Welcome to the UCL European Institute, UCL's hub for research, collaboration and information on Europe and the European Union. We are part of the Institute of Advanced Studies.

UCL European Institute



The UK decision to withdraw from the EU: parliament or government?

If the principle of parliamentary sovereignty is to continue to have real meaning in Britain, the decision to leave the EU must be taken by parliament, not the government.
Piet Eeckhout
17 October 2016

Starts: Oct 17, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Does Eastern Europe have lessons for Brexit Britain?

What, if anything, can the experience of (research on) Eastern Europe say to us as we head towards Brexit? Lessons may lie above all in getting to grips with the tempo and nature of political change, its (un)predictability and likely channels.
Sean Hanley
1 August 2016

Starts: Aug 1, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Hollande's response to the Nice massacre will please only the far right

On Thursday night, for the third time since January 2015, President François Hollande was faced with a mass murder on French soil. An ashen-faced Hollande, almost looking like a broken man, appeared on television on Friday at 4am and declared: “This is undoubtedly a terrorist attack; the whole of France is under the threat of an Islamic terrorist attack”.
Philippe Marlière
18 July 2016 More...

Starts: Jul 18, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Policy Briefings

UCL European Institute

POLICY BRIEFING 1: Referendum (EU Act 2011)


The brief discusses the changes brought about by the EU Act 2011, in relation to Britain’s position in and attitude towards, the European Union. It considers in particular:
• The referendum provisions of the EUA;
• Referenda and UK constitutional law;
• The role of referenda in democratic deliberation


POLICY BRIEFING 2: European Convention on Human Rights


The brief considers key aspects of the debate on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and British membership thereof. It highlights in particular:
• The reasons for accepting the jurisdiction of the ECHR;
• The role of the UK in the development of the ECHR;
• The concerns regarding a transfer of sovereignty;
• Issues with the interpretation of the Convention by the Court;
• The problem of delays in the functioning of the ECHR system


POLICY BRIEFING 3: The Single Market


This policy briefing discusses key issues in the governance of the single market and the relevance of the Balance of Competences Review on the single market, released by the UK government in July 2013. It highlights:
• The constitutional issues that the single market raises;
• The new modes of governance of the single market
• The UK government’s Single Market Review


POLICY BRIEFING 4: European Economic and Monetary Union

EMU thumbnail

This briefing considers the governance of economic and monetary union (EMU). In particular, it explores:
• The current state of EU competences linked to EMU
• The use of instruments outside the EU framework
• The role of EU institutions
• The implications of banking union


POLICY BRIEFING 5: Refugee Protection, Migration and Human Rights


This policy briefing discusses key practical aspects of refugee protection, as well as questions of racism and xenophobia in Europe. In particular, it addresses:
• The lack of coordinated action on refugees in Europe
• EU asylum policy, in particular the Dublin regulation1
• The inadequacy of Europe’s responses to the Syrian crisis
• The need to consider human rights in discussing migration
• The impact of racism and xenophobia on migration debates


POLICY BRIEFING 6: The Margin of Appreciation

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This policy briefing discusses the margin of appreciation doctrine; a very prominent instrument which is used to allow states room for manoeuver in the manner in which they apply some of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. This policy briefing provides an overview of:
• The content and functions of the doctrine;
• Its origins in the European Court of Human Rights' case law;
• The likely future of the margin of appreciation doctrine



EU Social Policy thumbnail

In recent years, the European social model has faced unprecedented challenges, such as increasing austerity in public spending, severe welfare cuts, and rising youth unemployment. This policy briefing provides an overview of:
• The European social model following the financial crisis;
• The strengths of the European social model and EU social policy;
• The prospects for strengthening European social policy