Towards a New Approach to Strengthen the Rule of Law in Europe.

Within the CITIZENS-LAW project, we examine how to strengthen the rule of law in the European Union (EU) by studying society’s conceptions of law.

  • CITIZENS-LAW is a research group at the University of Groningen. We conduct empirical-legal research in the Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary.

  • The project is funded by NWO and will run from November 2021 – November 2025.

Towards a New Approach to Strengthen the Rule of Law in Europe

Incorporating EU Citizens’ Perceptions of Law.

There is a rule of law crisis in the European Union (EU). The current approach to ending this crisis emphasizes the legal institutions of the rule of law, but so far it has not been very effective. The CITIZENS-LAW project therefore looks not only at the legal foundations, but also at the social foundations of the rule of law. Do people know the law, recognize the law and use the law? CITIZENS-LAW analyzes through empirical-legal research social attitudes about law in the Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary. These research findings are being translated into a new “governance toolkit” to strengthen the rule of law in Europe.

Our research

International comparative


Focus groups


Latest news

Law & Society Association Annual Meeting at Denver, USA

June 22, 2024|

The Citizens Law P.I. Marc Hertogh and postdoctoral researchers Monika Lindbekk and Erin Jackson presented the results of the initial findings of the comparative research of the Citizens Law project at the Law & Society Association Annual Meeting. The conference took place in Denver, Colorado, from 6 – 9

Annual Spring Meeting at Budapest, Hungary

June 22, 2024|

The Citizens Law team (Marc Hertogh, Balázs Fekete, Erin Jackson and Monika Lindbekk) held their annual Spring Meeting from 29 April to 3 May 2024. The seminar was hosted by Balázs Fekete at the ELTE University Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary. The focus of the meeting was the

Country reports Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary

May 25, 2023|

What do citizens in the Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary think about law and justice? In three country reports of the CITIZENS-LAW project we discuss the 'state-of-the-art' of public opinion research in these three countries (2000-2020). In Working Paper 4 Erin Jackson analyses the literature in the Netherlands, in Working Paper

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