Ongoing and concluded PhDs

PhD researcher or student information

Virginia Passalacqua

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Discipline: Law

Degrees BA: Università di Bologna


LL.M. Laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza - Università di Bologna

LL.M. in Comparative, European and International Law - European University Institute

PhD Research Information

Mobilizing EU Law for migrants' rights

Brief description:

Legal mobilization is a peculiar type of mobilization. It does not bring people to the streets and does not use banners and slogans. Instead, it consists in (quietly) using law and courts to achieve social change. My research focuses on legal mobilization for migrants’ rights before the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), an issue that is capturing increasing attention among scholars.
The goal of my research is to identify and understand the conditions and resources that make legal mobilization for migrants’ rights possible. While most of EU legal scholars focus on how the Court of Justice of the EU shapes the legal status of migrants in the EU, I shifted the focus towards how migrants and their supporters use the Court of Justice to impact on the EU law-making. In this way, I depart from mainstream top-down and court-centric approaches, and I focus instead on the bottom-up dynamics of litigation, such as who are the litigants and on what resources they rely to use litigation at the EU level. Through an in-depth analysis of three case studies (Italy, the UK, and the Netherlands), my research underscores factors that are crucial for the emergence of EU litigation in the migration field, like the role of migration practitioners’ networks, or national judges’ culture of judicial review.


Keywords: Migration and Asylum Law, Legal mobilization, Law and Politics, eu law, Citizenship Law

Language(s) of writing: English

Country: Italy

Home University:

European University Institute



Supervisor: Bruno de Witte
Start date: 01-09-2014
PhD current status: PhD Ongoing
PhD research funded by:
Name of grant:
Added to catalogue on: 01-10-2018

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