Carlos Closa

holds a Ph.D. in Politics, University of Hull (UK) (1993); M.A. in European Integration and Cooperation (1990) (U. Hull). He holds degrees in Sociology and Political Science (Universidad Complutense, UCM), Madrid, 1987. Between 2004 and 2008, he was Deputy Director of the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales (Ministry of Presidency) and between 2005 and 2009, he was member of the Venice Commission for Democracy through Law (Council of Europe) representing Spain. He has been formerly professor at the University of Zaragoza, Complutense (Madrid) and tutor at the University of Hull. He has been Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Bruges) and he has been Professor at the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset (IUOG), Madrid since 1999. He was also Visiting Fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Centre of Harvard University (2002) and Jean Monnet Fellow (1995-1996) and Salvador de Madariaga Fellow (2004) at the European University Institute (EUI, Florence). Since 2010, he has been appointed Affiliated Scholar at the Global Governance Programme at the EUI.

Research Project

Transitional justice in the EU: dealing with legacies of repressive pasts and shaping the understanding of the European polity

This project reviews EU political and legal developments in the domain of transitional justice. Historically, different actors (intellectuals, scholars and politicians) have constructed discursively the interpretation of the EU as a guarantee of non repetition of past wrondoings. The EU is normally referred as the provider of goods such as “reconciliation,” “peace,” etc and, in this way, it fits functionally within the paradigm of transitional justice. However, very few specific control mechanism have been included in the EU legal panoply. Two cases are worth noticing in this respect; the first being the provision protecting EU values (democracy, human rights) from their encroachment by national governments by means of eventual suspension of membership. The second refers to the fight against racism and xenophobia which the Treaty of Amsterdam put as an explicit EU objective and, additionally, placed racial discrimination under the principle of non-discrimination of EU law Art. 29 T and art. 13 EC Treaty). Lately, the EU has advanced on the domain of criminal prosecution of crimes of denial of Holocaust. Additionally, the EU has advanced some measures on memorialization policies (i.e. commemoration dates such as 27th January or 23rd August) and it has developed mechanisms which serve as soft guarantees of non repetition. However, by and large, Member States have developed their own domestic policies on transitional justice and the EU, a priori, did not have a significant role in these policies. The project looks at issues currently addressed by the EU such as the treatment of the claims for recognition coming from Central and Eastern European member states and their challenge on EU established narratives and the establishment of conditionality policy towards Balkan applicants which includes a demand for engaging in domestic and international mechanisms of criminal justice to address past wrongdoings.