Floris de Witte

Floris de Witte

Email: F.E.De-Witte@lse.ac.uk
Administrative support: Stephen Jenner
Room: New Academic Building 7.03
Tel. 020-7955-6737

Floris de Witte holds a PhD from London School of Economics and Political Science, an LL.M from Cambridge and LL.B from the University of Maastricht. His PhD was entitled 'EU Law and the Question of Justice' and dealt with the transnational articulation of concepts of justice and solidarity.


Research Interests

EU Constitutional, Institutional and Substantive Law; the interaction between EU law and Political Theory.

External Activities

Floris sits on the editorial board of the German Law Journal, and is co-founder of the research initiative Re:generation Europe.

Selected articles
and chapters in books

Sex, Drugs & EU Law: The recognition of ethical and moral diversity in Europe’ (2013) 50 Common Market Law Review,  Issue 6 (December 2013) pp. 1545–1578

This contribution traces the interaction between EU law and national norms that express a certain moral, ethical or cultural value. Such values, which might range from drugs policy to the patentability of human cells, and from the consumption of seal meat to abortion, have something important in common: they ascribe a normative quality to a particular type of life, and typically reflect a communal, political understanding of what is "good". Such norms sit uneasily with the ethos of EU law, in so far that the individual rights guaranteed at the European level serve exactly to limit the externalities of this contractarian conception of political self-determination. This contribution traces these different arguments, their interaction, and the three possible scenarios for their resolution or mediation through the Court's case law: (i) direct normative intervention and Europeanization of the contentious moral or ethical choice; (ii) the insulation of national autonomy; or (iii) balancing through either a substantive or procedural version of the principle of proportionality.

‘Union Citizenship and Constrained Democracy’ in A.P. Van der Mei and M. De Visser (eds.) Twenty Years Treaty on European Union: Reflections from Maastricht (Intersentia, 2013)

(with Mark Dawson) 'Constitutional Balance in the EU after the Euro-crisis' Modern Law Review (2013) 76 (5) pp.817-844

'EU law, Politics, and the Social Question’ German Law Journal (2013) 14 (5)

Moritz Hartmann & Floris de Witte, 'Ending the Honeymoon: Constructing Europe Beyond the Market' German Law Journal (2013) 14 (5)

'Who funds the mobile student? Shedding some light on the normative assumptions underlying EU free movement law: Commission v Netherlands.' C.M.L. Rev. 2013, 50(1), 203-215

Comments on the European Court of Justice ruling in European Commission v Netherlands (C-542/09) on whether Dutch arrangements to pay student grants for study abroad contravened EU law because of discrimination against the children of migrant workers, who unlike Dutch national students had to comply with a residence test to qualify for a grant. Contrasts the rights of migrant workers with the more limited rights of migrants who are not economically active, and looks at proposed "homecoming" legislation that students should qualify for grants if they work in home country after graduation.

‘The role of transnational solidarity in mediating conflicts of justice in Europe’ (2012) 18 European Law Journal, p. 694-710.

This contribution analyses the conflicts of justice that are becoming increasingly visible in Europe. It argues that while European Union (EU) law can be understood as an instrument for the incorporation of the demands of justice and the articulation of ‘the good’ beyond the nation state, it also potentially skews the distributive criteria and assumptions of justice that underlie the national welfare state. In light of the absence of a transnational political system that can bound such conflicts of justice, this article suggests that the capacity of the EU to contribute to, rather than detract from, the attainment of justice depends on the careful articulation and institutionalisation of the different types of transnational solidarity that exist in Europe.

‘Bosman: een verloren voetballer en de Europese droom’, in: G. Essers, A.P. Van der Mei and F. Van Overmeiren (eds.), Het vrije verkeer van personen in 60 klassieke arresten (Kluwer, Den Haag, 2012).

‘National Welfare as Transnational Justice?: An Institutional Analysis of the Normative (in)coherence of Europe’s Social Dimension’ in: J. Rutgers (ed.), European Contract Law and the Welfare State, (Europa Law Publishing, Groningen, 2012), p. 15-41.

‘The End of EU citizenship and Means of Non-Discrimination’ (2011) 18 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, p. 86-108

‘The European Judiciary after Lisbon’ (2008) 15 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, p. 43 – 55.