Standing Committee of Experts on International Migration, Refugee and Criminal Law


Thanks to the initiative of Herman Meijers, Professor Emeritus of International Law at the University of Amsterdam, the Meijers Committee was founded in 1990. Meijers, a group of fellow jurists and a few supporting organisations banded together behind deeply rooted concerns towards the extreme absence of transparency in European law-making, the lack of democratic control, and the overall need for public debate on these issues.

During the early 1990s, the Meijers Committee largely concerned itself with assessing the Schengen Agreement, which removed internal border controls within Europe. The Agreement introduced ‘compensatory measures’, often agreed behind closed doors, that would purportedly offset the supposed negative effects of Schengen.

These measures threatened the legal position of EU citizens, as well as those from outside the EU’s borders (‘third-country nationals’) living in EU territories and those wishing to enter the EU. While we continue to address this issue, in recent decades, our scope has broadened to include migration, asylum and criminal law.

More recently, the Meijers Committee has issued comments relating to non-discrimination, the institutional reform of the EU and the Treaty of Lisbon. Nowadays, we focus on the following areas:

  • European democracy, transparency and rule of law
  • European asylum- and migration law
  • European equal treatment law
  • European data protection law and European information systems
  • European standards on the rights of criminal suspects


  • Herman Meijers (1990-1998)
  • Kees Groenendijk (1998-2014)
  • Theo de Roos (2014-2020)
  • Ashley Terlouw (2020-present)

Relevant articles on history of the Meijers Committee (in Dutch)

  • P. Boeles, Vijfentwintig jaar Commissie Meijers, NJB 2016(16), p. 1086.
  • E. Brouwer, ‘Waakhond van de rechtsstaat’, Advocatenblad 1998, p. 181.
  • P. Boeles, ‘De Commissie-Meijers waakt voor u’, Advocatenblad 2008, p. 171.