are designed to support young researchers (2-7 years of experience since completion of the PhD) with a very promising scientific record and an excellent research proposal.

 ULiège laureates

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