“ ‘Playing by Which Rules? Politicisation and the Enforcement of EU Economic Governance’. That is the title of the study on which I embarked in October 2016 and which I hope to complete by 2020. People are increasingly anti-EU. Due to the financial crisis of the last few years, both citizens and political parties are increasingly Euro-sceptic. What does this mean for the way in which the European Union operates?

My research particularly focuses on the imposition of financial sanctions if an EU member state fails to honour its obligations. Government debts should not be allowed to get out of hand, but what if a member state exceeds the limit? Will the European Union be less likely to impose a fine now, for fear that the member state will leave? No, I can’t really offer much of a solution. By not imposing any sanctions, we will increase the risk of a new debt crisis. But if people really want something else entirely, a fine cannot be said to be very democratic.

I submitted my proposal to NWO, the organization that funds research, and they were so keen on the idea that they gave me a grant. I’ve been working on it for just over a year now, and I’m only getting more inspired. I have not experienced any downs yet, and I’m sure I’ll complete my dissertation by 2020. I just love the idea that I came up with an idea myself and am now carrying it out. And it would be even better if it were actually useful to the policy makers up in Brussels.”