The CoE’s research focus was to study and interpret the changes ongoing in Europe in the field of law. Where are these changes leading? Will European law move towards becoming a single integrated system, or by contrast towards a decentralisation of rulemaking powers and greater fragmentation of legal orders?
The changes have generated new kinds of problems, which can no longer be adequately addressed by traditional concepts of legal thinking that are anchored to the nation state.
The CoE’s aim was to develop theoretical and conceptual tools that allow for an examination of an increasingly multilayered and multicentred system of European law. The research was grounded in the tension between coherence and fragmentation. Each of the CoE’s three research teams addressed this basic tension from their own perspectives. The first team was interested to explore the need for reform in legal terminology and thinking; the second focused on Europe as a polity; and the third took the perspective of Europe as a single market.
The CoE was headed by Professor of Jurisprudence Kaarlo Tuori from the University of Helsinki. It was based at the University’s Faculty of Law, and included researchers from Åbo Akademi University and the universities of Bamberg and Strasbourg. The CoE had a research staff of 27, including doctoral students. The CoE included a Graduate School that was established in 2006.