Portrait of Professor Anneli Albi

Professor Anneli Albi



Professor Albi joined Kent Law School in 2003, having been a doctoral researcher at the European University Institute in Florence (1999-2003). She obtained her undergraduate law degree and a diploma in political science from the University of Tartu, Estonia.

Professor Albi led the large-scale research project ‘The Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance’, which was funded by a 5-year, 1.2 million EUR grant, awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) as part of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. It was completed in 2019, with follow up events planned and updated via the project website.

Earlier research grants include the European Commission and British Academy funded project 'The European Constitution and National Constitutions' (2005-2006).

Research interests

Professor Albi’s research interests are in Comparative constitutional law; EU constitutional law; fundamental rights; the rule of law; constitutional courts and constitutional review; national parliaments; euro crisis, democracy and social rights; global governance; EU enlargements and European Neighbourhood Policy.


Professor Albi usually teaches in the fields of EU law and comparative constitutional law.


Professor Albi welcomes supervision in the fields of EU law and comparative constitutional law. 


Professional appointments

  • Member of the University of Salzburg and Austrian European Community Studies Association (ECSA) research project ‘Member States’ Constitutions and EU Integration’, directed by Professor Stefan Griller (2012-2019)
  • Expert in the European Commission's Gender Equality Network (2004-2011)
  • Member of the External Advisory Board of the Yearbook of Polish European Studies

Membership of professional associations 

  • Member of the United Kingdom Constitutional Law Association (UKCLA)
  • Member of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES)
  • Member of the United Kingdom Association of European Law (UKAEL)
  • Member of Estonian Lawyers Association    



  • Albi, A. (2015). Erosion of Constitutional Rights in EU Law: A Call for a Substantive Co-operative Constitutionalism Part 1. Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law (ICL Journal) 9:151-185.
    This two-part paper seeks to invite discussion on a deeply embedded narrative in the European scholarly and public discourse that reduces the protection of national constitutions to Eurosceptic, old-fashioned reluctance to relinquish sovereignty. The paper argues that because of the simplistic ‘Eurosceptic’-‘Euro-friendly’ looking glass, the discourse has broadly been oblivious of, and given scholarly legitimacy to, the erosion of a range of classic constitutional rights and rule of law safeguards in EU law. Part 1 of the paper, documenting comparative case law in seven areas, posits an emergence at the EU level of the adoption of measures which, if attempted at national level without the constraints of EU law, would, in a significant number of national legal orders, prompt constitutional courts to voice serious concerns about core European constitutional values. The case studies start with some past criticisms regarding rights protection in the single market, moving then to EU measures that have affected core constitutional values, such as secret anti-terrorist measures, the Data Retention Directive, the European Arrest Warrant system with its numerous Kafkaesque elements, the broader move towards imposition of criminal and administrative sanctions on the basis of teleological interpretation and without a law, and the ESM Treaty. The paper also queries the reduced access to courts, the changing role of courts and an emerging gap in constitutional review. Against this background, Part 2 of the paper calls for recalibrating the discourse towards ‘substantive co-operative constitutionalism’. The aim is to explore how to better uphold the standards of protection developed by national constitutional and supreme courts for classic, substantive constitutional values, in a context where EU constitutional law has brought about a shift towards a thin, weak, procedural version of constitutionalism, the rule of law and judicial review, with priority given to effectiveness, uniformity, trust and, after Melloni, supremacy over constitutional rights.
  • Albi, A. (2015). Erosion of Constitutional Rights in EU Law : A Call for Substantive Co-operative Constitutionalism Part 2. Open Access. Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law [Online] 9:291-343. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2741623.
    The author-generated version is available Open Access in SSRN http://ssrn.com/abstract=2741623

    Part 1 of the paper (published in ICL Journal 2015/2) documented comparative case law in a number of areas – from the single market to the Data Retention Directive, European Arrest Warrant, ESM Treaty and constitutional review – where constitutional rights and rule of law safeguards have been levelled downwards in the context of implementation of EU law in different Member States. Here, Part 2 of the paper propounds the concept of ‘substantive co-operative constitutionalism’, exploring how European constitutional law and the European constitutional law discourse could be recalibrated towards a greater responsiveness to substantive constitutional values. Part 2 starts by outlining an increasing shift from the mindset and vocabulary of classic, comparative (continental) European constitutional law, to a more formal, procedural, thin version of EU constitutionalism, where the keywords are supremacy, uniformity, direct effect, autonomy, effectiveness and trust. Indeed in the context of democracy and legitimacy in transnational governance, some scholars have written about the ‘erosion’, ‘twilight’ or ‘decline’ of constitutionalism or ‘the end of constitutionalism as we know it’. More recently, Euro crisis measures have prompted heightened concerns about the prolonged and perhaps even irreversible suspension of constitutionalism, the Rechtsstaat and democracy. Yet in the mainstream EU and transnational constitutional law discourse, such concerns have generally received limited attention. The article traces the reasons for the shift in the paradigm of constitutionalism on the basis of the literature on the epistemology of EU law and of transnational constitutional law, and argues that such a shift is not the only way forward. The paper then proceeds to outline some suggestions on how a more substantive version of co-operative constitutionalism could be operationalised in practice. This includes a significantly more probing and proactive role for the national constitutional courts, supreme courts and national parliaments, as well as the creation of mechanisms in the EU institutional and judicial framework for greater responsiveness to constitutional values and constitutional diversity.
  • Albi, A. (2010). From the Banana saga to a Sugar Saga and Beyond: Could the Post-communist Constitutional Courts Teach the EU a Lesson in the Rule of Law?. Common Market Law Review 47:791-829.
  • Albi, A. (2009). Ironies in human rights protection in the EU: pre-accession conditionality and post-accession conundrums. European Law Journal [Online] 15:46-69. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0386.2008.00450.x.
  • Albi, A. (2009). The EU’s "external governance" and legislative approximation by neighbours: Challenges for the classic constitutional templates. European Foreign Affairs Review 14:209-230.
  • Albi, A. (2007). Supremacy of EC Law in the New Member States: Bringing Parliaments into the Equation of ’Co-operative constitutionalism’. European Constitutional Law Review [Online] 3:25-67. Available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FECL%2FECL3_01%2FS1574019607000259a.pdf&code=eb7541d85a136f1b0e528452fc6608c7.
    Minimal constitutional amendment at accession forced constitutional courts in
    new member states to make great efforts to avoid conflicts with EC and EU law –
    The importance of expanding the equation of ‘co-operative constitutionalism’ beyond
    judicial actors, by involving political institutions – Cases on constitutional
    amendment in Poland, Estonia and Latvia – The concern over fundamental rights
    protection versus EC market regulation in Hungary, Estonia and the Czech Republic
    – Co-operative constitutionalism beyond judicial dialogues.
  • Albi, A. (2007). Selected EU-Judgements of CEE Constitutional Courts: Lessons on How (not) to Ammend the Constitutions?. Croatian Yearbook of European Law [Online] 3:39-58. Available at: http://eu.pravo.hr/index.php?id=255.
  • Albi, A. (2005). ’Europe’ Articles in the Constitutions of the Central and Eastern European Countries. Common Market Law Review [Online] 42:399-423. Available at: http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/document.php?id=COLA2005003&type=toc&num=4&.
  • Albi, A. and van Elsuwege, P. (2004). EU constitution, national constitutions and sovereignty: An assessment of a ’European Constitutional Order’. European Law Review 29:741-765.
  • Albi, A. (2003). EU Accession Referendums in the Baltic States. Tilburg Foreign Law Review [Online] 11:653-670. Available at: http://stuwww.uvt.nl/tflr/index2.htm.
    A little more than a decade ago, the Central and Eastern European Candidate Countries established strong constitutional guarantees for safeguarding their re-gained sovereignty. In order to legitimise EU membership, they are now revising the pouvoir constituant’s recent pact for sovereign governance and holding accession referendums.

    Probably most sensitive of all has the issue of referendum been in the three Baltic countries. This article takes a closer look and provides an overview of the process and procedures concerning referendums in the Baltic states. The first part outlines the types of referendums and their main procedural differences. The second part discusses the political and procedural tensions concerning the accession referendums, which have led to a delicate manoeuvring and, to some extent, changes of the rules in the middle of the game in all three countries. Now, ahead of EU membership, they are revising the pouvoir constituant’s recent pact for exclusively domestic exercise of powers and are in the process of amending their constitutions and holding accession referendums, in order to legitimise the delegation of sovereign competences for exercising them jointly with EU Member States.The final part shows that these procedures are not just an internal problem of the Baltic Countries - they are may also become also relevant for the EU future debate as concerns the revision of the EU treaty amendment procedure.
  • Albi, A. (2001). The Central and Eastern European Constitutional Amendment Process in light of the Post-Maastricht Conceptual Discourse: Estonia and Baltic States. European Public Law 7:433-454.


  • Albi, A. and Ziller, J. (2006). The European Constitution and National Constitutions: Ratification and Beyond. Kluwer Law International.
    Whether the Constitutional Treaty will enter into effect - or the prospect of the EU having a constitutional text is pushed back to a much more distant future - the ratification of an EU Constitution raises questions of fundamental importance from the point of view of national constitutional law. Whilst constitutions have traditionally been linked to states, more recent theories, such as post-national, multi-level, or intertwined constitutionalism, recognise the possibility for a constitution to exist in a non-state context. In this very valuable book, which focuses on the ratification of the European Constitutional Treaty, twenty-eight authorities in constitutional and EU law examine the extent to which such theories have made inroads in national constitutional thinking. The contributors examine the debates and official documents of the political institutions that have been involved in the ratification process in the Member States, as well as constitutional court decisions and scholarly discourse. They also cover a range of closely related issues, such as the amendment of national constitutions, ratification referendums, and the implications of the codification of the principle of primacy in the European Constitution. The book includes reports from 17 EU Member States, as well as a view from a candidate country, Croatia. These reports, along with other papers on the nature and content of the Constitutional Treaty, consider the following issues: the process and legal framework of ratification in each of the examined Member States; the novel category of 'constitutional treaty'; constitutional elements in existing EC/EU treaties; types of constitutions and constitutionalism, and constitutions in non-state contexts; the implications of the primacy clause; ratification referendums; and, eurosceptic fears of the development of a super-state. The book is based on the proceedings of an international conference that was held in Tallinn, Estonia, in November 2005. By assessing the implications of the European Constitution from the perspective of national constitutional law, this book fills an important gap in the literature. It also makes a contribution to the emergence of a true European-wide constitutional debate, by providing both researchers and policy-makers with comparative information regarding the constitutional aspects of ratification in Member States. It will be of absorbing interest and value for years to come as the European constitutional debate continues.
  • Albi, A., Kellermann, A., Czuczai, J., Blockmans, S. and Douma, W. (2006). The Impact of EU Accession on the Legal Orders of New Member States and (Pre-) Candidate Countries: Hopes and Fears. The Hague: Asser Press.
    In 2004, ten countries joined the European Union as Member States and five others (Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Turkey) had or received (pre-)candidate country status. EU accession requires significant adaptations in the laws and policies of a country. In order to analyse the impact of these developments and support the countries concerned, the T.M.C. Asser Institute in The Hague initiated a project which started in early 2003 and concluded during the Dutch EU presidency in October 2004. The fifteen country reports resulting from that project, written by national experts and updated by the volume editors, are presented in this book. As a comparative study of these countries, this is an excellent guide for the preparation of the national legal orders for EU accession, for briefing and training civil servants, judges, practitioners, officials of international organizations, and will be of great interest to academics and post-graduate students.
  • Albi, A. (2005). EU Enlargement and the Constitutions of Central and Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    In the wake of the EU's East enlargement, this book explores the adaptation of the constitutions of central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for membership in the European Union. In response to the painful past, these new constitutions were notably closed to the transfer of powers to international organizations, and accorded a prominent status to sovereignty and independence. A little more than a decade later, the process of amending these provisions in view of the transfer of sovereign powers to a supra-national organization has proved a sensitive and controversial exercise. This book analyses the amendments against the background of comparative experience and theory of sovereignty, as well as the context of political sensitivities, such as rising euroscepiticsm ahead of acession referendums. It concludes with a broader enquiry into the role and rational of the national constitutions in the process of European integration, and the implications of the European constitution, in the framework of the debate on European constitutionalism and post-national governance.

Book section

  • Albi, A. and Bardutzky, S. (2019). Revisiting the Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Introduction to the Research Project. In: Albi, A. and Bardutzky, S. eds. National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law. National Reports. Volumes I and II. T.M.C. Asser Press & Springer. Available at: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-6265-273-6_1.
  • Albi, A. (2016). The European Arrest Warrant, Constitutional Rights and the Changing Legal Thinking: Values Once Recognised Lost in Transition to the EU Level?. In: Fletcher, M., Herlin-Karnell, E. and Matera, C. eds. The European Union As an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/The-European-Union-as-an-Area-of-Freedom-Security-and-Justice/Fletcher-Herlin-Karnell-Matera/p/book/9780367193454.
  • Albi, A. (2015). Interview responses by Anneli Albi. In: European Union Law and the Constitutional Courts of the Member States. Bucharest: Editura Universitara. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5682/9786062803353.
  • Albi, A. (2012). An essay on how the discourse on sovereignty and the co-operativeness of national courts has diverted attention from the erosion of classic constitutional rights in the EU. In: Claes, M., de Visser, M., van de Heyning, C. and Popelier, P. eds. Constitutional Conversations in Europe: Actors, Topics and Procedures. Intersentia, pp. 41-70.
  • Albi, A. (2012). Member State Constitutions in the European Union. In: Burgess, M. and Tarr, A. eds. Constitutional Dynamics In Federal Systems: Sub-National Perspectives. McGill University Press, pp. 257-279. Available at: http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=2847.
  • Albi, A. (2011). On secret legislation, blanket data recording, arrest warrants and property rights: Questions on the rule of law and judicial review in the EU in the light of post-communist constitutions. In: Popelier, P., van de Heyning, C. and van Nuffel, P. eds. Human Rights Protection in the European Legal Order: The Interaction Between the European and National Courts. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia.
  • Albi, A. (2010). Constitutional Changes and Challenges in the New Member States. In: Lazowski, A. ed. Brave New World: The Application of EU Law in the New Member States. The Hague: Asser Press, pp. 67-98. Available at: http://www.asser.nl/publications.aspx?type=&id=4292.
  • Albi, A. (2010). CEE Constitutional courts and EU law: Three contributions to the supremacy discourse. In: Tichý, L. and Dumbrovský, T. eds. Sovereignty and Integration: Paradoxes and Development Within Europe Today. Charles Universtiy in Prague, pp. 123-146.
  • Albi, A. (2009). National constitutions in the face of Europeanising and globalising governance: Falling behind times?. In: Closa, C. ed. The Reform Treaty and National Constitutions: Towards Further Europeanisation?. RECON.
  • Albi, A. (2008). Constitutional Rights versus supremacy of EC Law in the new member states: Ironies in the light of the pre-accession conditionality. In: Nergelius, J. and Bernitz, U. eds. The General Principles of European Community Law. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.
  • Albi, A. (2008). CEE constitutional courts and application of EU law: Constitutional rights versus supremacy?. In: Hoffmann, M. ed. Europarecht Und Die Gerichte Der Transformationsstaaten. European Law and the Courts of the Transition Countries. NOMOS.
  • Albi, A. (2006). Common Currency and National Constitutions. In: Torres, F., Verdun, A. and Zimmermann, H. eds. EMU Rules: The Political and Legal Consequences of European Monetary Integration. Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Albi, A. (2006). Ratification of the European Constitution in the New CEE Member States. In: Sadurski, W., Ziller, J. and Zurek, K. eds. Apres Enlargement: Taking Stock of the Immediate Legal and Political Responses to the Accession of Central and Eastern European States of the EU. Florence: European University Institute, pp. 65-78.
  • Albi, A. (2005). The European Constitution and Constitutional Developments in CEE Countries. In: Cartabia, M., De Witte, B. and Pérez Tremps, P. eds. Constitución Europea Y Constituciones Nacionales. Valencia: Tiran lo Blanch. Available at: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.tirant.com/detalle%3Farticulo%3D8484563197&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DConstituci%25C3%25B3n%2BEuropea%2By%2BConstituciones%2BNacionales%2B%26hl%3Den.
  • Albi, A. (2004). Referendums in the CEE Candidate Countries: Impact on EU Treaty Amendment Procedure. In: Hillion, C. ed. EU Enlargement: A ‘Legal’ Approach. Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp. 57-76.
  • Albi, A. (2003). EU-Amendments of the Central and Eastern European Candidate Countries. In: Ziller, J. ed. L’Europeanisation Des Droits Constitutionnels a La Lumiere De La Constitution Pour l’Europe. Paris: L’Harmattan, pp. 39-52.
  • Albi, A. (2003). Post-modern versus Retrospective Sovereignty: Two Different Sovereignty Discourses in the EU and Candidate Countries?. In: Walker, N. ed. Sovereignty in Transition. Oxford: Hart, pp. 401-422.

Edited book

  • Albi, A. and Bardutzky, S. (2019). National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law: National Reports. [Online]. Albi, A. and Bardutzky, S. eds. Asser Press and Springer Open. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-273-6.
    This two-volume book, published open access, brings together leading scholars of constitutional law from twenty-nine European countries to revisit the role of national constitutions at a time when decision-making has increasingly shifted to the European and transnational level. It offers important insights into three areas. First, it explores how constitutions reflect the transfer of powers from domestic to European and global institutions. Secondly, it revisits substantive constitutional values, such as the protection of constitutional rights, the rule of law, democratic participation and constitutional review, along with constitutional court judgments that tackle the protection of these rights and values in the transnational context, e.g. with regard to the Data Retention Directive, the European Arrest Warrant, the ESM Treaty, and EU and IMF austerity measures. The responsiveness of the ECJ regarding the above rights and values, along with the standard of protection, is also assessed. Thirdly, challenges in the context of global governance in relation to judicial review, democratic control and accountability are examined. On a broader level, the contributors were also invited to reflect on what has increasingly been described as the erosion or ‘twilight’ of constitutionalism, or a shift to a thin version of the rule of law, democracy and judicial review in the context of Europeanisation and globalisation processes. The national reports are complemented by a separately published comparative study, which identifies a number of broader trends and challenges that are shared across several Member States and warrant wider discussion. The research for this publication and the comparative study were carried out within the framework of the ERC-funded project ‘The Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance’. The book is aimed at scholars, researchers, judges and legal advisors working on the interface between national constitutional law and EU and transnational law. The extradition cases are also of interest to scholars and practitioners in the field of criminal law.


  • Albi, A. and Kalmo, H. (2019). Estonia: From Principles to Pragmatism. In: Griller, S., Puff, R., Claes, M. and Papadopoulou, L. eds. National Constitutions and EU Integration. Hart Bloomsbury.
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