The newly established UACES Research Network (RN) on Effective Enforcement of EU Law and Policy (2018-2021) has made an auspicious start with events at three international interdisciplinary conferences over the summer of 2018.
In June, network co-ordinators, Sara Drake and Melanie Smith (Cardiff), and network members, Esther Versluis (Maastricht) and Judith van Erp (Utrecht), made their way to the University of California, Irvine, for the inaugural conference of ComplianceNet, an interdisciplinary network for compliance scholars. The papers all focused on the challenges of regulatory compliance and enforcement in EU studies: from the need to map the enforcement landscape (Melanie) to the use of transnational networks (Esther) as well as case studies into the Dieselgate scandal (Judith) and Air Passenger Rights (Sara). See our blog post here.
In July, a large contingent of network members descended on the stunning Lake Geneva for the 7th Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance hosted by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Sara and Melanie hosted the network’s inaugural meeting welcoming new members and providing an informal forum for scholars from multiple disciplines to meet face-to-face to exchange ideas and discuss future collaborations. The RN also organised a panel entitled, ‘Assessing the effectiveness of regulatory enforcement in the EU: In search of an interdisciplinary approach’ with papers from law (Sara and Melanie) as well as political science (Isak Vento, Kanerva Kuokkanen, Helsinki). Sara and Melanie were part of a roundtable discussion chaired by Colin Scott (UCD) on ‘Strengthening the impact of European research on enforcement’ along with network members Judith van Erp and Mira Scholten (Utrecht) and Kai Wegrich (Berlin). Sara also acted as discussant of Mira’s latest book, Law Enforcement by EU Authorities (2017, Edward Elgar), co-edited with Michiel Luchtman. There was a further opportunity to network at the conference Gala Dinner where members were treated to a private opening of the Olympic Museum. See our blog post here.
The final event took place in early September at the UACES 48th Annual Conference held at the University of Bath, UK. The RN hosted two panels on the Effective Enforcement of EU Law and Policy with papers on the role of the courts (Václav Stehlik, Palacký University), and judges (Federica Casarosa, EUI, Lavinia Vizzoni, Trento), as well as ‘street-level bureaucrats’ (Katerina Glyniadaki, LSE). Other papers focused on regulatory techniques of enforcement such as mutual recognition (Karsten Engsig Sørensen, Aarhus), and enforcement in key EU policy areas such as the environment (Monica Garcia Quesada, ULB), Ricardo Pereira (Cardiff), and competition (Ildikó Bartha, Tamás M. Horváth, Debrecen). The RN also held a network meeting with more new members recruited and a fruitful discussion on the challenges of interdisciplinary research collaboration.
Interdisciplinary research on enforcement is not easy. The use of different disciplinary language, different methodologies, as well as different pressures and incentives on academics can present barriers to furthering the debate. Sara and Melanie are pleased to have met with scholars who are open-minded and prepared to step out of their disciplinary silos to start a conversation and discuss common themes and research paths. With membership of the network growing, the prospect of future collaborations bodes well for 2019.
Full details of the RN’s activities, network members, working papers, and blog posts on all of these events can be found on our website. If you would like to join the network, please contact Dr. Sara Drake or Dr. Melanie Smith at Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University.
You can also follow the RN on Twitter @euenforcement.