Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Executive Discretion, Public Interests and the Limits of Law

30June2016 01July2016 12:30


The EU’s responses to the Euro-crisis have thrown into sharp relief the challenges of law in framing decision-making processes and political choices in the realm of European integration. The workshop serves as a forum to discuss which role law plays in framing the exercise of discretion. Attendance by invitation only.

Beneath the most conspicuous constitutional changes triggered by the Euro-crisis (such as the design of the Eurozone governance) crucial questions regarding the legal grasp on the substantive powers of EU administrative actors remain unaddressed. How far does law constrain and direct the substantive choices of the Commission? How do and how should EU Courts review the legality of administrative discretion in view of the plurality of public interests that decision-makers ought to accommodate and pursue?

These and other questions serve as a starting point to the discussions this workshop aims to trigger on the role of law in framing the exercise of discretion. 

The workshop will start with a conceptual discussion on discretion, revisiting the legacy of administrative law doctrine in this respect. In the second part, the role of selected general principles of law in ensuring the rationality of administrative decision-making will be considered. It will also address the role of Courts and of the European Ombudsman in reviewing discretion.


  • Vestert Borger, LL.M., University of Leiden
  • Prof. Paul Craig, University of Oxford
  • Prof. Gareth Davies, VU
  • Prof. Mark Dawson, Hertie School of Governance
  • Prof. Ian Harden, University of Sheffield
  • Prof. Herwig C.H. Hofmann. University of Luxembourg
  • Dr Clemens Kaupa,VU University
  • Dr Vasiliki Kosta, University of Leiden
  • Prof. Päivi Leino, University of Helsinki
  • Prof. Anne Meuwese, University of Tilburg
  • Dr Bucura Mihaescu, University of Luxembourg
  • Prof. Niamh Moloney, London School of Economics
  • Dr Hanns Peter Nehl, Court of Justice
  • Prof. Dominique Ritleng, European Court of Justice & University of Strasbourg
  • Prof. Takis Tridimas, King’s College London


By invitation only. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact the organizer Dr Joana Mendes at

This workshop is part of the project 'Unveiling EU Administrative Discretion. The Role of Law and Good Administration', carried out by Dr Joana Mendes and financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Published by  ACELG