AWARDS 2018-05-09T09:31:30+00:00

The ELFA Award


In 2012 ELFA established for the first time an award for the Best Doctoral Thesis on European Law. The award was worth 3.000 € and it also included a proxime accessit award. Since then, ELFA has been organising this award every year. The ELFA Thesis Award seeks to stimulate and recognize outstanding legal research as well as creating more awareness of ELFA since it attracts a very high standard of applicants from numerous European countries.

Researchers at the University of Oxford, Cambridge, the European University Institute in Florence and the Maastricht University, among others have won the ELFA Best Award.

The thesis awarded dealt with different issues of European Law considered in a broad sense. Topics included the abuse of Union Law and the regulation of the Internal Market, the regulation of mobility rights and National Higher Education autonomy in the EU, the primacy of European Law and constitutional identities, direct taxation and the Internal Market, the power of reason and EU regulation and European intermediary liability in copyright.



ELFA awards are considered for doctoral thesis related to European law aspects, including comparative law aspects.


Any European jurist having his or her doctoral thesis / Ph.D. accepted and approved between the period 1 October 2017 and 31 October 2018 is eligible. The Doctoral thesis may be written in any of the languages of the ELFA statutes (English, German, French or Spanish).


The First Place Award is worth € 3,000.

The value of the proxime accessit award will be worth € 1,500.

However,  if the are equality of votes between two of the doctoral thesis submitted, both awarded doctors will share the amount and each one will be worth € 2.250.


The decision concerning the award is decided by a jury consisting of three renowned academics that is selected by the ELFA board. The decision is final.

Additional rules

The ELFA award is compatible with other awards that the candidate may have received for the thesis submitted.

The award does not involve the transfer of any publishing or intellectual property rights relating to the thesis.

Application Process

The attached theses should be a unique file in .doc (Word) or .odt (OpenDocument) format (not pdf), so that a blind version can be prepared and sent to the jury members.

Applications must be accompanied, in a separate document, by the author’s CV.

Applicants should receive an acknowledgement of receipt message within 48 hours of submission.

Applications must be submitted through the application form below.


The Winners of the 2017 Best Award on European Law have been announced! Francisco Joel Reyes y Ráfales and Zane Rasnača have been declared joint winners.

Francisco Joel defended his thesis at the Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. His thesis is entitled: “Unterschiedslose Beschränkungen des Warenexports in andere Mitgliedstaaten als Eingriffe in die EU-Warenverkehrsfreiheit gem. Art. 35 Alt. 2 AEUV?.”

Zane defended her thesis at the European University Institute of Florence, the title of which is “First or one among equals? The CJEU and the construction of EU social policy.”

Congratulations to the winners!


At the ELFA Conference in Brno (Czech Republic), Dr. Alexander Hoogenboom from Maastricht University was awarded First Place for his thesis on “Balancing Student Mobility Rights and National Higher Education Autonomy in the European Union”.

Dr. Christina Joanna Angelopoulos from University of Cambridge was placed Proxime Accessit for her thesis on “European Intermediary Liability in Copyright”.


The second ELFA Thesis Award was announced at the European Parliament in Brussels and awarded to Dr. Anzhela Yevgenyeva, for her thesis Direct Taxation and the Internal Market: Assessing Possibilities for a More Balanced Integration, defended at the University of Oxford.

Proxime Accessit was Dr. Vesselin Paskalev, for his thesis The Power of Reason(s): Argumentative Rationality and EU Regulation, defended at the European University Institute, Florence.