The Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) was established as a Faculty Centre of Excellence in 2009. Since then it has been recognised nationally and internationally as a research centre that makes high level contributions to the academic and policy debate on legal and governance processes in Europe. It adopts a distinctive and dynamic approach to the research of European law, namely in the context of the surrounding legal and political systems as well as wider structures of (global) governance.
ACELG focusses on mapping, understanding and critically reflecting upon the transformation of the exercise and control of public power in settings of multilevel governance and triggered by Europeanisation. Its objective is to offer an analysis of the potential and shortcomings of law in enabling and controlling the exercise of public power in the context of continuous integration and disintegration processes, as well as its ability to address the challenges arising from internal and external pressures on the European Union. Integration and disintegration are understood broadly including all power shifts towards European actors comparatively more independent of national control, as well as cooperation of the Member States within EU legal structures that have the effect of submitting Member States to EU rules and vice versa. ACELG’s underlying interest is the tension between functional interdependencies and persistent diversity. One legal expression of this tension is the increasing differentiation at the level of primary and secondary law.