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Professor Stijn Smismans

Professor of Law

School of Law and Politics

+44(0)29 2087 5765
2.13, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Media commentator


I am Professor of European Law and founder and Director of the Cardiff Centre for European Law and Governance. Prior to joining the School of Law and Politics in Cardiff, I have been a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the School of Sociology of the University of Trento. I studied law at the Catholic University of Leuven and the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, and I have a European Master in international relations from the Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Nice and a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence.  I have been a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute and Visiting Fellow at the Department of Politics of the University of Bristol.

My research on European governance and regulation builds bridges between different disciplines, from law and political science, to public administration, sociology, industrial relations and science and technology studies. I have provided policy advice to the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Welsh National Assembly.  I have held research projects funded by the European Commission, the European Research Council, the European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and the Italian Ministry for University Education and Research.

My current research is focused on two research streams:

1) Since the Brexit referendum I have been working on the constitutional and governance challenges of the Brexit process, and in particular on ways to protect the rights of EU citizens already residing in the UK. Research on Brexit poses particular challenges to traditional academic inquiry and publication venues since both the political and legal situation is extremely fluid. My publications on this topic have, therefore, often taken the form of online publications, in order to contribute to the debate while political developments are ongoing. My research on this topic is also characterised by intensive interaction with civil society actors and policy-makers. I am acting as advisor to the3million, the main association representing EU citizens in the UK, and I have given evidence on the topic to the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the European Commission Brexit Task Force, and the European Parliament.

More information on this research can be found on the website:

2) Based on my longstanding interest in issues of legitimacy and accountability of EU governance, my current research continues investigating the governance mechanisms through which the EU proceduralises the evidence basis of its policy-making as well as its interaction with interest groups. This is based on my European Research Council project LASI, “Law, Science and Interests in European Policy-making”.   This research equally relates to investigation into the EU’s Better Regulation agenda, as well as to my role as Deputy Editor of the European Journal of Risk Regulation.



  • Pérez-Solórzano Borragán, N. and Smismans, S. 2020. The law and politics of exit from the EU. In: Cardwell, P. J. and Granger, M. eds. Research Handbook of the Politics of EU Law. Research Handbooks in Law and Politics Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 106-124.