Biographical note

I hold a laurea in law from the Universita' La Sapienza in Rome, an LL.M in European Law from the University of Cambridge, and a D.Phil in European Law from the University of Oxford. I started my academic career as a Norton Rose European Law Lecturer at the University of Cambridge (New Hall, now Murray Edwards, 2000-2004), where I taught European Law, and supervised EU law and UK Constitutional Law. I also acted as Director of Studies for the College. I then moved to the University of Birmingham, where I was a lecturer from 2004-to 2006 and to Durham Law School, where I was first Reader and the Professor of European Union Law (2006-2018). Whilst at Durham I was also the Director of the Durham European Law Institute (2006-2011; and 2016-17).  
I have been visiting professor in several institutions, including the College of Europe in Natolin, and I held fellowships at the European University Institute (Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship) and at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Durham. 

I am currently the Director of the Bocconi Lab in European Studies (BLEST, https://blest.unibocconi.eu/) and a Member of the Management Committee of the Institute for European Policymaking @BU (IEP, https://iep.unibocconi.eu/) as well Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges and a member of the editorial board of the Common Market Law Review.

My research focuses on the law and policy of the European Union, with a particular interest in EU constitutional law, Fundamental Rights, Common Foreign and Security Policy, EU institutional balance, Union citizenship and internal market law.   


I have authored and co-authored reports commissioned by the European Parliament PETI committee and by the European Commission (DG EMPL), as well as giving evidence to national policy makers. My work has been quoted by several Advocates General in front of the European Court of Justice.

Research interests

Law and policy of the European Union; EU Constitutional Law; Fundamental Rights; Common Foreign and Security Policy; EU institutional balance; Union Citizenship; and Internal Market Law; Brexit.   

Selected Publications

Eleanor Spaventa
The Impact of Brexit in relation to the right ot petition and on the competences, responsibilities and activities of the Committee on Petitions

Spaventa, Eleanor
Fundamental rights in EU law
European Union Law, 2017

Eleanor Spaventa
Earned citzenship: understanding union citizenship through its scope
EU citizenship and federalism : the role of rights, 2017

Spaventa, Eleanor
Commento al Protocollo No. 8 (relativo all’articolo 6, paragrafo 2 del trattato sull’Unione Europea sull’adesione dell’Unione alla Convenzione europea per la salvaguardia dei diritti dell’uomo e delle libertà fondamentali)
Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'Unione Europea, 2017

Article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights: the dilemma of its stricter or broader interpretation
Report - PETI Committee, 2016

Spaventa, Eleanor
Economic justifications and Union Citizenship: Reallocating welfare responsibilities to the State of origin
P Koutrakos, N Nic Shuibhne & P Syrpis, Exceptions from EU Free Movement Law - Derogation, Justification and Proportionality (Oxford, Hart Publishing), 2016

Spaventa, Eleanor
What is left of Union Citizenship?
Inclusion and Exclusion in the European Union – collected papers, Amesterdam, 2016

Eleanor Spaventa
Once a foreigner, always a foreigner. Who does not belong here anymore? Expulsion measures
Residence, employment and social rights of mobile persons : on how EU law defines where they belong, 2016

Spaventa, Eleanor
A very fearful Court? The protection of fundamental rights in the EU after Opinion 2/13

Eleanor Spaventa
The free movement of workers in the twenty-first century
The Oxford handbook of European Union law, 2015

Eleanor Spaventa
Annotation on the PMOI/OMPI rulings

Eleanor Spaventa; Nicolas Rennuy; Paul Minderhoud
The legal status and rights of the family members of EU mobile workers

Spaventa, Eleanor
Federalization versus centralization: tensions in fundamental rights discourse in the European Union
50 years of the European treaties : looking back and thinking forward, 2009

Dougan, Michael; Spaventa, Eleanor
Social welfare and EU law

Spaventa, Eleanor
Fundamental rights in the European Union
European Union Law, 2014

Spaventa, Eleanor
Fundamental what? : the difficult relationship between foreign policy and fundamental rights
EU foreign relations law constitutional fundamentals, 2008

Eleanor Spaventa
Fundamental rights and the interface between second and third pillars
Law and practice of EU external relations : salient features of a changing landscape, 2008

Spaventa, Eleanor
Free movement of persons in the European Union : barriers to movement in their constitutional context

Spaventa, Eleanor
Le libertà fondamentali del mercato
I Convegno AISDUE, 2019

Spaventa, Eleanor
Fundamental rights at the heart of the Lisbon Treaty? Changes and challenges 10 years on
The Lisbon Treaty 10 years on: success or failure?, 2019

Spaventa, Eleanor
Comments on abuse of law and free movement of workers
Prohibition of abuse of law: a new general principle of EU law?, 2011