CEU Legal Studies Alumna Vladislava Stoyanova Receives Henrik Enderlein Prize

Human rights expert and CEU alumna Vladislava Stoyanova has been awarded the 2023 Franco-German Henrik Enderlein Prize for academic excellence, in honor of her outstanding research on European migration, the rights of refugees and the fight to curb human trafficking.

The Henrik Enderlein Prize, awarded by the Hertie School Centre for Sustainability, is given to exceptional scholars under the age of 40 whose work demonstrates scientific excellence and provides a concrete contribution towards solving the future challenges of Europe. Stoyanova received the 2023 prize on June 19 at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, in the presence of the Commissioners for Franco-German Cooperation in the German and the French government, State Minister for Europe and Climate Anna Luhrmann and Secretary of State for European Affairs Laurence Boone.

The Henrick Enderlein Prize is an important encouragement to continue to pursue my research in accordance with the method that is traditionally applied in legal science - the analysis of reading legislation judgments and developing scholarship in which one aspect is to describe the law, but also to point to possible developments of the law, and explain the reasons behind the laws based on how different interests in society have shaped legislation. The award is an indication that these efforts are valued, and that clarifying the law, as well as showing the limits of the law, and different possible interpretations, are important for a society based on the rule of law,” said Stoyanova.

Stoyanova is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Lund University in Sweden. Her research focuses on the European Union’s asylum and migration policy, including the legal restrictions related to immigration detention. In relation to human rights law, Stoyanova’s research seeks to understand, within the European Court of Human Rights, the specific area of legislation covering situations in which the court has granted states the right to undertake active measures that ensure the “well-being” of the population, as it relates to issues of health and the environment. She has also published on issues related to human trafficking in the EU and the role of the Istanbul Convention in protecting women from gender-based violence. Stoyanova earned her MA in Human Rights from CEU’s Department of Legal Studies in 2009.

“My education at CEU had a tremendous impact on me…I still vividly remember the courses with Renata Uitz, Wiktor Osiatynski and Boldizsar Nagy, which laid the basis for my understanding of human rights law and refugee law,” commented Stoyanova. In addition to the philosophical and provocative questions about human rights law from the late professor Osiatynski, and the challenging inquiries on the topic of comparative constitutional law with Uitz, she remembers a visit to a migrant reception center in Debrecen, Hungary as part of Nagy’s course on asylum law. The class spent the day in conversation with asylum seekers on the border between Hungary and Romania, providing a particularly memorable learning experience demonstrated through current cases.

Stoyanova also credits CEU with providing a meaningful and global student experience: “At CEU I had the best time due to my fellow students who came from all over the world. We were studying and living together in the residence hall for a whole year in Budapest, which was very conducive to building a community. We shared courses, had the same professors, and always had something to debate, which shaped my thinking.”

Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School, who chaired the international jury, highlighted the scientific excellence and practical relevance of the Stoyanova’s work. “With her critical research on the legal concerns of refugees in the context of European migration policy, Vladislava Stoyanova contributes to the research and practice of pressing, contemporary challenges for Europe. For her extraordinary commitment at the interface between academia and policy, I warmly congratulate her on behalf of the entire jury,” said Woll.

The Henrik Enderlein Prize was jointly established in 2022 by the Hertie School, Sciences Po University in Paris, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. In addition to the Prize award, the Hertie School gave a commendatory recognition to political scientist Phillip Ayoub, a professor at University College London, who studies marginalized populations and their advocacy groups.

Remarking on this year’s awardees, Minister of State for Europe and Climate Anna Luhrmann said: “A strong European democracy has the task to protect the rights of migrants and marginalised groups. For this purpose, the work of Vladislava Stoyanova and Phillip Ayoub gives important impulses.”

French Minister of State for Europe, Laurence Boone, commented: “An ardent supporter of the European cause and a fervent friend of France, Henrik Enderlein would be happy and proud to see this prize in his memory awarded for this work on subjects where our collective, responsible and united action as Europeans is essential.”

Highlighting the importance of the Henrik Enderlein Prize as part of Science Po’s ambition, Matthias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po University in Paris, congratulated Stoyanova and Ayoub, adding: “Their work [makes] major contributions to the European public debate.”