GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate



Thesis: "EU-policy in the fight against trafficking in human beings"

My doctoral research focuses on the European legal framework in relation with the fight against trafficking in human beings, and more particularly on its externalisation towards third countries located at the borders of the European Union. It is realised under the co-supervision of Prof. A Weyembergh, IEE-ULB, and Prof. R. Roth, University of Geneva, and should be defended by September 2016.

Academic Degrees

LL.M. in European law (College of Europe, Bruges, 2010, grade « very good »)

Master 2 « European economic law » (Sciences Po Paris, University of Strasbourg, 2009, grade « assez bien »)

Work Experience

After working two years as an academic assistant in the legal department of the College of Europe, I am since July 2012 PhD researcher at the Institute for European Studies, where I worked as researcher for the CooptoFight project. My work focused on the Belgian legal framework against human trafficking, as well as on its practical implementation. Cooperation between national actors and international cooperation were also analysed.

Since September 2013, I am a member of the GEM PhD School, Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate « Globalisation, the EU & Multilateralism ». In the framework of my research, I carried out two research visits: one at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva (September 2014 - June 2015) and the other at the Faculty for Criminal Justice, Criminology and Security, of the University of Sarajevo (September 2015).

Description of research work

The European Union has developed since the mid-1990's its own policy to prevent and fight against trafficking in human beings. While taking into account the evolution of the definition of THB, as well as the development of a EU multidisciplinary, integrated and holistic approach to THB, my doctoral research focuses on the external dimension of this policy and it is divided in three main steps.

Firstly the analysis of the EU acquis in this field allows to determine the external competences at its disposal to promote the transposition of its standards beyond its borders. Special attention is given to the EU's externalisation efforts towards the candidate and potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans. The second step focuses on the interactions between the European Union and the other actors active in this field, being intergovernmental organisations, civil society organisations, or States. The objective is here to demonstrate that their interactions lead to the emergence of harmonized objectives and measures to combat THB in a comprehensive way. Finally the third step of the research aims at assessing the implementation of European and international standards in national legal orders. Two case studies have been selected here: Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and their national legislations and policies are examined in order to assess whether they implement a comprehensive approach to fight against THB.

Participation in Conferences and Seminars

Presentation of the paper "Answering to the globalisation of crime: Europol’s expertise and cooperation with third countries", during the conference "EU and Emerging Powers", co-organised by the Institute for European Studies (ULB) and other institutes of the universities of Leuven, Liège, Gand, and Brussels (VUB et Université Saint Louis), Brussels, 27 and 28 April 2015.

Intervention "Cross-border law enforcement and prosecution of traffickers" during the 5th Annual International Symposium on Preventing Human Trafficking: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution", Public Policy Exchange, Brussels, 27 November 2014. 

Presentation of the paper "The European Union's role in the global fight against trafficking in human beings" during the GR:EEN Future researchers Conference, Brussels, 18 - 20 November 2014. 

Presentation of my research project during the GEM Annual Conference, Rome, 5 - 8 February 2014. 

PhD presentation during the ECLAN PhD seminar “The EU Area of Criminal Justice”, UPPA, Bayonne, 30 – 31 May 2013.

Intervention “Trafficking in Human Beings” during the ECLAN Annual Conference “Do labels still matter? Blurring boundaries between administrative and criminal law. The influence of the EU”, IEE, ULB, Brussels, 17 May 2013

Intervention “Legal framework of police and judicial cooperation in THB cases within the EU” during the workshop “Police and judicial cooperation in the field of the fight against trafficking in human beings: successes and shortcomings”, IEE, ULB, 15 March 2013. 

Overview of Publications

Most recent 

“Competition or cooperation? State of play and future perspectives on the relations between Europol, Eurojust and the European Judicial network”, co-authored with Anne Weyembergh and Inés Armada, New Journal of European Criminal Law, Vol. 6, Issue 2, 2015, p. 258 – 287.

“Trafficking in Human Beings, a case-study”, in A. Weyembergh and F. Galli, Do labels still matter? Blurring boundaries between criminal and administrative law and the influence of the EU", Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles, November 2014, p. 19 - 42.

"The inter-agency cooperation and future architecture of the EU criminal justice and law enforcement area", with Anne Weyembergh and Inés Armada, Study for the LIBE Committee, November 2014, 71 pages. 

Critical Assessment of the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision”, with Anne Weyembergh et Inés Armada, Research Paper at the request of the European Added Value Unit (General Secretariat of the European Parliament), January 2014, 72 pages.

 “L’Union européenne et la traite des êtres humains”, avec Anne Weyembergh, in D. Bernard, Y. Cartuyvels, C. Guillain, D. Scalia and M. van de Kerchove (eds), Fondements et objectifs des incriminations et des peines en droit européen et international, Anthémis, November 2013, pp. 67 - 94.