In the framework of the 2018/2019 Ganshof van der Meersch Chair, Kenneth Armstrong (Professor of European Law at the University of Cambridge) will deliver a talk aimed at the general public entitled “Governed by Europe or Governing through Europe. Lessons from Brexit.” He will be welcomed by Professor Ramona Coman, Director of the Institute for European Studies of the ULB.

To see the full programme of this year’s chair, please click on the button below.



Every democratic and constitutional order experiences the same dilemma, namely how to govern through a set of political and legal structures while at the same time being governed by those structures. The way in which we conventionally resolve this dilemma is by emphasising that these structures and the discipline that they exert are a means of self-government and self-realisation.

Extrapolating this idea to the European Union is more difficult. Many of the EU’s recent crises seem to emphasise the disciplining aspects of membership – fiscal discipline after the financial and economic crisis; the discipline of burden-sharing and solidarity after the refugee crisis – rather than the self-realising aspects of what it means for European states to govern collectively through EU institutions.

The aim of this lecture is to analyse the discipline of membership against the backdrop of the challenges facing the European Union, including the challenge of Brexit. It addresses concerns that the EU has lost its ‘mission legitimacy’ and considers how the EU might seek to address that problem in ways that make the discipline of membership a means of self-government and self-realisation.

Practical information

When: The lecture will take place on Tuesday 26th February

Where: bâtiment H, salle H1302, rez-de-chaussée, avenue Paul Héger 10 – 1050 Bruxelles, voir plan)

Language of the conference: English

Registration: The event is free but please register via this page by February 18th.

About the lecturer

Kenneth Armstrong was elected to the Professorship of European law at the University of Cambridge in September 2013. Before joining the Faculty, Kenneth was Professor of EU law at Queen Mary, University of London. He has held visiting positions at Edinburgh University, the European University Institute and at New York University School of Law. He is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. He is editor in chief of the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies.

Kenneth has written extensively in the field of European Union law and policy, with a particular focus on the evolving governance and institutional structures of the EU. His book Governing Social Inclusion: Europeanization through Policy Coordination was published by Oxford University Press in 2010 and won the 2011 UACES Best Book Prize. His book Brexit Time: Leaving the EU -Why, How and When? was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. He writes a blog at

Kenneth has been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research
Fellowship to analyse the dynamics of regulatory alignment
and divergence after Brexit. The project will run from 2018-21.

The Chair

The Ganshof van der Meersch Chair was established in 1995 by the Fondation Wiener-Anspach in memory of Walter Jean Ganshof van der Meersch, founder and president of the Institute for European Studies at the ULB, holder of the chair of Public Law at the ULB, attorney general at the Belgian Court of Cassation and vice-president of the European Court of Human Rights. The chair, held at the ULB by a visiting professor from Oxford or Cambridge, focuses on the economic, historical, political and legal aspects of European integration or on public law.