Joost van den Akker

Researcher / PhD student 

Phone: +31 53 489 3280 (secretary)
Phone: +31 6 23199826
Fax: +31 20 890 1010


In autumn 2012 Joost has started as an external PhD researcher on Governmental Action in EU-related referendums, supervised by prof.dr. Kees Aarts and dr. Henk van der Kolk.

Referendums are playing an increasingly dominant role in the European integration process. Joost is studying the conditions under which governments are able to succeed on referendums on European integration. There have been 60 EU-related referendums in 28 countries during the last 45 years. The issues concerned include EU accession, the introduction of the Euro and the ratification of EU treaties. However, we know little of governments’ roles in these referendums. How did these referendums come about and how did governments act? Under what circumstances did their respective approaches lead to the desired result? In 2015 he received a ‘PhD Scholarship for Teachers’ grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to support his research.Besides, since 2009 Joost has worked as a lecturer in European Studies at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Maastricht and the research group Law in Europe.Since 2011, Joost has presented several papers on academic conferences such as MPSA, IPSA, ECPR, Politicologenetmaal, and Euroacademia.In 2008 Joost worked as trainee account officer at the European Parliament's Information Office in The Hague.Commissioned by the City of Maastricht, in 2006-2007 he wrote the jubilee book “Maastricht the treaty on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty. 


  • EU-related referendums
  • Comparative (party) politics and regional government
  • European law (constitutional law / EU decision making process / competition law)


Van den Akker, J.P. (2017). The Netherlands: The Dutch EU referendums on the Constitutional Treaty (2005) and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (2016). In: F. Mendez and M. Mendez (Eds.) Referendums on EU Matters. Study commissioned by the European Parliament at the request of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, pp. 188-208.


  • Artikel
    “Referenda in Europa beproeven verdragen en vertrouwen”, Internationale Spectator 3 - 2016 (jrg. 70), 14 september 2016
  • Artikel
    “Referendumfobie nekt vertrouwen in Europa”, De Volkskrant 14 juli 2016
  • Brief
    “Deal met Cameron vooral symbolisch”, NRC Handelsblad, 27 februari 2016
  • Opiniestuk
    "Oekraïne-verdrag is niet te lastig voor referendum", met Koen van der Krieken, Trouw, 23 januari 2016
  • Opiniestuk
    “JA!” over het GeenPeil-referendum, NRC Handelsblad, 3 oktober 2015 
  • Opiniestuk
    "Zwitsers referendum is Europees probleem", in de Volkskrant, 28 februari 2014

For more information and interviews on recent EU-related referendums, please visit the research group Law in Europe.


2009-2010: LLM European Law School at Maastricht University
2007-2008: MA Analysing Europe / Europastudien at Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University
2004-2007: BA European Studies at Maastricht University
2006-2007: Erasmus-semester history/political science at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
1998-2004: Grammar School at Coornhert Gymnasium in Gouda