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

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

First two working papers now online

March 29, 2023|

The first two working papers of the CITIZENS-LAW project are now available online. Working Paper 1 introduces the main concepts and the outlines of the analytical framework. Working Paper 2 introduces the methodology of the project.   Go to Publications

Workshop: Interdisciplinary Research Methods in EU Law

September 8, 2022|

Marc Hertogh and Erin Jackson participated in the workshop "Interdisciplinary Research Methods in EU Law: Challenges and Opportunities" at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on September 8-9, 2022. Their contribution ("The EU Rule of Law Crisis from an Empirical Perspective: Exploring the Contours of a Social

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