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What will I learn?

The research programme Protecting European Citizens and Market Participants (PECMP) addresses the question to what extent the developments in European law afford or improve the protection of European citizens and market participants in the Member States of the European Union and other European international organizations. It addresses key legal aspects of European integration and its implications for the legal orders affected by it. The programme brings together researchers primarily focused on European law and researchers from various branches of national and international law who are interested in the interface between European law and the national and international legal order.

The theme of the programme is diverse, in that activities in many sub-disciplines of law fall within its remit. At the same time, it focuses on the rights of natural and legal persons in their dealings with public authorities, whether at European, national, regional, or local level, and with each other. Thus, it embraces matters as diverse as rights of free movement; consumer protection; climate and environmental protection; competition and procurement; privacy and data protection including in a digital context; shareholders’ rights; employment and labour; tax; security; citizenship, and the protection of fundamental rights more generally.

The programme has a multi-level and comparative approach and studies questions of legal protection in the context of national and international developments. It thus links legal protection to questions of law-making, implementation, and enforcement in domestic, European and international legal systems as well as across borders.

The focus on the protection of citizens and other market participants is approached from three perspectives:

  1. Questions of legal protection flowing from the aims and functioning of the European Union itself, including its relations with third countries and international organizations, and the interaction between the various legal systems.
  2. Questions of legal protection flowing from the effects of European legal instruments and policies on the legal systems of the various Member States, particularly where European law is the ally of the citizen against the power of the Member States.
  3. Questions of legal protection flowing from managing present and future transitions in society and the economy as a whole, and in the face of fundamental market transitions and societal challenges.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Law

Study options

Full Time (3 - 4 years)

Tuition fees
Information not available
Start date

Expected August, September 2022


University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5,


9712 CP, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have Research Master degree or equivalent. Applicants with other research master degrees will be considered if sufficiently related to the research programme; Fluent in English (written and spoken).

For international students

Possession of a Master’s degree or equivalent in a discipline that is directly or closely related to the discipline in which the PhD research will take place. The degree must have been gained within a reasonable period of time and with marks that justify the expectation that you will be able to complete the PhD programme.

The minimum criteria that are required for IELTS or TOEFL are:

IELTS: a score of > 7.0, all section scores should at least be 6.5 plus a writing score of at least 7.0

TOEFL: a score of > 100, all section scores should at least be 23 plus a writing score of at least 25

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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