The necessary evil – On law, power and institutional politics in the European Union

Funded by the Academy of Finland, funding period 01.09.2015 – 30.08.2020

This is project is both on law and about law. ‘Law’ is linked to the legitimacy of the EU. It appeals
to those wishing to limit power politics, integrationist ambitions and institutional discretion. But the
way in which law is used also renders it an instrument in political contestation. It is traditional for lawyers to find politics a ‘necessary evil’: somewhat obstructive, perhaps even dangerous, but
difficult to avoid.

My concern, however, is not about politics intervening in the sphere of law. My
interest relates to the way in which the EU decision-making process operates, and what factors and
players influence decision-making. In particular, I examine how the balance between legal
arguments and other considerations is drawn.

People involved

Päivi Leino-Sandberg

Professor of International and European Law, UEF LAW school
Academy of Finland Research Fellow
Visiting Fellow, EUI Law Department.