Anoeska Buijze of the Utrecht Law School defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “The Principle of Transparency in EU Law” at Utrecht’s Academy Building on Friday 15 March. She was awarded cum laude for her considerable efforts at structuring a complex legal concept of EU law.
In her dissertation, Buijze uses a triple concept of the European citizen in order to disentangle the several rationales that underpin transparency at the European level. She recognises the citoyen (the participating citizen in the classical Greek sense), the homo dignus (a rights-bearing individual in the private sphere) and the homo economicus (the individual in pursuit of material welfare). Each of these citizen types, Buijze argues, provides a different rationale for certain types of access to information. She comes to this conclusion through a detailed analysis of a number of fields of law (public access to information, public procurement, electronic communications law, and state aid).
Buijze’s defence committee consisted of European and administrative law experts from within the Netherlands and outside of it. Prof. Paul Craig of Oxford was present and sought to challenge Buijze’s tripartition of citizenship, arguing that it might have made sense to stay with a type of citoyen that includes both the participation and the rights-bearing type on the one hand, and the homo economicus on the other side. Buijze nevertheless convincingly argued in favour of a real distinction that made a difference to the rationale for transparency. Prof. Deirdre Curtin, of the Open Government in the EU research team, was also present in the defence committee. Her question concerned Buijze’s use of methods, making a broader point of the use of explicit methods and quasi-legal materials in the field of law.
After deliberation, Buijze was conferred the title of doctor of laws, with distinction (cum laude). Her book represents an innovative contribution to the fields of EU transparency, administrative law, and constitutional law.
Click here for Utrecht University’s press release on Buijze’s dissertation.
In September 2013, Buijze’s dissertation will become available to the public here.
– Maarten Hillebrandt