In addition to the focus on the role of specific institutions and actors in the European constitutional order, cross-cutting research in particular policy sectors, such as for example European health policy, environmental policy, monetary policy, competition law, citizenship, trade, and security maps the dynamics between institutions and actors and how these shape in the long run the European constitutional order. This type of research encompasses both the political and economic constitutional order and is a specific example of how ACELG seeks to establish synergies between the research of the different European constitutional orders, so it becomes possible to understand the institutional dynamics and the living European constitutional order as a whole.
EU legislative, executive, and regulatory powers are incrementally changing formally and informally, and expanding into a growing number of domains. We see this quite clearly in the measures of economic governance adopted after the financial crisis which has produced a complex mix of supranational and more intergovernmental methods of governance. But it also applies even in a field supposedly on the fringes of EU governance and with a profoundly intergovernmental rhetoric - EU common foreign and security policy (CFSP). Experts more and more point to the fact that autonomous EU (political and administrative) actors are being created and empowered, so that a simple intergovernmental analysis no longer captures a more complex reality. In many cases a plurality of actors interacts in a plurality of different contexts and fora, including on the international plane. The latter raises the additional question of how the EU’s increased role as an international actor influences shifts in authority and powers within the European legal order.