UCL European Institute


How to Strengthen EU Democracy and Rule of Law in the Face of Backsliding?

15 March 2022, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

'We stay in the EU', taken on 10 October 2021 of protests in  Bielsko-Biała by Silar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Panel discussion for students co-hosted by the European Student Think Tank and the UCL European Institute. IN-PERSON.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Claudia Sternberg


056: Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens
United Kingdom
Note: The date for this event had to be changed due to the UCU strike (this is the new date). This event takes place in person. 

With Member States like Hungary and Poland challenging the rule of law in the EU, how can liberal democracy remain strong and legitimate?

Join our panel of professors and practitioners from UCL, LSE and King's College London for a discussion on democracy and the rule of law in the EU, and how we can strengthen both in the face of democratic backsliding.

The panel debate and Q&A will be followed by drinks. 

This is an event organised by students for students. It is co-hosted by the European Student Think Tank and the  UCL European Institute


  • Dr Heather Grabbe is Director of the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels, and currently Visiting Professor at the UCL European Institute. Previously, Heather worked as Senior Advisor to the European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, prior to which she worked at the Centre for European Reform think tank.
  • Dr Michael Wilkinson is an Associate Professor of Law at LSE, where his research interests are European integration, constitutional theory, and legal, political and social theory. Michael studied at UCL and the College of Europe in Bruges before obtaining his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence.
  • Dr Ben Jones is a Teaching Fellow in European Foreign Policy at King’s College London, having recently completed his PhD in European Studies at KCL. Prior to his doctoral studies, Ben worked in various politics and public affairs roles in Brussels and London. His research focuses on European defense cooperation, EU security and defense policy, and IR theory.
  • Dr Oliver Gerstenberg is Senior Lecturer at UCL Laws. Hist research interests include multilevel constitutionalism, social constitutionalism and conflicts between judicialization and democratic legitimacy beyond the state.  Oliver studied law and philosophy in Heidelberg and Frankfurt/Main, where he obtained his doctorate in law. He has been a Jean Monnet Fellow at the EUI (Florence), a JF Kennedy Fellow at Harvard and a Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton. 
  • Prof. Ronan McCrea is Professor of Constitutional and European Law at UCL, before which he taught at the University of Reading. Ronan obtained graduate degrees in law and political science before working in both fields, and now focuses his research on the future of the EU and on the relationship between law and religion in liberal democracies. 


  • Niamh Axe is European Student Think Tank Ambassador to the UK, and a third year Politics and International Relations student at UCL.
  • Diane Dupré is the other European Student Think Tank Ambassador to the UK, and a third year L.L.B student at the LSE. 
Please note UCL's updated guidance on face coverings, which asks for masks to be worn at this event. 

Photo: 'We stay in the EU', taken on 10 October 2021 of protests in Bielsko-Biała by SilarCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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