Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the European Union (PLATO)

Project Information

The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the European Union (PLATO) is a European Training Network funded under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions. The aim of this Horizon 2020 funding scheme is to train a new generation of creative and innovative researchers by bringing together universities, research centres and non-academic partners from different countries.

Multiple crises have created new legitimacy challenges for the EU. To investigate whether the EU’s responses to these crises have been legitimate with a set of crucial actors and standards, PLATO will recruit 15 PhD students to form an integrated research training network, two of them will be doing their research at the IHS.

The aim is to go beyond the state-of-the-art by building a theory of legitimacy crisis in the EU from a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how democracy, power, law, economies and societies all fit together with institutions within and beyond the state to affect the legitimacy of contemporary political order.

The early-stage researchers will follow an intensive and demanding training programme through several PhD schools organised at network level. They will get solid academic training by a multidisciplinary faculty of leading scholars, and complementary training in a range of other professional skills through more practically oriented courses and work experience from relevant sectors.

Transnational and cross-sectoral mobility will be a key aspect of the network. The early-stage researchers will spend parts of their PhD at another partner university and undertake an internship at a non-academic partner to gain first-hand experience from the policy-advice, consulting or civil society sectors. PLATO’s group of non-academic partners include several leading European think tanks, a consulting firm for trade associations, two civil society organisations, and the leading online daily news site on EU politics, EUobserver. Moreover, the career development organisation Vitae will assist the PhDs in their individual career planning.

PLATO has been granted 3.9 million euros over a period of four years.

Project Website:

PLATO partners

Academic partners

University of Oslo, Norway
ARENA Centre for European Studies / Prof. Chris Lord (project coordinator)

Freie Universität Berlin / WZB / Hertie School of Governance, Germany
Berlin Graduate School of Transnational Studies / Prof. Michael Zürn

Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques Paris, France
Centre d’études européennes / Prof. Renaud Dehousse

Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria
Research Group European Integration / Dr. Katrin Auel

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
Institute of Sociology / Dr. Zdenka Mansfeldova

Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Institute of European Studies / Prof. Zdzislaw Mach

University of Antwerp, Belgium
ACIM – Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics / Prof. Dirk de Bièvre

University of Cambridge, UK
Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) / Dr. Chris Bickerton

University of Twente, The Netherlands
Twente Graduate School – Innovation of Governance / Prof. Ramses Wessel

Non-academic partners

Bruegel, Brussels

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels

Vitae, The Career Development Organisation (CRAC), Cambridge

Democracy International, Berlin

EUobserver, Brussels

European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), Brussels

Jacques Delors Institute, Berlin

Kellen, Brussels

Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague

The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Warszawa

Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Berlin