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The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the European Union (PLATO) (completed)

Multiple crises have created new legitimacy challenges for the EU. Have the EU’s responses to these crises been legitimate? These questions are addressed by 20 partners in the European PhD network PLATO, which is coordinated by ARENA.

The Sainte-Geneviève Library in Paris (photo: John Towner /

About the project

PLATO is an EU-funded PhD network coordinated by Prof. Christopher Lord at ARENA. It brings together nine university partners from across Europe to recruit a group of 15 PhD researchers to undertake a common multidisciplinary investigation into crisis and the legitimacy of the Union. The doctoral researchers work together with senior researchers from across the network.

PLATO uses the example of the financial crisis to build and test theory of what would amount to a legitimacy crisis in the case of a multi-state, non-state political system such as the EU.

Project website

Partner institutions

PLATO's team brings together nine university partners and eleven training partners from the policy advice, civil society and consulting sector, media and career development.

University partners

  • University of Oslo, ARENA Centre for European Studies, Christopher Lord (coordinator)
  • Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (Freie Universität Berlin/WZB Berlin Social Science Center/Hertie School of Governance), Markus Jachtenfuchs
  • Sciences Po Paris, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE), Colin Hay
  • Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Department of Political Science, Katrin Auel
  • Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Sociology, Zdenka Mansfeldova
  • Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Institute of European Studies, Zdzislaw Mach
  • University of Antwerp, ACIM – Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics, Dirk De Bièvre
  • University of Cambridge, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), Chris Bickerton
  • University of Twente, Twente Graduate School – Innovation of Governance, Bas Denters and Ramses Wessel

Training partners

  • Bruegel, Brussels
  • Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels
  • Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague
  • Democracy International, Cologne
  • EUobserver, Brussels
  • European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), Brussels
  • Jacques Delors Institute – Berlin
  • Kellen, Brussels
  • Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Warsaw
  • Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Berlin
  • Vitae, The Career Development Organisation (CRAC), Cambridge


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme. 

Project period: 1 January 2017 – 31 December 2020

Tags: European Union, Democracy, Legitimacy, Political theory
Published Jan. 17, 2017 9:33 AM - Last modified July 12, 2021 12:03 PM



Christopher Lord

ARENA Centre for European Studies
University of Oslo

PLATO website