J.M.R. Hartman M.A.,MA

  • PhD-candidate
  • Legislative discretion, esp. discretion in European directives
  • Administrative/bureaucratic discretion
  • Political legitimacy
  • Effect of discretion on decision-making processes


J. M. R. (Josephine) Hartmann studied Dutch Philology, Modern History and Education at the Freie Universität Berlin in  which she received the Magister degree in 2007. Part of her studies she completed at the University of Amsterdam. Having received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, DAAD). Josephine then completed the interdisciplinary Master program European Studies: Identity and Integration at the University of Amsterdam. She received her Master’s degree with distinction in 2010. Her master thesis The Europeanization of national environmental policies in Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic focuses on a political and juridical issue, namely the impact of Europeanization on environmental policy-making of EU member states.|

MA (Master of Arts) European Studies. Identity and Integration. University of Amsterdam. 2010.
MA (Magister Artium) Dutch Philology, Contemporary History and Educational science. Freie Universität Berlin. 2008.

Professional Experience
2011-present: PhD candidate, Institute of Public Law, Leiden University.
2010-2011: Research assistant, Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam.
2008-2009: Intern at the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), Amsterdam.
2006: German Bundestag, short-term intern, Berlin.
2005: Staff member Dutch Embassy , Berlin.

Research and dissertation

Legitimacy in the EU: discretion as a bridge between input- and output legitimacy

Against the backdrop of recurring discussions on the legitimacy crisis of the EU and problems related to the transposition, implementation and enforcement of EU directives Josephine will deal with the political legitimacy of the EU, and in particular with the concept of discretion. As part of the research project Legitimacy in the EU: Discretion as a bridge between input and output legitimacy Josephine will focus on the impact of discretion on the EU decision-making process and the transposition, implementation and enforcement of EU directives undertaken by the member states. The research is supervised by Prof. dr. W.J.M. Voermans, Institute for Public Law and Prof. dr. B. Steunenberg, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. According to the key assumption which will be discussed in-depth discretion helps to advance EU  law-making procedures as well as the transposition, implementation and enforcement of EU directives at the national level. EU directives containing a high degree of discretion are assumed to enable national actors in decentralized political systems to apply EU law better to specific social, economic and political circumstances. Opponents of this concept, however, point at the negative effects of discretion as it leads to the adoption of vague legislation at EU level. Discretion is thus, a contested concept but, at the same time, insufficiently analyzed. The aim of Josephine’s research and dissertation is to contribute to closing this gap. This will be done by applying qualitative and quantitative analysis of EU directives adopted in the field of, amongst others, social policy, consumer protection and transport in order to analyze the degree of discretion in several European directives as well as the degree of discretion applied when transposing, implementing and enforcing these directives within the member states. In addition, the dissertation’s objective is to provide an answer to the question whether or not a clear link can be found between discretion-in-legislation at the EU level and discretion-in-implementation at the national level, or to put it differently, are there examples of deliberate attempts to boost the political legitimacy of the EU by making use of discretion?

Research interest
Political legitimacy of legislative decision-making and rule-making processes in EU-context
Interdisciplinary research (Law & Public Administration / Political Science)
Case Study Methodology (Co-variation, causal process tracing, congruence analysis)

Research profile area

Josephine's research project makes part of the Political legitimacy research profile area


Hartman, J.M.R. (2011) The legitimacy of national legal systems: highlighting challenges, assessing solutions (working paper) (2011)
Hartmann. J.M.R. (2012) Discretion in EU directives and its potentials for enhancing political legitimacy within the EU’s multi- level legal system (working paper) (2012) Hartmann.
J.M.R. Hartmann, J. M. R. (2013) 'Discretion in EU law - a total mismatch?' Leiden Law Blog. (Blog)

Workshop and conferences

Sixth Pan-European Conference on EU Politics, 13 to 15 September 2012, University of Tampere, Finland: Presentatie van het paper ‘Discretion in EU directives and its potentials for enhancing political legitimacy within the EU’s multi- level legal system’ in workshop on compliance with EU law.

Workshop Observing Political Legitimacy, 18 November 2011, Leiden University, The Netherlands: Presentatie van het paper ‘The legitimacy of national legal systems: highlighting challenges, assessing solutions’.

Professional training

ECPR Summer School, 2011 "
Qualitative @ Quantitative Research Designs
Expert interviews
Nvivo 9 for qualitative data management and analysis
ECPR Summer School, 2012
Process Tracing
Content Analysis
ECPR Winter School, 2013
Comparative Research Designs


Introduction to Dutch constitutional law
Principles of the democratic constitutional state 

Josephine participates in the BKO (Basic Teaching Qualification) program.

Last Modified: 20-06-2016