Jean Monnet Network on enforcement of EU law (EULEN)

YRP Projects

Single Supervisory Mechanism: Protecting fundamental rights in a composite law enforcement area (by Argyro Karagianni)

EU authorities are increasingly performing law enforcement tasks. The European Central Bank and the European Securities and Markets Authority can for instance impose administrative fines on companies (banks; credit rating agencies) or refer cases to national authorities for prosecution. OLAF and Eurojust have coordinating and investigative tasks in the area of the investigation and prosecution of fraud against the financial interests of the EU.

The powers of these authorities are still largely defined by the national laws of individual EU member States. The legal frameworks for the authorities are decentralized and integrated into the national legal orders. As differences between national regimes exist, conflicts of law, deliberate circumvention of safeguards (forum shopping) or races to the bottom may lead to arbitrary interferences with fundamental rights of individuals. This is precisely what fundamental rights aim to prevent within the nation-state. Yet in a transnational context, the content and scope of these rights are ill-defined. While the existing legal frameworks substantially increase the degree of discretion for State or EU authorities, they simultaneously decrease legal certainty as to the applicable fundamental rights in criminal proceedings.

Michiel Luchtman and two PhD students perform a legal comparative analysis of how fundamental rights are integrated into the legal frameworks for ECB/ESMA, respectively OLAF/Eurojust. The team will determine how these authorities deal with the discretion that these frameworks leave them. The project is funded by NWO under the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme.


Ms. Argyro Karagianni –

Utrecht University