Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee is composed of five internationally renowned experts, who are appointed for three years. It meets once a year at Eurac Research to analyze and assess the research results and other output of the Institute, and to draft recommendations for future activities and research foci.

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Eva Maria Belser© Eva Maria Belser

​Prof. Eva Maria Belser

Eva Maria Belser holds a Chair for Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Fribourg and a UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Democracy. She is Co-Director of the Institute of Federalism and heads its international centre. She is member of the Board of Advisers of International IDEA and a Board Member of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights and responsible for the cluster dealing with the institutional aspects of human rights implementation. She teaches and publishes in the field of Swiss and comparative constitutional law, federalism, decentralisation and globalisation, human and minority rights and democracy as well as constitution making and conflict resolution. Eva Maria Belser regularly accepts mandates to serve as a Swiss expert in international cooperation and consultancy projects. Her recent consultancy activities were related to Iraq, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Syria. She was awarded the Swiss federalism prize in 2019. Since 2020, she is member of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force.

Josep Maria Castellá Andreu© Josep Maria Castellá Andreu

Prof. Josep Maria Castellá Andreu

Andreas Kiefer© Council of Europe

Dr Andreas Kiefer

Andreas Kiefer was Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe from 2010 to 2022. He holds a doctorate of Law, as well as a degree in “General Management with a focus on public management”. He was Director of the European Affairs Service of Land Salzburg regional government from 1996 to 2010. From 2000 to 2009, he represented the Austrian Länder in the EU’s Intergovernmental Conferences (IGC) negotiating the Treaty on a Constitution for Europe and the Lisbon Treaty at working level and subsequently he was responsible for setting up the Lisbon-Treaty-based scheme for monitoring subsidiarity and proportionality by the Länder. He served as Secretary General of the Conference of Presidents of Regions with Legislative Powers (REGLEG) in 2003. His contribution to the creation of the EuRegio Salzburg-Berchtesgadener Land-Traunstein with nearly 100 municipalities is a concrete example for applied cross-border co-operation. He served as chairman and member of local electoral committees for municipal, regional, federal and European elections and initiated a citizens’ participation project to integrate new residents and to create a municipal mission statement in his home municipality of Kuchl. He was elected Secretary General of the Congress in 2010 and re-elected in 2015. He has published about local self-government, regionalism, federalism, interregional and cross-border co-operation, regions with legislative powers, the Austrian political system, about the local and regional dimension in the CoE and the Committee of the Regions.

Patricia Popelier© Patricia Popelier

Prof. Patricia Popelier

Asanga Welikala© Asanga Welikala

Dr Asanga Welikala

Dr Asanga Welikala is Lecturer and Head of Public Law at Edinburgh Law School, and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He is also a Research Associate of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, and Research Fellow of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sri Lanka. Welikala’s research and teaching interests lie in British public law, comparative and Commonwealth constitutional law, applied constitutional theory, and the history of constitutional ideas. He is a leading expert on Sri Lankan constitutionalism and has engaged in constitutional and legal advisory work in Sri Lanka, Iraq, the Maldives, Nepal, Thailand, Somalia, Egypt, Libya, Myanmar, and The Gambia. He serves as an expert advisor to the Constitution Building Programme of International IDEA.