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Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess


Freie Universität Berlin

Law Department

Chair for Public Law and European Law


Boltzmannstrasse 3
14195 Berlin

Short CV


since 7/2008

Member of the Federal Governments Advisory Council on Environmental Questions (SRU)

since 4/2008

Chair for Public Law and European Law at the Freie Universität Berlin, Director of the Institute for Public Law

10/2003 – 4/2008

Chair for Public Law and European Law at the Georg-August-University, Göttingen; Director of the Institute of International and European Law (Department of European Law) and Director of the Institute for Agricultural Law, Göttingen

3/2002 – 9/2003

Chair for European Law and Director of the Institute for European Law at the Karl-Franzens-University, Graz


Award of the Environment Prize of the German Society for Environment Law (Gesellschaft für Umweltrecht, e.V., Berlin) for habilitation thesis

winter term 2001/02

Designation for appointment to the Chair for European Law at the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz (09/01); interim status as Visiting Professor

10/2000 – 04/2001

Interim Professorship (Lehrstuhlvertretung) for Public Law at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main


Habilitation and venia legendi for Constitutional and Administrative Law, European Law and International Public Law

05/1995 – 09/2000    

Assistant at the Europe-Institute of Saarland University; habilitation thesis on the rule of law and environmental policy in the Constitutional State - title: "Rechtsstaat und Umweltstaat – Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Grundrechtsdogmatik im Rahmen mehrpoliger Verfassungsrechtsverhältnisse"(published 2001)


Second Legal State Examination in Berlin


Doctorate in Law at Europa-Institut of Saarland University, doctoral thesis on the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity in the European Union, title: "Subsidiaritäts- und Solidaritätsprinzip in der Europäischen Union" (published 1996 and in second edition 1999)


Placement with the Legal Service of the European Commission, Brussels


Practical legal education (Referendariat) at the Kammergericht (High Court) of Berlin


Postgraduate Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges; Master


First Legal State Examination in Göttingen


Law Studies at Saarland University, Saarbrücken from 1984-86 (with participation in the postgraduate program on European Law at the Europe-Institute) and at Georg-August University, Göttingen (1986-90)


born in Düsseldorf


Main Fields of Interest


a) European (especially Constitutional) Law; German Constitutional Law; Human Rights; Environmental Law;  Law of Foreign Policy (so called Auswärtige Gewalt)


b) One of my main fields of research is the subject of multilevel constitutionalism in Europe. Insofar I am working on different projects (Editor and Writer of a Commentary on EU-Law, 2500 pages; book on European Constitutional Law; book on Multilevel Constitutionalism in Europe) for which I gained a “Forschungspoolstelle”. The idea behind this is the following:  With the Treaties of Maastricht (1992), Amsterdam (1998) and Nizza (2001), the European process of integration entered a new stage, which can be characterised as a phase of constitutionalisation. It is connected with the EU’s approach of no longer being perceived as just an economic community, but rather as a political community formed by common european values and creating an european identity. Against this background the developing European multilevel constitution is to be put in a concrete conception, which elaborates the interlocking of national and European constitutional law. This new way of thinking a European multilevel constitutionalism, which leads away from the antiquated State-centred views and concepts, requires scientific research, especially in order to counteract vision-blocking thinking in dichotomies of national and international law as well as European and national (legal) orders. Apart from the need to develop a new (“open”) theory of state and constitution special questions arise: How can for example fundamental constitutional principles like democracy or the rule of law be adapted to the new challenges of europeanisation? Are the citizens of the member states at the same time citizens of the EU, is there something like a shared status? The emerging concept of multilevel constitutionalism gives the chance of adequate answers by taking into account the inputs and outputs of the national and European level at the same time by connecting them in a coherent system of interlocking constitutional orders.


Another main field of research is the international human rights system especially with regard to three subjects: How can the right to security on the one hand and the right to freedom on the other hand be balanced? How can judicial protection in national and European law be improved? And how can individual rights in the framework of environmental policy be designed (for example: human right to a clean and healthy environment, participation of NGOs in decision-making processes)?


Selected Research Projects


Citizenship in the EU – Der Bürger im europäischen Staaten- und Verfassungsverbund