European Parliament workshop on “Afghanistan – Challenges and perspectives until 2020”

TEPSA+DEVE

TEPSA coordinated the participation of Dr Mona Kanwal Sheikh (Danish Institute for International Studies) and Dr Arne Strand (Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies ) in a European Parliament workshop on “Afghanistan – Challenges and perspectives until 2020”. The workshop was hosted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), the Committee on Development (DEVE) and the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan and took place on 17 November 2016 at the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels. Three thematic panels focused on the future political, security and development challenges and potential solutions that will mark the EU-Afghanistan relations up to 2020. A publication containing the workshop report as well as the experts’ briefings will soon be available on the TEPSA website.

The official invitation of the European Parliament to the workshop can be found here.

Upcoming 5-day PONT Career Skills Training in Brussels

In the fraPONT-150x150mework of the PONT project, TEPSA (Trans European Policy Studies Association) is organizing a Career Skills Training to guide recent graduates from Master’s programmes, PhD students and young researchers into the practicalities of working life and to introduce them to the Brussels arena. 16 young professionals have been selected to take part in the training that will help them identify and acquire skills needed in the field of EU policy-making, including work for the European institutions and think-tanks.

Professional skills such as communication, networking and policy advice are not part of most academic curricula, yet are vital for the employability of young professionals. This course aims at helping the participants to identify these skills, raise awareness of their importance, acquire a basic practical toolkit and establish useful contacts to policy-makers. The seminar will offer several interactive sessions with professionals from different fields, invited to share their knowledge and experience with the participants and to take part in the training in different ways. As a result, participants will enjoy first-hand insights into different professional fields.

The general theme of this course is the interface between research and policy-making. We will thus explore the differences and similarities in the skills needed for these two types of work, and conduct training on successful interaction and communication between researchers and policy-makers. The course maximizes personal feedback to participants and hands-on activities that facilitate deep learning.

The career skills training will take place on 17-21 October 2016 and will be coordinated by Prof Hanna Ojanen, Jean Monnet Professor at the University of Tampere.

All career skills training participants will also be offered the opportunity to take part in TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conference, a biannual flagship event promoting expert discussion of the main issues of the current EU agenda.

Full participation to all elements of the five-day programme in Brussels is compulsory. Participants of the Career Skills Training will receive a certificate of attendance after the successful completion of the training.

Training venue: Fondation Universitaire, Rue d’Egmont 11, Brussels and working visits in Brussels based institutions.

The latest Agenda including trainers and speakers is available here.

European Parliament Workshop on “EU Policy Coherence for Development: The Challenge of Sustainability”, contributions by Maurizio Carbone and Mark Furness

TEPSA+DEVE

 

TEPSA recently coordinated the participation of Prof. Maurizio Carbone (University of Glasgow) and Mark Furness (Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute), in a workshop on EU Policy Coherence for Development: The Challenge of Sustainability, organized by the European Parliament’s Committee on Development and hosted by MEP Cristian Dan Preda, standing rapporteur on Policy Coherence for Development. The two invited experts contributed to the workshop by delivering briefings and presentations.

In his briefing “The European Union and Policy Coherence for Development: high on mechanisms, low on achievements”, Prof. Carbone analyses the evolution of the concept of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in the European Union (EU). The central argument is that, despite its institutionalization since the Treaty of Maastricht and the numerous commitments made by EU Member States and institutions in various contexts, achievements on PCD have been modest. The strong emphasis placed on mechanisms and procedures has not helped as much as it was expected. An analysis of the Impact Assessment procedure, the contentious role to be played by EU Delegations, and the difficult implementation record of the ambitious initiative on joint programming show that the needs and interests of (different types of) developing countries are only marginally taken into account across a number of EU policies and decisions. The conclusion is that the successful promotion of PCD is not so much a matter of mechanisms and procedures but primarily is a political undertaking. Nevertheless, the author provides some recommendations, which could make PCD an important element of transformative development.

 

In the briefing titled “Policy Coherence for Development and the Security Development Nexus in EU External Relations”, Mark Furness argues that what is needed is a more ambitious conceptualisation of PCD which considers the interaction of all policies relevant in a given context, with a view to the achievement of overriding development objectives. This implies that policy coherence is best served when actors responsible for policymaking in various domains engage in a process of designing and implementing comprehensive policy frameworks with strategic objectives in mind, and that both the objectives themselves and the policymaking and implementation processes by which they are pursued support rather than undermine each other.This paper shows that while progress has been made by the EU towards this kind of approach, particularly since the Lisbon Treaty, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Two areas are highlighted: the EU’s comprehensive approach to country-level engagements in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and the question of securitisation and the EU’s new emergency trust fund for migration in Africa. The briefing also gives recommendations at the conceptual, strategic and country levels as well as with regard to crisis response.

The full report of the workshop including the experts’ briefings is available here.

PADEMIA Third Annual Conference, 19-20 May 2016, Brussels

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The third and last Annual Conference in the framework of the PADEMIA project took place in Brussels on 19-20 May 2016.

The conference consisted of parallel thematic workshops organised along the lines of PADEMIA’s seven research themes. Keynote speeches from external practitioners and EU decision makers further elaborated on the themes of the project. Moreover, the winners of the student paper competition as well as the annual research and teaching awards were announced.

Prizes were awarded in three different categories:

1)      The PADEMIA Award for Outstanding Research on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe 2016

2)      The PADEMIA Award for Outstanding Teaching on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe 2016

3)      The PADEMIA Student Paper Prize 2016

The conference also served as a platform for the partner institutions to meet and discuss the management, activities and timelines of the project. Moreover, it enabled the partners to exchange teaching practices on the subject of parliamentary democracy in Europe, to offer opportunities to make contacts in Brussels, and to enhance collaboration and develop synergies for research and publications.

Programme of the conference

 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

 

10.30 – 12.00: Meeting of the Steering Committee (Steering Committee Members only)

12.00 – 13.00: Registration and Sandwich Lunch

13.00 – 14.15: PADEMIA General Assembly (PADEMIA Members only)

14.15 – 14.30: Coffee Break

 

14.30 – 16.00: First Set of Thematic Workshops

1) The influence of parliaments over public policies – chair: Olivier Rozenberg, Sciences Po Paris

2) Explaining issue variation: which EU matters are scrutinized by national   parliaments? – chair: Tapio Raunio, University of Tampere

 

16.00 – 16.30: Coffee Break

 

16.30 – 18.00: Second Set of Thematic Workshops

3) Referendums and parliamentary democracy – chair: Julie Smith, University of
Cambridge

4) European parliaments and crisis management – chair: Zlatko Sabic, University of Ljubljana

 

16.00 – 16.30: Coffee Break

 

18.30 : Keynote Speech by Kaare Strom, University of California: “The perils of Parliamentary Democracy and the Madisonian Turn”

 

19.30: Reception Dinner & announcement of PADEMIA awards 2016

 

Friday, 20 May 2016

 

8.30-9.00: Welcome coffee

9.00 – 10.30: Insights of three years of research on parliamentary democracy part I

10.30 – 11.00: Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30: Insights of three years of research on parliamentary democracy part II

12.30 – 12.45: Concluding words by Geoffrey Edwards, University of Cambridge

12.45 – 13.45: Sandwich Lunch

 

Venue: Fondation Universitaire, Rue d’Egmont 11, Brussels

 

More detailed information about the panels and the thematic workshops can be found here.

More information about the PADEMIA project

PONT Working Europe Seminar, 4-8 April 2016, Brussels: “EU Asylum and Migration Policies”

PONT

Fondation Universitaire,
Rue d’Egmont 11, Brussels

In the framework of the Professional Training on EU Affairs – PONT project, co-funded by the ERASMUS+/Jean Monnet Programme, TEPSA organized a five-day seminar on EU Asylum and Migration policies in Brussels on 4-8 April 2016. Twenty excellent Master’s students from diverse geographical and disciplinary backgrounds were selected from more than 100 high-calibre applicants. The seminar offered a unique opportunity to the participants to gain first-hand insights, right in the heart of EU policy-making, into the political dynamics shaping EU asylum and migration policies and the EU’s response to the recent migration challenge.

The PONT seminar participants had an opportunity to visit and meet practitioners from the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU and Frontex – the EU border management agency. Experts from influential Brussels-based NGOs and think-tanks, namely the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) discussed with the seminar participants the legal aspects of recent EU asylum policy changes and the EU’s response to the refugee crisis, including the cooperation with third countries and the role of funding.  At the end of each day, participants discussed and evaluated the meetings with the leader of the seminar, Prof Jaap W. de Zwaan, Secretary General of TEPSA and Emeritus Professor of European Union Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam, comparing their new findings with available academic literature and their own preparatory essays.

On the last day of the seminar, students had the opportunity to apply the theoretical and practical insights they gained during the week in a simulation game of European Council negotiations on the hypothetical scenario of large numbers of migrants arriving to Europe from Sub-Saharan Africa. Students had no difficulty in getting into their respective roles as representatives of Member States and European institutions. Based on the excellent diplomatic efforts of the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, the European Council adopted meaningful conclusions only after three hours of negotiations!

PONT Working Europe I day 3_Council of the EU 2

TEPSA wishes the PONT seminar participants a good continuation of their studies and research and a good start of their professional careers!

REPORT_TEPSA Working Europe I seminar on EU Asylum and Migration policies_newsletter-page-001

Here you can consult the final agenda of the PONT seminar.

The presentations of some of the speakers can be downloaded below:

Prof. Klemens Fischer – The EU and the current global security challenges

Prof. Jaap de Zwaan – How to solve the migration crisis

Prof. Jaap de Zwaan – Asylum and Immigration in the EU context

Péter Dávid – EU’s response to migrant smuggling

Amanda Taylor – Legal standards in the context of EU asylum policy changes

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THESEUS Final Conference, 17-18 March 2016, Cologne: “The European Union between integration and disintegration – Reflections on the last decade and beyond”

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For more than 50 years, European integration has been called a success story built up around the narrative of an ‘ever closer Union’. Since the financial and economic crisis, however, a serious concern of disintegration has been striking the European Union. Possible scenarios range from a collapse of the EU system to fragmentation, differentiation, and partial disintegration. Exit schemes like Grexit and Brexit are openly discussed, tendencies of renationalisation arise. External pressures reinforce this trend. In view of these manifold challenges, how might Europe’s future look like?

The THESEUS conference dealt with a reflection on the past and current crises taking place in and around Eurotheseus ape, and discussed if and how those have been working as catalysts for further institutional, economic or political integration or caused steps of disintegration. It discussed a set of theoretical understandings, concepts, and definitions of the disintegration phenomenon itself as well as possible causalities and interplays between integrative and disintegrative processes.

More than 100 international academics, politicians, young researchers, and the interested public discussed past and possible future developments of European integration and disintegration processes at the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Cologne. They found that challenges at hand ask for new political and scientific approaches – leaving some speakers more optimistic than others regarding the EU’s future.

theseus wessels“In EU politics, we have been involved in a lot of subjects, but probably reflected too little on possible crises and adequate reactions to them”, stated Chairholder Wolfgang Wessels, University of Cologne, in his opening remarks. He described the conference as a floor to reflect crises like a possible ‘Brexit’ or ‘Grexit’, tendencies of renationalization and the success of anti-EU parties or the refugee movement towards Europe to better understand such challenges and contribute to an envisaged peaceful future European cooperation.

Defining the term ‘crisis’

Defining the often randomly used term ‘crisis’ was a first step to do so. Hartmut Kaelble, Humboldt-University Berlin, distinguished between five types of crises and positioned the EU in the second most challengeable: a crisis in which both governments and the public are involved. “We are thus not in the worst position contrasting to times after the Second World War in which we faced a system crisis”, concluded the Historian.

Johannes Pollak, Institute for Advanced Studies, stated that the EU has always been about crisis management and that it is even crucial for readjustments to its set-up. The tricky element though was that external developments such as conflicts in Syria or Ukraine affected the EU making it more difficult for the Union to react than to internal conflicts only.

theseus umbachGaby Umbach, European University Institute, illustrated a two-fold picture: On the one hand the EU facing manifold fields of conflicts around EU politics and on the other hand the – despite growing radicalisation among a minority group – relatively positive perception of EU citizens towards the EU environment. She called for the often raised necessity of improved citizen-involvement to solve the conflictual situation at hand ending with a quite optimistic picture.

Reflecting characteristics of the institutional architecture of the Union

theseus neuholdTalking about institutional characteristics of EU crisis management, the panellists stressed a rising importance of intergovernmental decision-making among heads of state or government. This in turn circumvented political debate probably resulting in “more efficiency vis-à-vis less legitimacy” as Christine Neuhold, Maastricht University, questioned when showing the rising number of Trilogues, in which a limited group of representatives of European Commission, Council, and European Parliament arrive at political solutions.

theseus monarJörg Monar, College of Europe, spoke of shrinking impact of European Parliament and Council – despite more competences following the Lisbon Treaty (2007) – due to ‘last-minute decision-making’. Olivier Rozenberg, Sciences Po Paris, presented a recent study depicting shrinking numbers of legislation and Philippe de Schoutheete, Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, illustrated the trend towards informal meetings by the example of talks on the maintenance of the Eurozone.

Discussing conflicts in the EU’s neighbourhood

How crucial a higher attention for developments beyond EU borders and a more active engagement of the EU in solving conflicts in Syria, Libya or between Russia and Ukraine was, stressed for instance Atila Eralp, Middle East Technical University, or Christopher Hill, University of Cambridge. Eralp stated the high potential of the EU in creating partnerships. He called for a more consistent position in EU-Turkey relations. Hill reminded the audience of the ‘mistake’ to address domestic and foreign policy separately.

Outlining possible exits of single member states and EU fragmentation

With regards to possible exits of EU member states resulting from the many facets of challenges surrounding EU politics, Brigid Laffan, European University Institute, warned of domino effects, in which further countries might follow for instance the exit candidate United Kingdom (UK). She moreover addressed exit consequences regarding a new power balance in the EU, in case UK as “critical counter balance” left the Union.

theseus tekinFunda Tekin, Institut für Europäische Politik and Centre international de formation européenne, illustrated that exits on the other hand might also lead to more integration in terms of a ‘core Europe’ and Frank Schimmelfennig, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, presented differentiated integration as a tool for an ‘ever closer Union’.

theseus beggThe official part of the conference was closed with the concluding remarks of THESEUS Chairperson Wolfgang Wessels, University of Cologne, and Iain Begg, London School of Economics and Political Science. Both interpreted the topics on the conference agenda as a sign for the need to actively address problems at hand before action was too late, and to redefine theoretical models of European integration to better address processes of differentiation and disintegration. Wessels furthermore stressed the importance for a continuation of research and teaching to improve the understanding of EU politics and a potential engagement.

Keynote speech and award ceremony

theseus sussmuthAgainst the background of the current crisis situation keynote speaker Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Bundestag, appealed repeatedly: “We must communicate much more”, looking back at many years of involvement in exchange with national and EU political actors. “Today’s politicians need to pay more attention the values and benefits of our community as has been done by heads of state or government in the Union’s earlier years”. She supported the course of Chancellor Angela Merkel in the refugee movement towards Europe – one of the EU’s most pressing ‘crises’. “No quick solution is at reach – therefore it’s best to say we work on it”.  Central elements of that work are engagements in shrinking the percentage of unemployment and social exclusion, argued Süssmuth.

After her speech, the THESEUS Awards were remitted. Joseph Weiler, President of the prestigious European University Institute in Florence, received the THESEUS Outstanding Award for his many years of outstanding engagement in European integration research. The THESEUS Promising Award went to the two junior scientists Leonhard den Hertog, Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, and Martin Mendelski, University of Trier.

More information about the THESEUS project

 

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Riga, 4-5 December 2014

Logos PPC On 4-5 December 2014, LIIA organised the TEPSA Pre-Presidency conference “Moving the Union Forward: Involvement, Growth, Sustainability” in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) and the THESEUS Project, with generous support of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the European Commission Representation in Latvia. The conference brought together more than 40 leading experts and policy makers from representing 26  different European countries. The conference has been recognized as an official event of the Latvian EU Presidency and was also supported by the Presidency. Prior to the conference, a TEPSA Background Paper on “The Latvian Presidency: The first Presidency in the second post-Lisbon legislative cycle” and “The Recommendations from the TEPSA network to the Latvian Presidency” were made publicly available. The programme of the conference can be found here and photos are available via this link. More information can be found on the Latvian Presidency website.

The report of the Conference can be downloaded here.

PEGASUS next Steering Group Meeting and Public Lecture, 6-7 November 2014

image003The PEGASUS project (http://www.pegasusphd.eu/) is organizing its next internal Steering Group Meeting in Istanbul on November 6-7. The German-Turkish University hosts the event. Prof. Christine Neuhold (University of Maastricht) will give a public guest lecture on the European parliamentary elections in 2014.

THESEUS-PROTEUS Summer School, Seminar for Young Leaders 2014: “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, 23-27 June 2014, Fondation Universitaire, Brussels

THESEUS LogoIn view of the current debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the seminar dealt with a European Council simulation. Participants were required to prepare and argue the position of a member of the European Council.

The seminar featured speakers and high-level experts from international organisations, business, politics, as well as recognised researchers. Robert Kissack, an experienced researcher from the Barcelona Institute of International Studies, accompanied the seminar as THESEUS Resident Researcher. Beyond own teaching the researcher animated the debate and adviced students on group and individual basis. The participants had the possibility to bring in their own academic/professional contributions and to discuss them with the group and the experts. Three days of intensive preparation were followed by a simulation exercise of the European Council.

THESEUS Seminar Europe@Work„European Energy Policy“, June 2014, Berlin & Brussels

TEPSA_LOGOTHESEUS

THESEUS Seminar Europe@Work„European Energy Policy“, June 2014, Berlin & Brussels

The THESEUS Seminar Europe@Work on European Energy Policy took place in Berlin and Brussels in June 2014. During the excursion, the participating political science and energy economics students from the University of Cologne together with students from the Turkish-German University Istanbul and the Charles University Prague visited different institutions, interest groups and policymakers to discuss current challenges of European Energy Policy. The first part of the excursion took place from 11 to 13 June 2014 in Berlin. Among the visited institutions were the German Parliament, the Federal Foreign Office and the German Economic Council. From 16 to 18 June 2014, the students spent the second part of their excursion in Brussels and visited amongst others the Permanent Representation of Germany to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS). At the heart of all discussions was the 2030 framework for European energy and climate policies and its impact on the industry. Also the ongoing Ukraine crisis and its consequences for energy security in Europe played a central role in the debates. Further information on the programme can be found here.IMG_5562.

THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration 2014

THESEUSThe THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration distinguishes an excellent piece of work of a junior researcher in the field of European Integration, which analyses an on-going challenge for the European Union and its member states, with regard to the institutions, policies or policy-making processes of the European Union, from a comparative perspective across the member states of the European Union or recommending potential institutional or policy solutions.

The rewarded work will be a Ph.D. thesis or a publication in a major journal (published within the last three years from application deadline). Application deadline : 15/06/2014. Further information here.

PADEMIA First Annual Conference, 12-13 June 2014, Brussels

Logo PADEMIAPADEMIA – Erasmus Academic Network on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe held its first annual conference in Brussels on 12-13 June 2014. The motivation of PADEMIA is to establish a Europe-wide and sustainable network of 56 academics from 31 countries to promote research and teaching in reaction to growing European demands to study parliamentary democracy in Europe. PADEMIA seeks to enhance discussion among students, junior and senior researchers, also in exchange with stakeholders, on how to deal with the new challenges parliaments and citizens across Europe are facing today.

The conference consisted of parallel thematic workshops organised along the lines of PADEMIA’s research themes. Keynote speeches from external practitioners and EU decision makers further elaborated on the themes of the project. The conference also served as a platform for the partner institutions to meet and discuss the management, activities and timelines of the project. Moreover, it enabled the partners to exchange teaching practices on the subject of parliamentary democracy in Europe, to offer opportunities to make contacts in Brussels, and to enhance collaboration and develop synergies for research and publications.

 More information can be found at www.pademia.eu.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Rome, 24-25 March 2014

TEPSAiaiTHESEUSThe TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference was held in 24 and 25 March in Rome before the 2014 elections to the European Parliament.

Growth, employment and immigration top the agenda of Italy’s EU presidency. IAI with TEPSA have prepared a background paper assessing these and other challenges and presented a series of recommendations to the Italian foreign ministry. European and national officials as well as European researchers and practitionners participated in the discussions.

Please find here the IAI background paper, the recommendations as well as the programme.

Please find here the report.

Europe at Work study trip in Brussels, 22-24 January 2014

Tepsa logoThe study visit entitled ‘How Europe works: Brussels in crisis‘ gathered several meetings with representatives notably from the European Commission, the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU and the Council of the European Union for students to get insights and first-hand knowledge on the ‘Political System of the EU: Governance and Institutions.’ About 24 students from the University of Cologne participated in this study visit.

TEPSA participated in the study trip organised in Brussels by the Department of Political Science of the University of Cologne on 22-24 January.

TEPSA Conference: “Future models of European integration”, 28-29 November, The Hague

TEPSA_LOGOOn Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November 2013 the Research Group European Integration of the The Hague University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) organized a conference entitled:

FUTURE MODELS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION

The Conference discussed models of differentiated integration. The idea being that without such models, the European Union may probably not survive in the future. Indeed, the group of existing member states is not a homogeneous group. Between the partners there exist substantive differences as to economic and/or social development. Thus one may hardly expect that all member states will be able to cooperate in the future in a uniform manner and simultaneously in all policy domains.

The first file open for discussion concerned Economic Governance. Indeed, economic and monetary policy has from the outset been an area where not all Member States participate in a similar manner. The recent ESM (European Stability Mechanism) Treaty as well as the Fiscal Compact Treaty have only confirmed this fact. In a second part the potential of enhanced cooperation was discussed. So far this general treaty principle has been applied in three cases. However, in the future more use will respectively should be made of this principle, eventually by creating more flexibility as to the modalities of application of enhanced cooperation. Thereafter in three parallel sessions specific case studies were discussed. A first topic concerns the possibilities to introduce varieties of differentiated cooperation in Common Foreign and Security Policy, after the example of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice where for example three member states have been granted full-fledged derogations. Then attention was given to the possibility to involve neighbouring countries and applicant countries in crucial domains of EU cooperation according to the model of gradualness. Moreover tensions related to independentism within individual member states were analysed: what would it mean for EU membership when a given member state would fall apart? Finally and in the light of the findings reached during the discussions over de other topics, the best approach(es) to be followed by the European Union as a whole were discussed. Here you can consult the Programme.

For information: Jaap de Zwaan j•w•dezwaan©hhs•nl  (j•w•dezwaan©hhs•nl)   and Cécile Fournis cecilefournis©hotmail•com  (cecilefournis©hotmail•com)  

16th Japan-EU conference, 25 November 2013, Brussels

japanOn Monday the 25th of November the 16th edition of the Japan-EU conference took place in Brussels, jointly organised by TEPSA, KU Leuven, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Waseda University, International Christian University Japan (ICU) and by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Japan and the EU – Living together in a Multipolar World“. It addressed and defined on-going challenges for Japan and the European Union.

Coming a week after the EU-Japan Summit meeting, the main morning sessions of this year’s Japan-EU Conference was devoted to recent developments in EU-Japan relations. The Japanese Ambassador to the EU and the Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service debated EU-Japan political relations. Representatives of the European Commission’s DG TRADE and the Japanese Mission to the EU outlined the latest developments in EU-Japan economic relations – with reference to the on-going FTA/EPA negotiations. The afternoon sessions addressed civil protection and humanitarian issues, with speeches from senior policy-makers, researchers and others. Over 2½ years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the session on civil protection and disaster relief will allow an exchange of views as to how the EU and Japan address these issues at home as well as Japan–EU cooperation in multilateral efforts. The final session addressed human security, humanitarian & development assistance and considered disaster reduction – an important part of Japan’s development assistance policy – and ‘human security’. Although the EU and Japan are the world’s second and third largest donors of official humanitarian assistance, a better coordination in the EU-Japan framework is needed.

This annual event provided a unique opportunity to debate both the latest research as well as current policy trends. It brought together academics, experts and policymakers from various parts of the world and proved to be a highly valuable forum to formulate ideas and specific suggestions to fortify the Japan-EU relationship.

For the main conference webpage go to: http://www.eu-japan.eu/16th-japan-eu-conference. For the latest agenda go to: http://www.eu-japan.eu/sites/eu-japan.eu/files/16thJapanEUConference.pdf

THESEUS Conference “A vision for post-­crisis Europe: Towards what kind of Political Union?” Vienna, 17-­18 October 2013

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THESEUS conference on  A Vision for Post-Crisis Europe: Towards what kind of Political Union?” was organised in Vienna on 17-18 October 2013 in  the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

Within the last few years a vital debate about the future of European integration has been launched notably regarding the issue of “political union”. Under the pressure of the crisis, the issue of ‘finalité politique’ has again returned to the heart of academic and public debates. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel called countries to give up more powers to Europe “step by step” as way out of crisis. The French President François Hollande declared that he wanted to take a European initiative for a “economic government” and “political union” within two years. In contrast in the UK, a new debate on the repatriation of competences towards the nations has been launched.

While most of the academic and political debates deal with the consequences for the different policy fields or the institutional set-up of the Union, there are only a few exchanges about national perceptions and differing understandings. In order to capture the ambiguous meanings and developments, besides different national perspectives the conference will discuss conceptual and theoretical approaches. In doing so future strategies and roadmaps will be identified.

The are three conference background papers available, written by Valentin Kreilinger (Notre Europe), Stefano Braghiroli (University of Tartu) and Laura Ventura (Trans European Policy Studies Association).

Here you can consult the Program of THESEUS Conference as well as the Report of the THESEUS Conference.

About the project: THESEUS is a common initiative of Sciences Po Paris, the Jean-Monnet-Chair for Political Science at the University of Cologne, the Trans European Policy Studies Association (Brussels) and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (Cologne). Since 2007, THESEUS aims at fostering an open and constructive dialogue about the future challenges of Europe between academia and politics but also between generations. Thereby its purpose is to establish a European interdisciplinary and cross-generational network and to enhance the mutual understanding of societies in Europe. In doing so it enables especially junior researchers to create a sustainable network both of young leaders and of recognised experts from academia and politics.

For more information please visit: www.theseus-europe.net

THESEUS Awards for Outstanding and Promising Research on European Integration 2013

Award winners kleinProfessor András Inotai and Dr Francisco Seoane Pérez received the THESEUS Awards for Outstanding and Promising Research on European Integration, respectively.

The THESEUS Award for Outstanding Research on European Integration distinguishes people with an outstanding academic record in the field of European integration whose work contributed substantially to the progress of the state of the art. Additionally, the THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration acknowledges an excellent piece of work of a junior researcher in the field of European integration.

Professor Inotai is a research professor and research director of the Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on global and European economic issues, enlargement of the EU and, most recently, on the European crisis management. In particular, the jury praised Professor Inotai’s capacity to link deep economic analyses with reflected political advice. His work, his outstanding expertise and his crucial academic and political contributions have extensively been acknowledged.

Dr Francisco Seoane Pérez is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Journalism of the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca, Spain. He received the THESEUS award for his PhD thesis, in which he challenges the concept of explaining the Europeans‘ seeming rejection of further European integration and the lower participation levels in European Parliament elections by the existence of a “communication cap”.

The THESEUS Award Ceremony took place in the Austrian Institute for International Affairs in Vienna on 17th October 2013.

Further information at www.theseus-europe.net

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference, 10-11 October 2013, Athens

DSC_0029 TEPSA and Greek Centre of European Studies and Research (EKEME) organised a Pre-Presedency Conference in Athens in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece between 10 and 11 October 2013. Among the speakers were: Maria Damanaki, Member of the European Commission, Εvangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs, Theodoros Sotiropoulos, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Greece to the EU and Panos Carvounis, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece. The conference dealt with the following issues: Greek presidency priorities, new economic and institutional reality, politics facing new realities, EU in the world, the EU and the quest for energy security, the EU and its citizens: the impact of the crisis.

The conferences was preceded by TEPSA General Assembly, where a new Board, which will start its term with the beginning 0f January 2014, was elected.

 

 

TEPSA Guest Lecture: “From the Vilnius Summit to the Riga Summit: Priorities, Goals, Achievements”, 9 October 2013, Riga

Logo LatviaTEPSA_LOGOOn 9 October 2013 the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, supported by the European Commission Representation in Latvia, Trans European Policy Studies Association and Riga Graduate School of Law, organised a Guest Lecture.
Presentation titled “From the Vilnius Summit to the Riga Summit: Priorities, Goals, Achievements” was given by
Dr. Kristi Raik, Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Dr Raik focused on the EU’s power and influence in the Eastern neighbourhood. She noted that the recent Russian attack against the Eastern Partnership had made the EU look more influential than it was, but also pushed the EU to actually be more active. The overall context in Europe was difficult because of the EU’s internal crisis and the relative global decline of Europe. However, Dr Raik argued that Europe still had considerable economic power especially in the neighbourhood, where the expansion of the EU’s internal market through deep and comprehensive free trade agreements was at the core of EU policy. She highlighted that DCFTAs involved high economic costs for the partner countries and that extensive EU support was needed to ensure their implementation in countries such as Ukraine and Moldova.

Dr Raik expressed concern over the exclusive nature of the model of integration that the EU was offering to the neighbouring countries. Enlargement had moved further away from the reach of Eastern neighbours. DCFTA was comparable to the European Economic Area, the main differences being that the EEA countries were rich and stable and had themselves chosen to stay outside the EU. To conclude, Dr Raik stressed the need for the EU to focus on the implementation of DCFTAs and to think of ways to make the EU more inclusive, e.g. through better communication and visa liberalization.

EXACT Final Conference on EU External Action, 10-12 July, Brussels

Logo_Marie-Curie (1)Logo_EXACT blueThe Final Conference of the Marie Curie Training Network EXACT took place at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels from 10 – 12 July 2013. The EXACT Fellows presented their research in form of a poster exhibition and feedback sessions together with their supervisors and the EXACT Visiting Scientist Prof. Brigid Laffan (University College Dublin). Furthermore, guest speakers and a roundtable with participants from the EXACT partner projects INCOOP and PEGASUS contributed to the three-day conference. All in all the draft programme foreseed three public events: The opening of the poster exhibition in the framework of a public reception and an intervention by Prof. Jolyon Howorth (University of Bath); The key note address of David O’Sullivan (Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service) and a reception; and  The public roundtable “The Future of EU PhD Studies”.

Here you can consult the full Programme EXACT Final Conference and here the last EXACT Newsletter.

“The implementation of the CSDP”, Report for the European Parliament, July 2013

ep logoThe European Parliament within the Framework Contract requested from TEPSA organisation of a workshop “The future of the Common Security and Defence Policy”. It was held during the meeting of the Sub-Committee on Security and Defence on 10 July in Brussels. In the event participated the following experts: Jo Coelmont (Egmont Brussels), Jan Techau (Carnegie Brussels), Antonio Missiroli (EU ISS Paris) and Alessandro Marrone (IAI Rome).

Jo COELMONT shared his six comments on CSDP operations, built up on a question on how to increase the effectiveness of the EU missions. Jan TECHAU observed that the CSDPis in much better condition than its reputation suggests, and that it has created much added value for the EU. Nonetheless, it is simultaneously hugely underperformingwhen judged against the overall strategic needs of the EU. Antonio MISSIROLI presented the EUISS report on ‘Enabling the future. European military capabilities 2013 – 2025: challenges and avenues’. The EU possesses capable and effective armed forces alongside an advanced industrial and scientific base. Yet, in general it suffers from: limited awareness of emerging challenges, basic disinterest in strategic matters, segmented political and institutional landscaperegarding defence and military matters. Alessandro MARRONE addressed four issues related to the current developments of arms industry: a) a necessary clarification on what is a Defence Technological Industrial Base (DTIB), b) the on-going globalisation of national DTIB, c) the feasibility of a European integration of national DTIB and d) the challenges to such Europe an integration process.
In discussion that followed participated i.a. Maria Eleni KOPPA, MEP Rapporteur for CSDP (Greece, S&D) and Arnaud DANJEAN, MEP, Chair of Sub-Committee on Security and Defence (France, EPP).

The Report from the EP workshop on implementation of the CSDP has been published and is available here. It was prepared by Anita Sęk, EXACT Fellow.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference and General Assembly, 4-5 July 2013, Vilnius

DSC_0010The TEPSA Lithuanian Pre-Presidency conference was held on July 4th, 2013 in Vilnius. The next day the General Assembly gathering the TEPSA Members took place.

The Conference concentrated on the main priorities of Lithuanian EU Presidency covering the EU Eastern Partnership Policy, the common energy policy, European economic governance reforms and challenges of differentiation in the EU. Participants from Lithuanian governmental institutions and TEPSA institutions from all over Europe took part. Recommendations to the Lithuanian Presidency were presented.

The event featured the interventions of Her Excellency Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania and Linas Linkevičius, Minister for Foreign Affairs.DSC_0040

The Conference was organized by Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University (IIRPS VU) and European Integration Studies Center (Vilnius). It was financed by the Representation of European Commission and the Bureau of European Parliament in Lithuania.

Please click here to read the TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference Vilnius report and the Programme.

Third and Final LISBOAN Conference, June 2013

Lisboanlisboan phThe third LISBOAN conference, co-organised by TEPSA and the University of Cologne, took place on June 6th-7th, 2013. The concluding event of the LISBOAN network convened over 50 participants from a large number of partner institutions at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels. The aim of the conference was to take stock of past activities, discuss present developments in the EU and formulate a research agenda for the future of European integration studies in general and the Lisbon Treaty in particular. Member of European Parliament Jo Leinen delivered a keynote speech on the topic. The outcomes of past events held under the auspices of LISBOAN and the three issues of the Lisbon Watch annual report also formed a starting point for discussions. Moreover, revisiting the debates in the framework of the seven Working Groups, Workpackage Leaders participated in a roundtable which retraced developments in the various thematic areas. Reports from the individual parts of the conference can be downloaded here.

Conference results will also feed into a short working paper on the overall results of three years of LISBOAN, drawn up by the Coordinator in cooperation with the Steering Committee.

The award ceremony for the 2013 LISBOAN awards concluded the final conference. The LISBOAN Research Award went to Ian Cooper (ARENA Centre for European Studies, Oslo), while Joachim Koops (Vrije Universiteit Brussels) won the LISBOAN Teaching Award.

Before LISBOAN came to a close on 30 September 2013, two more events were organised:

  • 16/17 September 2013, Rome: „Towards the Political Union? The integration of Fiscal Compact and ESM into the Lisbon Treaty” (Gianni Bonvicini)
  • 19 September 2013, Berlin: “A Roadmap for the Future of Europe: Differentiated Integration Within or Beyond the Legal Framework of the Lisbon Treaty” (E. Regelsberger/F. Tekin)

 

THESEUS Seminar for Young Leaders 2013 “The Future of EU Economic Governance”, 17-21 June 2013, Brussels

logoTo promote interdisciplinary and international networks among a new generation of Europeans, each year the THESEUS Seminars look for 20 excellent young professionals and researchers to discuss European challenges with high-level experts and decision makers. In view of the current debate on Economic Governance in Europe, the seminar dealt with a Moot Court simulation. Three days of intensive preparation were  followed by the Simulation exercise.

Consult the Program THESEUS Summer School 2013. For further information, please see http://theseus.uni-koeln.de/.

 

Conference “The European Council – The Many Faces of a Key Institution”, 20-21 June, Brussels

c1In cooperation with TEPSA and the the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) Berlin, and with the generous support of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Stiftung, the Coelner Monnet Association for EU Studies e.V. (COMOS) organised its annual conference on 20 – 21 June 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. Entitled „The European Council – The Many Faces of a Key Institution“, the conference convened an impressive line-up of EU experts, both from inside the political apparatus in Brussels as well as from academia, to discuss the European Council and its role in the EU’s development. The audience of around 40 participants in total moreover included junior researchers, students, professors and other ‘aficionados’ of EU politics and policies. The Permanent Representation of North Rhine Westphalia provided a perfect location for intensive and lively discussions.

The conference’s first panel was dedicated to the evolution of the European Council. Andrew Duff (Member of the European Parliament), Jean-Paul Jacqué (Secretary-General of TEPSA and former Head of the Legal Service of the Council) and Philippe de Schoutheete (a former Belgian diplomat), inter alia discussed the ambiguous role of the Commission President as a member of the meetings of the heads of state or government.

The second panel dealt with the European Council on the global stage. Gianni Bonvicini (Istituto Affair Internazionali Rome), Jim Cloos (Council of the EU) and Geoffrey Edwards (University of Cambridge) focused on the role of the European Council as crisis manager and on its president’s ability to represent the Union externally. The difficult position of the High Representative in the institutional framework was considered as well in the debate.

c2The third and final panel debated whether the European Council could be described as the EU’s “economic government”. Iain Begg (London School of Economics), Janis Emmanouilidis (European Policy Centre Brussels and author of summit analyses following each European Council) and Gabriel Glöckler (European Central Bank) dealt with various aspects of that question, from more structural considerations of how an economic government could be defined in the first place, to an assessment of the impact of the current crisis situation on the role of the European Council.

In their concluding remarks, Jean Paul Jacqué and Wolfgang Wessels (University of Cologne) broadened the perspective on the European Council by revisiting its position in the interinstitutional structure at EU level and by analyzing the long-term evolution of that institution between the heads of state or governments’ “problem-solving instinct” and their “sovereignty reflex”.

In the light of very positive feedback from participants, COMOS will organize another conference in mid-2014. Topic and location will be announced in early 2014. For more information on this year’s conference and COMOS in general, please click here.

Roundtable discussion on the European Asylum Support Office and the Common European Asylum System, 13 June, Brussels

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On Thursday 13 June TEPSA, in cooperation with The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Erasmus University Rotterdam, organised a discussion meeting on the European Asylum Support Office and the Common European Asylum System.

Speakers

The Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) Rob Visser held a keynote speech on the latest state of play as well as his perspective on the implementation of the CEAS and the functioning of the EASO. MEP Jean Lambert and Kris Pollet (Senior Policy and Legal Officer European Council on Refugees and Exiles) gave their comments. After the presentations there was an exchange with the floor, moderated by Jaap de Zwaan (TEPSA Board member, Professor of European Union Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Lector European Integration at the The Hague University).

Background

The Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is provided for in article 78 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It provides that the Union shall develop a common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement and the 1951 Geneva Convention on the status of refugees. During the first phase of the CEAS (1999 to 2005) four Directives were adopted dealing with minimum standards. EU Member States committed themselves to complete the second phase, the establishment of a Common European Asylum System, by 2012. The deadline of 2012 was not met, negotiations are in a final stage under the Irish Presidency. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) was established in 2010, with the aim of enhancing practical cooperation on asylum matters and helping Member States to fulfil their European and international obligations to give protection to people in need and to contribute to the implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

THESEUS Doctoral Workshop 2013, May 2013 Paris

THESEUS Doctoral Workshop 2013, The EU and the Global Crisis: Challenges to EU Governance, Policy Responses and the Legitimacy Gap, 21-22 may 2013, Sciences Po, Centre d’études européennes, Paris

THESEUS is a European network of thinkers, actors and ideas whose aim is to foster an open and constructive dialogue between academia and politics about the future challenges of Europe. Emerging from a Franco-German initiative, ThESEUS is striving to enhance the mutual understanding of societies in Europe. THESEUS is a joint activity of Sciences Po Paris, the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Cologne, the Trans European Policy Studies Association (Brussels) and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (Cologne). For further information about the project and its activities please visit www.theseus-europe.net,

This THESEUS doctoral seminar allowed doctoral students to exchange ideas and discuss their research with their peers and senior academic colleagues.

THESEUS

2013: the final year of the EXACT programme!

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The EXACT PhD Intervision Workshop

On 18-19 April, eight EXACT Fellows: Nicole Koenig, Niklas Helwig, Andrew Byrne, Anita Sek, James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh, Leonhard den Hertog, Merlene Gottwald and Adreas Raspotnik gathered at the University of Edinburgh for the PhD EXACT Intervision Workshop. The meeting was joined by prof. Brigid Laffan from the University College Dublin.

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Publications and presentations:

Andrew Byrne, Conflicting Visions: Liberal and Realist Conceptualisations of Transatlantic Alignment, “Transworld Working Paper” No. 12, Istituto Affari Internazionali, 25 March 2012, available here.

Bogdana Depo, The values within the ENP: shared, imposed or a matter of business? The Perspectives of the Eastern and Southern Dimensions, presentation together with Rosen Dimov (University of Istanbul), LISBOAN seminar “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?”, Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, 22 March 2013.

Leonhard den Hertog and Ramses Wessel, EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy: a Competence-Responsibility Gap?, in: Evans and Koutrakos (eds.), “The International Responsibility of the European Union: European and International Perspectives”, (Oxford, Hart Publishing), March 2013.

Sergio Carrera, Leonhard den Hertog and Joanna Parkin, EU migration policy after the Arab Spring: the pitfalls of Home Affairs Diplomacy, “Think Global – Act European Policy Paper”, No. 74 (CEPS & Notre Europe), February 2013.

Marlene Gottwald, A human security perspective on the future of Europe, workshop “The changing nature of human security”, organised by the Chatham House and FRIDE, Brussels. See the Agenda_ESPAS Workshop.

Miguel Haubrich SecoTheorising and tracing EU promotion of regional cooperation. The cases of Mercosur and the Western Balkans, 2013 “ISA Annual Convention”, 2-6 April, San Francisco.

Niklas Helwig, Paul Ivan und Hrant Kostanyan, The New EU Foreign Policy Architecture: Reviewing the first two years of the EEAS, Centre forNiklas European Policy Studies, 10 February 2013.

Abstract: This CEPS book examines two interrelated questions: 1) How has the European External Action Service (EEAS) functioned in the EU institutional architecture in the first two years of its existence? 2) What improvements can be made through the 2013 review and the 2014 revision of the EEAS’ mandate? The study contributes to the current debate through an in-depth examination of the EEAS’ relations with the EU member states, the European Commission, the European Parliament and its Delegations. The analysis is complemented by in-depth interviews conducted with senior officials from the relevant institutions. The authors put forward specific recommendations, organised around three basic roles that the EEAS plays in the EU’s external relations: a) leader, b) coordinator and c) information hub. See more. 

Niklas Helwig, EU foreign policy and the High Representative’s capability-expectations gap – a question of political will, in “European Foreign Affairs Review”, 18(2), 2013, pp. 235-254.

Andreas RaspotnikThe Northern Corridor, in “The Maritime Dimension of CSDP: Geostrategic Maritime Challenges and their Implications for the European Union”, European Parliament, January 2013, Brussels. The full study available here.

Anita Sęk, An Audit of the EEAS in the Eastern Neighbourhood – to what extent have the new Treaty provisions delivered?, presentation at the LISBOAN seminar “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?”, Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, 22 March 2013.

Marco SiddiAn issue of identity? Poland’s foreign policy toward Russia, “The European Congress of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) and of the International Council for Central and East European Studies (ICCEES)”, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, 5-8 April 2013.

Marco Siddi, ECPR Young Scholars School on European identity, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, 17-23 March, with participation of prominent speakers including Jeffrey Checkel, Sophie Duchesne and Michael Bruter. More information on the conference available here.

Marco Siddi, Italy-Russia relations: politics, energy and other business, in “East European Studies No. 4. Eurasian Challenges. Partnerships with Russia and other issues of the post-Soviet area”, ed. Zsuzsa Ludvig, Budapest, 2013, pp. 74-92.

THESEUS Conference “France and Germany in the EU – 50 years after Elysée. The couple viewed by their European partners”, 6-7 December 2012

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Prof. Wolfgang Wessels,(THESEUS and TEPSA chairperson) Mirja Schröder (THESEUS programme director), Brigid Laffan (Outstanding Award), Theresa Kuhn and Claudia Schrag Sternberg (Promising Awards) and Catherine Day (Secretary General, European Commission)

This year’s THESEUS Conference “France and Germany in the EU – 50 years after Elysée. The couple viewed by their European partners”, co-organised by TEPSA and the University of Cologne, took place at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU in Brussels on 6 and 7 December 2012.

Building up on a 50 years’ history of Franco-German relationship, the conference raised the question: What role the Franco-German couple can and will play in the future Europe? The Elysée Treaty, signed 50 years ago by Konrad Adenauer and Charles De Gaulle, can be considered as the beginning of a unique partnership that has played since then a fundamental role in the European integration process. However, none of that would have been possible if the bilateral initiatives had not been endorsed by other member states. Often Franco-German initiatives are characterised as compromise that could prepare the ground for agreements between all member states. Can and will this situation continue in the light of the current crisis? How is the relationship perceived by their European partners from North, South, Central and Eastern Europe?

The conference brought together researchers and politicians from a cross-section of EU member states, such as: Philippe de Schoutheete (Former Belgian Ambassador to the EU), Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (Member of the European Parliament), Alfred Grosser (Sciences Po Paris), William Paterson (Aston University, Birmingham), Gianni Bonvicini (Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome) and Atila Eralp (Middle East Technical University, Ankara). After a short historical look back, Franco-German convergences and divergences nowadays were explored using the two examples of Euro crisis and EU external action.

In the evening of 6 December the THESEUS Award for Outstanding Research was remitted by Catherine Day, Secretary-General of the European Commission, to Brigid Laffan, Professor of European Politics at the University College Dublin for her outstanding academic record in the field of European integration. The THESEUS Award for Promising Research was discerned to Theresa Kuhn and Claudia Schrag Sternberg, both University of Oxford.

For the detailed programme and further information, please visit the THESEUS website. See also the Conference report.

Conference background papers: ” The Franco-German couple: Potentials and limitations” by Peter Valant, Marie Curie EXCAT Fellow and “Which Future for the EU: Political Union, Directoire or Differentiated Integration?” by Laura Ventura, Project Officer, TEPSA.

15th Japan-EU Conference ‘ Japan-EU Cooperation in a Changing World: Approaches to Rules and Standards’ 26 November 2012

The University of Leuven, Free University of Brussels, TEPSA, Waseda University, International Christian University and the EU-Japan Center for Industrial Cooperation organised the 15th Japan-EU Conference ‘Japan-EU Cooperation in a Changing World: Approaches to Rules and Standards’. It took place on the 26 November 2012, in Brussels at the University Foundation.

The annual Japan-EU Conferences’ aim is to analyse the interactiosn between Japan and the EU as strategic partners in the wider context of regional dynamics. The conference provides one of the only platforms for policy makers, academics and representatives of business and civil society to exchange views on the current state of affairs of the Japan-EU relationship and formulate ideas and specific suggestions for future policy development. In addition, the conference aims at contributing to policy-making and network-building between actors specialized in the Japan-EU relationship.

The theme selected for the 15th Japan-EU Conference was “Japan-EU Cooperation in a Changing World: Approaches to Rules and Standards”. This conference tackled specific subjects which are regarded as possible avenues for intensified Japan-EU cooperation: legal issues, economic relations, security cooperation and multilateralism.

This event offered a unique opportunity for debate on both the latest research as well as current policy trends. It brought together academics, experts and policymakers from various parts of the world and proved to be a highly valuable forum to formulate ideas and specific suggestions to fortify the Japan-EU relationship.

Please find more information here.

TEPSA Irish Pre-Presidency Conference 22 & 23 November 2012

Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D

Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D

The Irish Pre-Presidency Conference was organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and took place on 22 – 23 November 2012 in Dublin. The Conference notably included panels on the Internal and External Security of the Union, Economic Governance in Europe, Building a Smart and Green Economy, the Future of Europe and the Foreign Policy Agenda. Those key issues were presented by members of the Irish government and analysed by invited speakers and panellists, top officials and scholars from across Europe. During the Pre-Presidency Conference TEPSA also presented the Recommendations to the Irish Presidency.

The programme is available here.

See also the Dublin PPC Conference Final Report.

TEPSA Guest Lecture: “The Schengen agreement under discussion”, Centre d’études et de recherches européennes Robert Schuman, 6 November 2012

On November 6th, 2012, TEPSA, the Robert-Schuman-Centre for European Studies and Research (Luxembourg) and the Luxembourg Representation of the European Commission organised a TEPSA guest lecture at the European House in Luxembourg City. More than 35 people were welcomed in the “Joseph-Bech-Room” by the TEPSA Affairs representative of the Robert-Schuman-Centre. Among the distinguished guests there were foreign ambassadors to Luxembourg, different members of the diplomatic representations in Luxembourg, the Attorney General of Luxembourg, professors and students from the political science department of Luxembourg University, civil servants from Luxembourg-based European institutions, administrators from the Luxembourg government, lawyers, political science and history teachers as well as a politically-interested public audience. The Luxembourg-based European Affairs monitor called Europaforum, an internet publication, provided a report on the lecture to an even larger public. The vehicular language at the conference was French, which promoted a very open and fruitful discussion with the lively participation of the entire audience.

Professor Virginie Guiraudon, Professor at the Paris University Sciences Po, an

Professor Virginie Guiraudon

Professor Virginie Guiraudon

d Raoul Ueberecken, Luxembourg’s permanent representative in Brussels on behalf of the Luxembourg Ministry of Justice, had been invited to enlighten the audience on why the Schengen agreement is currently under scrutiny.

Mrs Guiraudon, first and foremost, focussed her lecture on the Schengen method. This method was founded in 1985 and is at the basis of all the regulations that have transformed the policies defining the entry onto Schengen territory. She underlined that, in opposition to a generally-received opinion, one should not confuse the idea of the abolition of border controls at the internal borders of Schengen countries with the concept of free circulation of people within the Schengen territory.

To Virginie Guiraudon, the Schengen method is a “trans-governmental,” or even “trans-ministerial, cooperation,” which originates in the objective to abolish internal borders. It develops a whole series of different compensatory measures which will protect the external borders, improve relations with neighbouring countries and, within this framework, develop visa policies and initiate cooperation between the police and the justice departments.

This cooperation has been developing ever since 1985 when the first agreements were signed. At that time a coalition of EU member states had gathered outside the framework of the community and decided to negotiate an agreement, which is today known as Schengen, an agreement, which was, however, later on integrated into the community framework. This group of European States decreed rulings – the agreements of Schengen of 1985 and 1991, and the 2005 Prüm Agreement. A nation that wants to be part of this group must be prepared to comply with those rules, which were later integrated into the so-called acquis communautaire of the European treaties. To start with, parliamentary control of those agreements was virtually nonexistent. However, with the integration of the Schengen acquis into the European agreements, this changed, but unfortunately only partly, as the most recent crisis between the Council and the European Parliament (June/July 2012) based on the legal aspects of the Schengen Evaluation Mechanism (SCHEVAL) has shown.

Professor Guiraudon was wondering if Schengen was a success story considering the increasing number of asylum seekers. According to her, the ways the rules are being applied within the Schengen territory will have to be re-evaluated. She is not at all convinced that the abolition of internal borders will work if, for instance, there is no harmonisation of the way one handles the visa policy.

For example, there are very big differences to the ways the French, Belgian or Dutch consulates grant a visa in Morocco. There are also very big differences to the ways police officers in different Schengen countries use and contribute to the Schengen Information System (SIS).

The evaluation of the implementation of Schengen is crucial. Finally, Professor Guiraudon stresses that the accent should no longer be put on the East –West flux. In the present “hard” times one should also seriously consider other types of migration such as a noticeable south-north movement and migration from the Caucasian regions.

Raoul Uebercken

Raoul Uebercken

Raoul Ueberecken, who has a lot of practical experience in that field, does not see the Schengen discussion from an academic point of view but from a practical angle. In fact, he teaches politics and administrative law at the Luxembourg Civil servants Law School (INAP) next to being a senior adviser to the Luxembourg minister of Justice in European matters and in particular in matters of JAI (Justice and Home Affairs). He is based in Brussels.

Ueberecken confirms, what Prof Guiraudon has already expressed, this special “club”- nature of the operational aspect of the Schengen agreement. Schengen has created a whole codex of rules concerning the asylum and the immigration policy. Raoul Ueberecken, furthermore, elaborates on the agencies and funds in relation with the Schengen agreement: the FRONTEX agency, the SIS II, the Schengen Information System of the second generation, the Visa database allowing member states to update and check visa-related information, EURODAC, a system allowing to check fingerprints off illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, and the Border Fund. For Ueberecken, all this means a high level of operational and executive cooperation.

In his second part, Raoul Ueberecken deals with the current crisis and the possibilities of a reform of the Schengen system.

In a first instance he recalls the very beginnings of the crisis in early 2011 at the moment when the Arab Spring started in Tunisia. At that time Berlusconi’s government was confronted with a huge wave of refugees stranded on the beaches of Southern Italy and Lampedusa. In order to cope with this unexpected problem, which created political unrest, the ruling government coalition in Italy agreed to deliver laissez-passer papers to these immigrants allowing them to cross the French border within the Schengen territory. The Sarkozy government in France, coming up to the 2012 election, was not happy about this and reinforced its border controls, especially on the border with Italy, to prevent the Tunisian refugees from entering France.

Many European governments, like the Dutch one, with the Geert Wilders party, were confronted with the surge of right wing or populist political movements in 2011. In this context, an increasing number of illegal immigrants would not have been helpful to reverse this current. This meant that Schengen candidate countries like Bulgaria or Romania, which already fulfilled all the criteria necessary to enter the Schengen area, were prevented from becoming full members as Germany and France refused to give their agreement. The true, not openly expressed, reason of this reaction is obvious: If Romania and Bulgaria joined the Schengen area, an uninterrupted land bridge between the Turkish-Greek border and Western Europe would be established. Security experts consider the Turkish-Greek land border as “the” uncontrolled entry hot spot for all illegal immigrants from Asia and Africa anyway.

In his third part, Ueberecken gave his view on the evolution of the current crisis of the Schengen agreement.

In June 2011 the European Council issued new proposals on how to solve the current crisis by, for example, introducing a migration clause which could allow internal border control.

From September 2011 to June 2012 the Commission negotiated with the Council and finally made some new proposals, although these did not get a unanimous approval of the Council. The evaluations within the SCHEVAL framework span the whole chain of control from visa policy over police cooperation data protection to an absence of internal border control. The Council, according to Ueberecken, wants to stick to this acquis. Thus the importance of the Council’s role is reinforced in the evaluation mechanism to the detriment of the Commission’s role. An important new element is going to create a lot of problems: Article 70 of the TFUE (Treaty on the Functioning of the UE) gets a different legal basis. This article was especially conceived for evaluation mechanisms which had to undergo the ordinary legislative proceedings – the co-decision- which includes the European parliament by special proceedings, which need a qualified majority vote in the Council, but excludes the Parliament.

In July 2012 a major clash between the European Parliament and the Council shocked many experts and observers. To Ueberecken, the reaction of the Parliament was like “much ado about nothing.” The imminent summer holidays, the results of the French and the Dutch elections, which created new political landscapes, finally calmed things down. But there is still no good news for Romania and Bulgaria, since the old members can still play within the SCHEVAL framework. They hang on to their exclusive “club” mentality; so they still have the possibility to exclude Romania and Bulgaria from full membership as long as they like.

Thus, the question at hand is: Is the reform of Schengen really dead or is there another reform on its way? Should the Schengen political steering be reinforced? Should the FRONTEX agency be transformed into a full-scale border police corps of the Union? Should one eliminate at last the incoherent Dublin agreement and EURODAC and find a fairer burden- sharing solution for the asylum seekers’ problem? The current situation is far too unjust because the bordering states have to cope with most of the migration problems by themselves.

Finally, neither a common European migration policy nor harmonized rules about issuing working permits are in sight.

EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Research Skills and Higher Education Qualifications

The two-week “EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Research Skills and Higher Education Qualifications” took place in the framework of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network EXACT from 15th and 28th September 2012 in Cologne. It was organized by the Jean-Monnet-Chair, Prof. Wessels, Department of Political Science. Participants included the thirteen EXACT Research Fellows and eight external guest researchers. The content of the Network Seminar aimed at improving academic, teaching and research skills as well as publishing and funding options and strategies. In a nutshell it can be said, that the academically outstanding program combined with the expertise of the guest speakers reflected the spirit of the EXACT Network as a silver thread throughout the whole Seminar.

The participants were generally pleased with the programme of the summer school as it included both interactive and expert-centered elements. In preparation of the course, all participants had to deliver one written assignment before the start of the course. Participants chose to present either one PhD chapter, a publication, an academic or policy paper. The expertise of the guest speakers generally matched the topics of the participants and thus presented great value added as these could get first-hand information and precious advice for their research projects and PhD. Participants highly appreciated the in depth input they received from the organizers on their respective PhD topics. The expertise of the guest speakers and the opportunities of the EXACT Network combined allowed even to go beyond academic expectations. EXACT and non-EXACT fellows could build synergies and transpose principles from one project to another. Publishing options were discussed with some of the expert speakers as well.

A Public Roundtable Discussion on “EU Executive Powers and External Action” was only one of the highlights. Main discussants were Gianni Bonvicini, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome; Geoffrey Edwards, University of Cambridge; Marlene Gottwald, EXACT Early Stage Researcher- University of Edinburgh and University of Cologne; Robert Kissack, Institut Barcelona d` Estudis Internacionals; Nicole Koenig, EXACT Early Stage Researcher of University of Edinburgh and University of Cologe; John Peterson of University of Edinburgh and Wolfgang Wessels, University of Cologne. The main topics discussed were the role of the EU in the Libya crisis and EU crisis management as such, the Treaty of Lisbon`s institutional architecture and coherence in EU external action as well as the reform of the European Security Strategy and the setting-up of the European External Action Service.

The overall impression of the “EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Skills” was extremely positive. The participants significantly enhanced their PhD skills and also got more familiar with the formulation of research questions, different research methods and teaching skills. The two directors of the Seminar, Dr. Geoffrey Edwards (EXACT Visiting Scientist, University of Cambridge) and Dr. Robert Kissack (EXACT Visiting Scientist, Institut Barcelona d` Estudis Internacionals) managed very well to meet the expectations of researchers in the field of EU External Action.

LISBOAN Erasmus Academic Network and TEPSA member institutes: serie of workshops

In cooperation with the LISBOAN Erasmus Academic Network, several TEPSA member institutes will convene workshops in the upcoming months. For more information, please see visit this page.

Institute for World Economics Budapest
Workshop: The European Union in the Global Economy”
28-29 September 2012
Budapest

Institute for International Relations Zagreb (IMO)
Workshop: Impact of the European External Action Service on the EU’s relations and policies towards South East Europe
5 October 2012
Dubrovnik

Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP)
Workshop: The EU as a Foreign Policy Actor – Ambitions, Interests and Challenges in Year Three of the Lisbon Treaty and beyond
18-19 October 2012
Berlin

Workshop on National Parliaments and the European Council Project (NPEC)

In the context of the elaboration of the study on the Democratic Control in the Member states of the European Council and the Euro Zone Summits an internal workshop with the experts for the 12 Member States of in-depth reports and advisors took place on 31 August 2012 at the North Rhine Westphalia Representation in Brussels. The aim of the workshop was to present the findings on the state of the relationship between National Parliaments and the European Council/Euro Zone summits and to voice recommendations for future developments.

For more information please contact Laura Ventura at Laura•Ventura©tepsa•eu

Theseus Seminar for Young Leaders 2012 “The Future of EU Economic Governance”, 2-6 July 2012, Brussels

Between the 2 and 6 July 2012 TEPSA and the University of Cologne co-organised the THESEUS Seminar for Young Leaders on “The Future of EU Economic Governance” at the Fondation Universitaire. The THESEUS Seminar for Young Leaders aims to promote interdisciplinary and international networks among a new generation of Europeans. This year 18 excellent young professionals and researchers participated at the International Summer School which was followed by a two day European Council Simulation Exercise.

The participants had been accorded their role in the Simulation Exercise already two month before the actual Summer School and had to draft position papers of their delegations. The organisation team paid great attention to the fact that participants did not represent the country of their real origin.

During the Summer School the participants were offered a broad range of information on EU Economic Governance. As in previous years the Seminar featured prominent speakers from international organisations, politics, as well as high-level academics to provide an in depth knowledge on the main topics dealt with in academia as well as on the practitioner’s perspective.

The first panels aimed at giving a general introduction to the broader framework of Economic Governance, especially for participants not familiar with economics. To this end, Iain Begg from the London School of Economics provided an extensive overview of the state of Economic Governance, Jacques Le Cacheux from Université de Pau elaborated on the different issues of the Euro zone and Jean-Victor Louis from the Université Libre de Bruxelles focussed on the legal and institutional aspects of an economic and financial union. Finally, Jacques Pelkmans from the College of Europe completed the introduction into the topic, by discussing different possibilities to enhance growth within the European Union.

Extensive insights from the practitioners’ point of view were given among others by Carsten Pillath, Director General of the DG Economic Affairs and Competitiveness in the Council of the EU who discussed actively with the participants the complexity of the institutional constellations within the framework of Economic Governance. The participants especially appreciated his insights into the way European Council meetings actually work, because they represented a perfect preparation for the later Simulation Game. Moreover, the Summer School aimed at identifying the different national perspectives of euro-insiders and -outsiders. To this end, Brendan Donnelly from The Federal Trust in London focussed on the perception by the United Kingdom; Cinzia Alcidi from the Centre of European Policy Studies in Brussels discussed with Georges Siotis, Member of the Task Force “Greece” of the European Commission, the evolution of the Greek case and Jean-François Jamet from Sciences Po Paris pointed out the Franco-German controversies.

Furthermore, the participants were offered time slots for extensive informal pre-negotiations among their delegations. They were assisted by Iain Begg who accompanied the Summer School as this year’s THESEUS Resident Researcher. Beyond own teaching, he was animating the debate, supervising the working groups and advising the participants on an individual basis, too.

Before and during the European Council meeting, the participants made remarkably use of the full range of means of virtual communication and were especially taking advantages of all breaks to coordinate their work and to find allies for their positions. Even if the negotiations remained friendly and respectful, there could be observed some heated debates on certain issues, especially prior to reaching a final agreement. Last but not least, the European Council Simulation was observed and evaluated by Wolfgang Wessels, chairperson of THESEUS and professor at the University of Cologne. The evaluations submitted by the participants showed that the Summer School with the Simulation Exercise was a very successful and beneficial event.

For further information such as the final report, the conclusions and pictures please see on THESEUS Website.

Pre-Presidency Conference in Cyprus: The Cypriot EU Presidency 2012: Institutional consolidation and responding to new challenges, 14-15 June 2012

The Cypriot Pre-Presidency Conference took place on 14 and 15 June 2012 at the New Campus of the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. It was organised by KIMEDE (Cyprus Institute of Mediterranean European and International Studies, in cooperation with the Erasmus Academic Network LISBOAN, the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission Representation in Cyprus and the University of Cyprus. This conference welcomed a broad audience of local politicians, representatives of the EU institutions and of local organisations but also researchers from EU member states and beyond.

The conference was opened with the TEPSA recommendations to the Cypriot presidency and followed by the presentation of the Priorities to the Cypriot EU Presidency. During the plenary session, TEPSA members took part in a lively discussion on the theme of solidarity: Which kind of solidarity? An analysis of the sharpened debate on the EU in the member states. The workshops have discussed about “The economic and social crisis in the EU”, “Free movement and migration”, “the EU Enlargement Policy” and “the EU’s external relations and diplomacy”. The participants have also tackled the sharpened debate of the solidarity at the European and national level. The Pre-Presidency Conference closed with a Plenary Session on “the reflections on Lisbon innovations and the role of the EU Council”.

Please download the Recommendations to the Cypriot Presidency, Discussion paper on solidarity in the European Union and the Report of the TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Cyprus.

TEPSA FIIA Seminar on Northern Europe and the Arab Spring: Normative Leaders or Opportunistic Bystanders? 21 May 2012, 16:30h-18:30h

EU foreign relations are traditionally characterized by a strict division of labour. When it comes to the Arab World, southern European countries have usually taken the lead, while northern European countries have stayed on the sidelines. The Arab Spring has demonstrated some of the problems of this divide, but also increased the visibility and interest in the region amongst northern European countries. This seminar looked at the role three key northern European countries – Germany, Poland and Sweden – have played during the Arab Spring and how they viewed the future of Euro-Mediterranean affairs. It also discussed the nature of north-south divisions in EU institutions.

The seminar took place at Finland’s Permanent Representation to the European Union, Rue de Trèves 100, Bruxelles.

Please register by sending an email with your name and affiliation to Marine•Jacob©tepsa•be by Thursday 17 May the latest.

Seminar on the Reform of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Structural reforms and new patterns of management, 14 May 2012


Organised by the Institut d’Etudes Européennes de l’Université libre de Bruxelles and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Spaak room, Institute of European Studies – ULB, 39, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

The reform of the Court of Justice of the European Union is a recurrent issue. Successive revisions of the Treaties and the Rules of Procedure reforms attempted over time to solve the problems posed by the gradual increase of the number of cases. Today the increasing number of members of the Tribunal is being considered. It seems that the time has come to resume discussions on this subject. It must be especially assessed whether structural reforms are the only possible answers. There has been little discussion on possible solutions for future reform of the management of the Court.The work will be introduced by the presentations of Professors Franklin Dehousse, Judge of the Court, and Jean-Victor Louis and followed by discussions with a panel of practitioners and academics.

The seminar addresses all academics, practitioners and students. Please note that the working language of the seminar will be French. Registration is required through the online form via this link: http://www.iee-ulb.eu/events/view/49

LISBOAN 2nd Annual Conference on “Governance in and of the crisis – Lessons and options of Lisbon and beyond”, 10-11 May 2012

On 10-11 May, the LISBOAN second annual conference took place at Fondation Universitaire, rue d’Egmont 11, 1000 Brussels. After the first annual conference that was organised last June 2011, the second annual conference also brought together members from all 67 partner institutions. The topic that served as this year’s thread is ‘Governance in and of the Crisis – Lessons and Options’. The first day the LISBOAN General Assembly took place followed by thematic working groups: The EU’s Institutional Framework Post Lisbon, External Action and CFSP, Economic and Financial Policy, The Lisbon Treaty in a courte, moyenne and longue durée perspective and The Quasi-constitutional nature of the Lisbon Treaty. On the second day, a roundtable on ‘Lisbon and Crisis’ took place and closed with the award ceremony by delivering the prize for Excellence in Teaching and Research.

For more information please refer to the LISBOAN website www.lisboan.net


TEPSA-Sciences Po Conference on the Arab Spring: managing tensions and crisis inside and outside the EU, 15 March 2012

TEPSA in cooperation with Sciences Po Paris and the EXACT project organised a conference on 15 March 2012 from 11:00 to 12:30 followed by a lunch at the Fondation Universitaire, rue d’Egmont 11, 1000 Brussels.

The conference started with a keynote speech from Zaki Laidi, Sciences Po Paris, providing an analytical angle on the European Union’s role and the issue of EU governance in this context. Peter Frisch, Senior political economist, Maghreb, European External Action Service presented the implications and challenges for the EU. TEPSA EXACT Marie Curie Researchers Nicole Koenig and Marlene Gottwald discussed this issue based on their policy briefs.

TEPSA Danish Pre-Presidency Conference Report, 8-9 December 2011 and Recommendations to the Danish Presidency

The Danish Pre-Presidency Conference was organised by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) in Copenhagen last 8-9 December.The Opening Plenary Session presented the Priorities of the Danish Presidency and the Presidency Recommendations by TEPSA.

The Conference notably included the following panels: Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, Differentiated Membership of the EU, The EU budget: a Driver for Growth and Europe 2020?, The Future of the Euro, The EU and the Arab Spring.

Those key issues were presented by members of the Danish government and analyzed by invited speakers and panelists, top officials and scholars from across Europe.

During the Pre-Presidency Conference TEPSA presented the Recommendations to the Danish Presidency.

Round table Conference’s Report: Democracy promotion East and South after the Arab Spring on 1- 2 December 2011

Re-evaluating the EU’s Engagement with Authoritarian Regimes

The Conference took place on 1-2 December 2011 at the Maastricht University, Brussels Campus, Avenue de L’Armée / Legerlaan 10, 1040 Brussels and was organised by Maastricht University, the Trans-European Policy Studies Association and the Institut für Europäische Politik.

The popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Syria in 2011 not only presented new challenges for EU policy towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but also underlined the need to re-evaluate the EU’s engagement with authoritarian regimes more generally. The conference aimed to analyse what paradigms and strategies have guided EU policies towards authoritarian regimes over the past decades, and the factors which explained the strengths and limitations of EU democracy promotion in authoritarian countries, in addition to presenting concrete policy recommendations for future EU policy towards authoritarian regimes.

Workshop contributions offered historical and theoretical reflections, alongside empirical case studies analysing EU policy towards authoritarian rule in (i) the MENA region: Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Jordan; (ii) Eastern Europe: Belarus, Ukraine, South Caucasus and (iiI) Central Asia: Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan.

The conference intended to bring together senior members of the Brussels diplomatic community, European institutional decision makers, academic scholars and relevant stakeholders, to provide a comparative perspective on EU relations with authoritarian regimes on its Eastern and Southern rim in an objective minded, academic setting.

Conference Report is available here.

Colloquium on The Politics and Economics of the Euro crisis on 2 December 2011 in Malta

The European Documentation and Research Centre (University of Malta) organized a colloquium on The Politics and Economics of the Euro crisis. The event took place on Friday 2 December 2011 at the University of Malta at 6.00 – 8.00 pm.

Conference on EU-Japan relations, the University of Leuven and TEPSA, Brussels, 28 November 2011

This conference took place at the Fondation Universitaire and was organised with the University of Leuven and TEPSA in cooperation with the Mission of Japan to the EU.

The 14th Japan-EU Conference was held on 28 November, 2011 at the University Foundation in Brussels. With the commencement of the third decade of Japan-EU cooperation, the partnership was entering a new phase. Both regions were looking for more vigorous cooperation, especially in the light of the 11 March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and its ensuing consequences. By reference to these developments, the 14th Japan-EU Conference aimed to provide a platform to people from various disciplines to discuss cooperation policy related to relief efforts and disaster prevention. At the same time, exchanges of views regarding Japan-EU trade cooperation offered an important field to fortify the relationship.

THESEUS Conference on “Which way forward? Three Years after Lehman, Two Years after Lisbon”, Cologne, 24-25 November 2011

The conference took place in the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Cologne from 24 to 25 November 2011. This year’s THESEUS conference discussed present challenges and future perspectives of the EU two years after the Lisbon Treaty had come into force.

Therefore, pressing questions and core issues were discussed with a special focus on the German perspective. How can Europe’s economic future be shaped? Which role and obligation does the Franco-German couple assume? Does leadership mean active search for European compromises or simply crisis management in European affairs?

Moreover, the Lisbon Treaty introduced profound institutional innovations. The conference tried to assess the impact on the institutional landscape. Particularly with regard to EU external action the conference discussed if the innovations and substantive changes stand the test of time.

In the evening of 24 November 2011 THESEUS remitted the Awards for Outstanding and Promising Research on European Integration 2011. This year’s THESEUS Award for Outstanding Research was given to Prof. Dr. Beate Kohler Koch from the University Mannheim. She had been selected for her outstanding academic record in the field of European integration research. The first award winner, Prof. Dr. Helen Wallace (London School of Economics) also attended the conference.

Please click here to download the report of the conference.

TEPSA Polish Pre-Presidency Conference 30 June-1 July 2011 and Recommendations to the Polish Presidency

Last Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July 2011, the College of Europe Natolin (Warsaw) campus hosted the Pre-Presidency Conference on the “Priorities of the Polish presidency of the European Union”. The conference was organized by members of the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), the European Institute Łódź and the College of Europe, in cooperation with TEPSA and under the auspices ofthe Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The conference concentrated mainly on the priorities of the Polish presidency and the recent and upcoming challenges for the European Union in the following themes: EU Presidency under the Lisbon Treaty, EU security policy, EU neighboorhood policy and economic governance. Those key issues were presented notably by top EU officials Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council, Jerzy BUZEK, President of the European Parliament, Former Prime Minister of Poland and Janusz LEWANDOWSKI, EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget. Members of the Polish government such as Radosław SIKORSKI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Jacek ROSTOWSKI, Minister of Finance and scholars from across Europe provided their inputs and exchanged fresh ideas during this fruitful conference.

During the Pre-Presidency Conference TEPSA presented the Recommendations to the Polish Presidency.

Conference on “Croatia at the doorstep of the EU”, IMO, 15 June 2011

After six years of intensive negotiations, the accession negotiations between Croatia and the European Union were in a decisive stage. Closure wass expected by the end of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. On the 15th of June 2011 the conference “Croatia at the doorstep of the EU” gathered experts, government officials and other stakeholders involved to discuss the lessons learned from the process of Croatia’s negotiations as well as the role which Croatia would play as the future member state of the European Union. The conference was jointly organised by TEPSA and the Institute for International Relations (IMO) in Zagreb, the Mission of Croatia to the European Union and the European Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Brussels. The event took place on 15 June 2011 from 09.00 to 13.45 at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels.

Conference Report is available here.

Conference on “A year after the crisis: adjustment in Greece and the Eurozone”, ΕΚΕΜΕ, ECEFIL and TEPSA, Brussels, 31 May 2011

The Greek Centre of European Studies & Research (EKEME), the European Center of Economic and Financial Law (ECEFIL) and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) invited you to the ΕΚΕΜΕ, ECEFIL and TEPSA conference on “A year after the crisis: adjustment in Greece and the Eurozone”.

One year after its eruption and as the crisis deepens, the question of what will be the key strategic consequences and policy implications of the current financial and economic problems warrants an answer. The conference aimed to raise public awareness over the current economic situation both in Greece and the eurozone and to kick off a public debate.

The conference took place on the 31st of May 2011, 15.00-17.30, at the European Parliament, Brussels.

Seminar on “The role of the EUCJ in EU integration after Lisbon”,TEPSA/CERE, Brussels, 6 May 2011

On the 6th of May 2011, TEPSA and the Centre d’études et de recherches européennes Robert Schuman (CERE) held a TEPSA/CERE seminar on “The role of the European Union Court of Justice in EU integration after the Treaty of Lisbon.” The seminar took place in the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Distinguished EUCJ judges and academics discussed this issue in three panels: “the Court of Justice as EU legislator;” “the role of the EUCJ in Justice and Home Affairs after Lisbon;” and “the contribution of EUCJ to the development of European citizenship.”

THESEUS/TEPSA Workshop on the Franco-German relationship seen from the outside on 17-18 February 2011

The TEPSA workshop on the Franco-German relationship seen from the outside will take place on 17.-18.02.2011 in Brussels in the framework of the programme THESEUS. Partners of THESEUS alongside TEPSA are the Centre d’études européennes of Sciences Po Paris, the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Cologne and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Cologne.

The aim of the workshop is to discuss the special role of the Franco-German couple in recent and longer term political and institutional evolutions of the EU. The workshop is especially interested in the perceptions of the ‘Franco-German tandem’ from the point of view of other EU-countries. Together with experts coming from all over Europe we will discuss its impact and role in the management of the current financial and economic crisis and the reform of EU governance in this policy field, for the evolution of EU enlargement and external action, and for the reform of the EU budget. A roundtable will discuss the role of France and Germany in the construction of the EU and their bilateral and multilateral relations at crucial points of the evolution of the European Union and ask what role the couple plays after the entry into force of the treaty of Lisbon.

TEPSA Hungarian Pre-Presidency Conference Report, 2-3 December 2010 and Recommendations to the Hungarian Presidency

Given the incoming Hungarian Council Presidency starting in January 2011, the Institute for World Economics and TEPSA in cooperation with THESEUS organised the Pre-presidency Conference, which took place in Budapest on 2-3 December 2010.

This conference entitled Entering the New Decade: New Challenges and Priorities of the EU under the Hungarian Council Presidency (2011) brought together senior scholars and high level practitioners from across Europe who exchanged with the participants on the new challenges and priorities for the EU during the upcoming Hungarian Council Presidency: Institutional Innovations, European Economic Governance, Enlargement and Eastern Partnership, Sustainable competitive Challenges, Financial Perspectives, European Danube Strategy and the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (Citizens’ Europe). Please click here to view the conference report.

During the Pre-presidency Conference TEPSA presented the Recommendations to the Hungarian Presidency.

Lunch Conference “Europeanization, Usages of Europe and Welfare State Reforms in Europe”, 1st of December 2010, Fondation Universitaire, Brussels.

 

 

 

During the lunch Conference “Europeanization, Usages of Europe and Welfare State Reforms in Europe”, Mr. Paolo Graziano, associate researcher at the Centre d’Études Européennes (Sciences Po), did a presentation on the project he is currently carrying out with other researchers. The core of this project puts forward “how the European integration does influence national social policies by exploring and specifying what are the political mechanisms through which the EU plays a role in domestic social policy changes”.

The Panel was composed of Mr. Rob Cornelissen (Adviser on social protection and integration at the European Commission, DG EMPL and Guest Professor on European Social Security, Ghent University); and Mr. David Natali (Scientific Director, European Social Observatory) and was moderated by Prof. Jean-Paul Jacqué (TEPSA Secretary General).

Conference report is available here.

Expert Conference: “The EU, Russia and Eastern Europe – Dissenting views on security, stability and partnership?”, 2010

The expert roundtable conference “The EU, Russia and Eastern Europe – Dissenting views on security, stability and partnership?”, organised by the IEP and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), with kind support of the Volkswagen Foundation, took place on 22th and 23th November 2010 at the Representation of the Saarland to the Federation in Berlin.

Forty participants – among them international experts from academia and the policy-making community – gathered at the Representation of the Saarland to the Federation to discuss three different, though interrelated topics: the issue of the ‘shared neighbourhood’ in the EU-Russia relations, the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the security dimension of EU external action in the (South) Eastern neighbourhood. The EU-Russia relations in the light of the ‘common neighbourhood’ was the first topic under discussion. The review of possibilities for political cooperation between the EU and Russia in the post-Soviet space crystallized diverging positions on possible policy fields, tools and relevant actors (EU institutions, member states, economic or societal actors). The second panel aimed at discussing and evaluating the impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP). While both achievements and limits were highlighted, the discussion focused on the (theoretical, practical and psychological) impact of membership conditionality. In the third panel participants discussed institutional developments of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Moreover, the policy was analysed from a regional perspective (i.e. implications for the Balkans) as well as around analytical lenses (i.e. long-term processes that are external to actors’ policy decisions). Finally, a dinner debate with Borys Tarasyuk, former Foreign Minister of Ukraine, focused on the state of affairs of the EU-Ukraine relations, reasons for the failure of the Orange Revolution, and Ukraine’s positioning between the EU and Russia.

Conference report is available here.

IEP/TEPSA Conference’s Report: The EU, Russia and Eastern Europe. Dissenting views on security, stability and partnership? 22-23 November 2010 in Berlin

The expert roundtable conference “The EU, Russia and Eastern Europe – Dissenting views on security, stability and partnership?”, organised by the IEP and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), with kind support of the Volkswagen Foundation, took place on 22th and 23th November 2010 at the Representation of the Saarland to the Federation in Berlin.

Forty participants – among them international experts from academia and the policy-making community – gathered at the Representation of the Saarland to the Federation to discuss three different, though interrelated topics: the issue of the ‘shared neighbourhood’ in the EU-Russia relations, the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the security dimension of EU external action in the (South) Eastern neighbourhood. The EU-Russia relations in the light of the ‘common neighbourhood’ was the first topic under discussion. The review of possibilities for political cooperation between the EU and Russia in the post-Soviet space crystallized diverging positions on possible policy fields, tools and relevant actors (EU institutions, member states, economic or societal actors). The second panel aimed at discussing and evaluating the impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP). While both achievements and limits were highlighted, the discussion focused on the (theoretical, practical and psychological) impact of membership conditionality. In the third panel participants discussed institutional developments of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Moreover, the policy was analysed from a regional perspective (i.e. implications for the Balkans) as well as around analytical lenses (i.e. long-term processes that are external to actors’ policy decisions). Finally, a dinner debate with Borys Tarasyuk, former Foreign Minister of Ukraine, focused on the state of affairs of the EU-Ukraine relations, reasons for the failure of the Orange Revolution, and Ukraine’s positioning between the EU and Russia.

Conference report is available here.

Conference on “Britain’s Coalition Governement and its European Policy”, The Federal Trust and TEPSA, 18 November 2010

The United Kingdom General Election of 2010 was held on the 6th of May. Only six days later the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats agreed on forming a coalition government. A few weeks before the election the Federal Trust and TEPSA jointly organised a conference on Britain, Europe and the upcoming British elections in London to reflect on the implications of that election for Britain’s European policy. Six months after the formation of the coalition government, the Federal Trust and TEPSA have organise a seminar in Brussels to analyse the new political reality in the UK and Britain’s (new) EU policy. The seminar has also shed light on the budget cuts recently presented by the Coalition Government and its stance on new EU initiatives in the financial sector. There were contributions from Mr Andrew Duff, Member of the European Parliament for the Liberal Democrats, on ‘Coalition, the cuts and Europe’; Sir Brian Unwin, KCB, Former President of the European Investment Bank, on ‘Money, the Coalition and the European Union’; and Mr Brendan Donnelly, Director Federal Trust, on ‘Britain and Europe: in, out, or semi-detached?’.

Report from the conference is available here.

Conference, “UK Government and European Policies”, 18th of November 2010, Fondation Universitaire, Brussels.

The Conference “UK Government and European Policies” was jointly organised by the Federal Trust, London (website) and TEPSA, Brussels (website). The Conference took place at the Fondation Universitaire, rue d’Egmont, 11, Brussels.

The United Kingdom General Election of 2010 was held on the 6th of May. Only six days later the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats agreed on forming a coalition government. A few weeks before the election the Federal Trust and TEPSA jointly organised a conference on Britain, Europe and the upcoming British elections in London to reflect on the implications of that election for Britain’s European policy. Six months after the formation of the coalition government, the Federal Trust and TEPSA have organised a seminar in Brussels to analyse the new political reality in the UK and Britain’s (new) EU policy. The seminar has also shed light on the budget cuts recently presented by the Coalition Government and its stance on new EU initiatives in the financial sector. There were contributions from Mr Andrew Duff, Member of the European Parliament for the Liberal Democrats, on ‘Coalition, the cuts and Europe’; Sir Brian Unwin, KCB, Former President of the European Investment Bank, on ‘Money, the Coalition and the European Union’; and Mr Brendan Donnelly, Director Federal Trust, on ‘Britain and Europe: in, out, or semi-detached?’.

Programme of the conference is available at this link.

Report from the conference is available at this link.

Conference “The Democratic control of the European Foreign, security and defense policy”, 15th of November 2010, European Parliament, Brussels.

The Conference “The Democratic control of the European Foreign, security and defense policy”, was organized by the . Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) – TEPSA.

Following the transformations in the process of European integration triggered by the Treaty of Maastricht, a contentious debate has started over the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. Even though this debate has focused mainly on Community activities, it has recently been extended to the instruments and procedures of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The debate over the democratic control of foreign, security and defence policy, that has revolved among other things on the level where this control should be situated (national, EU or transnational parliamentary bodies), has acquired a renewed importance and urgency following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. On the one hand, the creation of new figures and bodies, and especially the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Action Service (EEAS), creates new opportunities for the European Parliament to control European foreign and security policy. On the other hand, on 31 March WEU members decided to terminate the founding Treaty and wind up the organisation and its bodies and on that occasion also called for the enhancement of dialogue among national parliaments in order to ensure an appropriate parliamentary control of European security and defence policy.

Several TEPSA researchers have examined this issue of democratic control on EU’s foreign and security policy more in depth in three papers that have been presented during the seminar. We would like to discuss their findings with you. The seminar has dealt with the following topics:

Session 1. The saliency of the issue of the democratic control of European foreign, security and defence policy.

Paper by: Graham Avery, Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and Honorary Member of the Board, TEPSA; and Gunilla Herolf, Senior Researcher, SIPRI, Stockholm, and Member of the Board, TEPSA

Session 2. The level of democratic parliamentary control: national, transnational or European?

Paper by: Hanna Ojanen, Director of research, SIIA, Stockholm, and Member of the Board, TEPSA

Session 3. The Lisbon Treaty and the powers of the European Parliament in the democratic control of CFSP-CSDP

Paper by: Michele Comelli, Senior Fellow, IAI, Rome

The conference has been held on Monday 15 November 2010 from 10.30 to 16.00 at the European Parliament and was organised in cooperation with the Polish Delegation EPP/ the Member of the European Parliament Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.

The Final report from the conference is available at this link.

Seminar on “the Democratic Control of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy”, IAI/TEPSA , Brussels, 15 November 2010

Instituto Affari Internazionali and TEPSA have organized a seminar on the Democratic Control of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy on November 15th. Several TEPSA researchers have examined this issue of democratic control on EU’s foreign and security policy more in depth in three papers that have been presented during the seminar. The seminar has dealt with the following topics: The saliency of the issue of the democratic control of European foreign, security and defence policy; The level of democratic parliamentary control: national, transnational or European?; and The Lisbon Treaty and the powers of the European Parliament in the democratic control of CFSP-CSDP.

The report from the conference is available here: Final report


THESEUS Summer School 2010 and THESEUS Awards

THESEUS Seminar for Young Leaders 2010 took place on 10-15 July 2010 in Brussels, at the Foundation Universitaire, rue d’Egmont 11, 1000 Brussels.

The THESEUS Seminar this year discussed “Freedom, security and justice as a common challenge – justice and home affairs in the EU after the treaty of Lisbon”. It adressed PhD students and young professionals from administration, research and business and focused on the recent changes induced by the Lisbon Treaty with in the field of Justice and Home Affairs of the European Union. Like in last years the seminar featured speakers and high-level experts from international organisations, business, politics, NGOs together with recognised researchers. The deadline for applications was 14 June 2010.

In addition to the Summer School, THESEUS was looking for highly-motivated applicants to respond to these calls for nominations. The THESEUS Award for Outstanding Research on European Integration distinguishes persons with an outstanding academic record in the field of European Integration.The THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration 2010 distinguishes an excellent piece of work of a junior researcher. The deadline for the nominations was 31 May 2010.

More information on the Summer School can be found here.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference, Brussels 20-21 May 2010

«Future Prospects for the Belgian Presidency of the EU: Global Challenges in a New Institutional Era»

The conference brought together senior scholars and high level practitioners from across Europe to focus on the 2010 Belgian Presidency of the European Union after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The Belgian Presidency was analysed in the light of a worried union facing both the recent global challenges such as the recent economic crisis and the various ongoing conflicts at its gates and an internal questioning about its role in a globalised world where compete emerging new powers.

It examined through exchanges between the participants and the 2010 Belgian Presidency both the particular Belgian vision, outputs and prospects for improving European efficiency in the following thematics: Security and Defense, Climate Change and Environment, Immigration and Development, Eastern Dimension and Energy supply, Lisbon Strategy and Economic Social Cohesion and finally the External Representation of the European Union.

The Conference was organised by the EGE Network in cooperation with TEPSA and Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations, with the support of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Recommendations from TEPSA to the Belgian Presidency are available here.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Bratislava, 2-3 June 2016

TEPSA+IESIR

On the occasion of the first Slovak EU Council Presidency starting on 1st July 2016, TEPSA in cooperation with the Institute of European Studies and International Relations of Comenius University organised its traditional Pre-Presidency Conference in Bratislava, on 2 and 3 June 2016.

The conference was part of the long-standing tradition of TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences (PPCs), which take place twice a year in the capital of the country holding the EU Council Presidency prior to the beginning of its mandate.

The main aim of TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences is to bring together academics and researchers from the broad TEPSA network, policy-makers, media and civil society in order to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming Council Presidencies.
TEPSA Pre-Presidency conferences represent a major platform for communication and exchange between policy-makers and academia. Prior to the event TEPSA researchers formulate recommendations to be presented to a high-rank official of the government concerned in a plenary session. Moreover, the conferences actively involve civil society and media actors, who are able to interact with practitioners and academia. Finally, the insights gained during these conferences and seminars directly feed into future research on the EU and into EU policy making.
Thanks to their genuinely European and transnational nature and to the involvement of civil society, TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency conferences actively contribute to shaping a European public sphere.

PONT

The June 2016 PPC was also an integral part of the TEPSA’s PONT project, aimed at providing a bridge connecting young academics and EU practitioners, in order to improve the employability of young researchers.

The final programme of the conference can be found here.

More information about the 2016 Slovak Presidency of the Council can be found here.

ENURC project seminar: “From a ‘Strategic Partnership’ to a Strategic Problem? Whither EU-Russian Relations”, 4 December 2015

FIIA

FIIA1The re-assessment of the overall EU-Russia relationship was the subject of the debate in the final conference of the ENURC project, held in Helsinki on 4 December 2015. The conference started with an opening statement of Prof. Wolfgang Wessels, the Chairperson of TEPSA, who also presented the findings of the pan-European study on citizens’ perceptions on Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia. Dr. Teija Tiilikanen, director of FIIA, opened the conference, underlining the importance of exchanging views within the EU on its relations with its Eastern partners.

The three panels of the conference covered EU-Russia security relations; economic relations and energy relations. In his conclusion on the results of the event, Dr Arkady Moshes stated that, the EU-Russian strategic partnership does not exist anymore, even though this may not be officially acknowledged. The EU-Russian conflict has become the new normal.

In addition to the seminar, the final conference included a dinner debate on 3 December for the speakers hosted by the Director of FIIA. This pre-conference event also aimed to provide an opportunity for the speakers to exchange ideas related to their conference presentation, and it proved to be extremely fruitful for the planning and coordination of the public interventions in the conference.

FIIA2The event attracted 114 participants. Around half of the participants came from Finland (65), but also nationals from 30 other countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, Russia, Morocco, Serbia, Ukraine, South Africa, Egypt, New-Zealand, Indonesia, Palestine, Malaysia, United States, China, Mexico and Belarus. Counting only EU member states, 17 countries were participating to the event.

The full conference programme can be downloaded here.

You can find the report and the podcasts of the conference on the FIIA website.

FEUTURE Kick-off Conference in Istanbul, 26-27 May 2016

FEUTURE NL logo draftTaking Stock of EU-Turkey Relations: A Successful Kick-off for FEUTURE

On 26 and 27 May 2016 the research project “The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios” (FEUTURE) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme was officially launched. About 100 participants including researchers from the consortium, distinguished Turkey experts, stakeholders and practitioners from Turkey, the European Union (EU) and the neighbourhood, as well as students and the wider interested public got together at the FEUTURE Kick-Off Conference in Istanbul. This event was hosted by Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi.

During the debate of the first day, which was open to the public, different views as to which path relations will most likely take in the future were exchanged and discussed in light of FEUTURE’s research aims and design. FEUTURE’s broad assessment of this relationship acknowledges the depth and intensity of relations between Turkey and the EU. It will combine both a look ‘backwards’ through its analysis of narratives which have shaped the debate in Turkey and the EU in different phases with a forward-looking approach which aims at delineating a most likely scenario(s) for the future and related policy recommendations. All participants welcomed this project and its research approach, because they felt that at this point in time substantial and ambitious research on EU-Turkey relations is highly relevant.

Debating FEUTURE’s Research Design: Future Scenarios and Historical Narratives

FEUTURE kick-offThe first day of the conference focused on discussing FEUTURE’s scenarios and narratives at two high-level panels with the project’s researchers and renowned Turkey experts from the project’s Scientific and Policy Advisory Board. The aim was to update the project’s research agenda and make it fit to meet the challenges of analyzing EU-Turkey relations which constitute a ‘moving target’ par excellence.

At the first panel, chaired by Funda Tekin (FEUTURE Project Director), Nathalie Tocci (FEUTURE Scientific Coordinator) presented three ideal-type scenarios (Convergence, Cooperation, Conflict) that will be tested through FEUTURE’s research in the upcoming three years. Overall, Tocci identified coexisting trends and concluded that for the project this will also mean that research will most probably not identify only one most likely scenario but rather delineate a mix of their features. Andrew Duff (former MEP), Nilgün Arisan Eralp (TEPAV) and Ronald Linden (University of Pittburgh) agreed and particularly stressed the need for flexibility in these three scenarios. Furthermore they encouraged to think “out of the box” and to scrutinize the EU’s relationship with other (new) external countries.

The second panel, chaired by Senem Aydin-Düzgit (Bilgi University), elaborated on the project’s ‘backward perspective’ of EU-Turkey relations in form of the historical analysis of narratives. Wolfgang Wessels (FEUTURE Project Director) and Atila Eralp (METU) presented this part of FEUTURE research that starts from the assumption that a critical assessment of the history of EU-Turkey relations is a key element for delineating scenarios for the future. Therefore, the research aims to 1) map the milestones and periods of EU-Turkey relations and 2) identify the most salient narratives, which have shaped the political debate both in the EU and in Turkey during different historical phases. The representatives from the FEUTURE Scientific and Policy Advisory Board, Albert Rohan (Independent Commission on Turkey), Ofra Bengio (Tel Aviv University) and Meltem Müftüler-Bac (Sabanci University) further contextualized the narrative analysis of EU-Turkey relations by elaborating on four key-terms that have been used in the past and present in order to structure the interrelatedness of the EU and Turkey: 1) Bridge, 2) Model, 3) Orientation and 4) Asset. Additionally, the debate critically assessed the question of how relevant history really is for the present and what the added value of a historical analysis is in light of EU-Turkey relations. Finally, the importance of understanding the EU integration process itself for analyzing EU-Turkey relations was underlined.

Getting Started with the Research: Workshops on the Second Day

The second day provided the researchers from the consortium the possibility to familiarize themselves with the details of the FEUTURE research. The Work Package (WP) Leaders organized parallel workshops on the six thematic dimensions that FEUTURE will analyse: politics, economics, security, energy/climate, migration, identity/culture. It will be the aim of their research to identify the drivers that determine the relations from these different perspectives. At these workshops in the morning of 27 May 2016, the WP leaders together with their research teams prepared the first steps and updated their research designs with regard to the latest developments.

In a ‘synthesis and outreach’ session led by Nathalie Tocci and Sinan Ülgen the consortium discussed the third phase of the project, which will synthesize and test these results within one or more scenario(s) with the aim of producing policy recommendations. The Kick-Off Conference concluded within the first meeting of the FEUTURE General Assembly, in which the partners’ representatives discussed matters concerning the consortium as a whole.

A detailed Conference Report will follow shortly and will be available at www.feuture.eu.

ENURC conference: “The EU and its Eastern Partners: A Struggle for Stability, Security and Prosperity”, 26 November 2015

UI

UI ENURC

On 26 November 2015 The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) together with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) hosted a conference about the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy and the prospects for security, stability and prosperity in Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The first panel, entitled “New Challenges and Threats: How to Improve the EU’s Eastern Partnership Policy?” featured keynote speakers from the EEAS, La the Latvian Parliament and the Eastern Partnership Ambassador of Sweden, who all shared insights from their work within the EU and the national decision-making processes.  The second panel, entitled “More Effective Support for the EU’s Eastern Partners: How?” addressed the challenges that Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Belarus have to master. The four invited experts from the respective ENP countries shared their insights into the difficult domestic political conditions, and how these countries relations with the EU are influenced by the external pressures from the Russian government. The Third panel, entitled “The Challenge of Communicating the Eastern Partnership “post-Crimea”” focused on one of the biggest challenges that the EU, the member states, and Eastern neighbours are facing: how to explain to EU citizens, and the citizens of the Eastern partners, what the Eastern partnership is, what the EU does, why and how the member states are engaged in the ”Eastern Partnership”, and what closer relations with the EU will mean for the citizens and for European security, stability and prosperity? The panelists discussed how the EU can make itself understood. It brought together experts closely familiar with the challenges of communicating the Eastern Partnership.

The conference was attended by 118 participants (12 speakers, 1 moderator and 105 people in the audience). Participants had very diverse national backgrounds: Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Romania, Panama, Latvia, Cyprus, Russia, Finland, Japan, Bulgaria, Estonia and Serbia. Among these, 14 EU member states were represented.

The conference was followed by an Expert Roundtable on New Strategic Communication Challenges in Europe: How do we identify, understand and address disinformation? Against the background of growing concerns in Europe about the effects of Russian propaganda in the Eastern neighbourhood and even the EU, the roundtable discussion focused on the challenge of how to respond to disinformation and the abuses of the open information spaces. Participants explored ways and means of identifying and addressing disinformation that is spread by different actors through traditional and new “social” media channels and platforms. Both the conference and the roundtable discussion were moderated by Anke Schmidt-Felzmann, Researcher in UI’s Europe programme.

The full conference programme can be downloaded here. The report of the conference can be found here.

More information about the event can be found on UI’s website.

You can find below the podcasts of the panels:

Panel 1 

Panel 2

Panel 3

European Parliament Workshop on “Human Rights in North Korea: accountability vs engagement?”, contributions by Ramón Pacheco Pardo and Veronika Bílková

TEPSA+DROI

 

TEPSA coordinated the participation of two academic experts, Ramón Pacheco Pardo (King’s College London) and Veronika Bílková (Researcher at the Institute of International Relations, Prague) in the workshop on Human Rights in North Korea: accountability vs engagement? organized by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and hosted by Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, MEP László Tőkés.

Participants to the workshop discussed the question of accountability for serious crimes, including crimes against humanity as well as available options for engagement with the DPRK.

The report summarizing the proceedings of the workshop, prepared by TEPSA, is available here and includes the experts’ presentations.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Valletta, 10-11 November 2016

ITServices_Banners-01On the occasion of the first Maltese EU Council Presidency starting on January 1st 2017, TEPSA held its traditional Pre-Presidency Conference in Valletta on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 November 2016. The Conference, organised in cooperation with and hosted by the Institute for European Studies of the University of Malta, was part of the long-standing tradition of TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences (PPCs), which take place twice a year in the capital of the country holding the EU Council Presidency prior to the beginning of its mandate.

The Maltese Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Louis Grech, inaugurated the event with an openingDSC_5678 speech on the priorities of Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, upon which recommendations were then offered by TEPSA’s researchers. The conference was also addressed by Minister Carmelo Abela, Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg and three Maltese Members of the European Parliament, Dr Roberta Metsola, Mrs Marlene Mizzi and Dr Alfred Sant. The speakers attended three discussion panels focusing on the economic and political dimensions of the Mediterranean Region, on migration and BREXIT, their leitmotif challenge being  resumed in the Conference’s title: “Restoring faith in the European Union: strengthen solidarity, unity and determination”.DSC_5746

The main aim of TEPSA’s PPCs is to bring together academics and researchers from the broad TEPSA network, policy-makers, media and civil society in order
to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming Council Presidencies. TEPSA’s PPCs represent a major platform for communication and exchange between policy-makers and academia. Prior to the event TEPSA researchers formulate recommendations to be presented to a high-rank official of the government concerned in a plenary session. Moreover, the conferences actively involve civil society and media actors, who are able to interact with practitioners and academia. Finally, the insights gained during these conferences and seminars directly feed into future research on the EU and into EU policy making. Thanks to their genuinely European and transnational nature and to the involvement of civil society, TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency conferences actively contribute to shaping a European public sphere.DSC_5933

The November 2016 PDSC_5891PC was also an integral part of the TEPSA’s PONT project, aimed at providing a bridge connecting young academics and EU practitioners, in order to improve the employability of young researchers.

More information about the PPC and the final programme are available here.

DEVE Committee workshop: “EU Policy Coherence for Development: the challenge of sustainability”, 16 February 2016

European Parliament DEVE European Parliament, Altiero Spinelli Building, Room 5Q2, Brussels

 

MEP Cristian Dan PREDA (EPP), the Development Committee’s Standing Rapporteur for Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), hosted on 16 February 2016 a workshop in Brussels on “EU Policy Coherence for Development: the challenge of sustainability”.
Experts from the academic world, the United Nations, the European Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Civil Society discussed the mechanisms, tools and outcomes of the PCD as well as ways forward.

An analysis of the Impact Assessment procedure, the role of the EU delegations and the Joint Programming initiative was made. Special emphasis was given to the security-development nexus and measures against illicit financial flows. The discussion results will feed into the Parliament’s biannual report on Policy Coherence for Development.

Two briefings presented at the workshops were coordinated by TEPSA and presented by Maurizio Carbone (Professor of International Relations and Development and Jean Monnet Professor of EU External Policies, University of Glasgow) and Mark Furness (Senior Researcher, German Development Institute).

The expert briefings and the proceedings of the workshop will soon be on the European Parliament website.

 

4th ENP PhD Summer School: “The ENP under Pressure: Conceptual and Empirical Understandings of EU Foreign Policy towards the Southern and Eastern Neighbours”

ENP chair

College of Europe – Natolin,
23 June-1 July 2016

Following the success of previous summer schools held at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe,  the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair at the College of Europe, Natolin campus, together with TEPSA, organised the 4th ENP PhD Summer School on “The ENP under Pressure: Conceptual and Empirical Understandings of EU Foreign Policy towards the Southern and Eastern Neighbours”. The Summer School took place from 23 June to 1 July 2016 at the College of Europe, Natolin campus (Warsaw).

The event is sponsored by the ENP Chair of the College of Europe, Natolin campus, in collaboration with the ECPR, the ECPR-SGEU, and TEPSA.

Rationale

The ENP PhD Summer School concentrated on analyzing conceptually and empirically the dynamics between the European Union (EU) and its Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods, with a special focus on the recently revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) framework of 2015. It analyzed the evolution and implications of the 2004, 2011 and 2015 ENP, social and political transformations in the neighbouring countries, as well as issues related to conflict and territorial occupation. It also discussed how the most recent developments in the ENP countries and across the EU’s neighbourhoods have influenced EU policies and politics.

 Purpose

The purpose of this summer school was to bring together and train a group of PhD students in theoretical, empirical and research-strategic issues on the subject matter, as well as to encourage the exchange of their expertise. Additionally, the aim was to support the participants in furthering their research projects. The ENP PhD Summer School invites political science applicants who specialize in various sub-disciplines, including EU Integration Studies, International Relations, Comparative Politics, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Public Administration.

Structure and content details

The ENP PhD Summer School was held at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe and focused on both the Eastern and the Southern dimension of the ENP. Each day, invited academics gave lectures on a subject related to the theme of the summer school and provided participants with feedback and comments on their PhD projects. The topics presented during the lectures included, among others:

  • Research designs in the study of European integration, EU foreign policy and the ENP
  • The Evolution of the ENP – Problems and Pitfalls
  • What kind of power? Role concepts, the ENP and ‘Normative Power Europe’
  • External Perceptions of the ENP and the EU as an international actor
  • The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and the ENP
  • The role of the European Parliament, the EEAS and other EU institutions in the ENP
  • The ENP and Democracy Promotion
  • A new generation of association agreements with the eastern neighbours of the EU
  • The EU and state-building in the southern neighbourhood
  • The EU, the ENP and the Arab Spring
  • The ENP and the Eastern Partnership – The case of Ukraine
  • The ENP and the Eastern Partnership – The Case of South Caucasus
  • The EU, the ENP and conflicts in the neighbourhood
  • The role of civil societies in conflicts in the neighbourhood
  • The EU, the ENP and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Migration and displacement in the European neighbourhood

The school offered PhD students the possibility to present their work in progress and benefit from academic support on issues relating to their individual PhD projects. In this respect, PhD students were expected to circulate their paper before each presentation, and each presentation was assigned to a discussant/lecturer that is supposed to prepare a number of specific comments. All of the students’ presentations were followed by substantive discussions about how to improve their research theoretically/conceptually/methodologically and with regards to the case studies and the evidence used.

PADEMIA Workshop: “The impact of referenda on parliamentary democracy”, Brussels 19-20 September 2016

PADEMIATEPSA organised the final workshop in the framework of the PADEMIA project under the lead of Dr Julie Smith (University of Cambridge).

The workshop, which took place on 19-20 September 2016, focused on the impact of referenda on parliamentary democracy, notably in the light of the recent Brexit vote. It looked in particular at the interaction of plebiscitary and parliamentary democracy, with reference to the UK as well as other recent referendum experiences, and at the consequences of the UK’s vote to leave the EU for the United Kingdom itself, the European Union and other EU Member States.

The programme of the workshop can be downloaded here.

The report of the workshop is available here.

THESEUS-ECOPAS PhD Workshop 2016

THESEUSTheseus-Eucopas PhD Workshop 2016
21-22 January 2016, Sciences Po Paris

 

On 21 and 22 January 2016, the Theseus-Eucopas PhD Workshop 2016 “Recovering from the Crisis? The Uncertain State of the EU” took place at Sciences Po Paris. It offered graduate students the chance to discuss their research about the impact of different crises such as the economic crisis, migration fluxes or geopolitical threats on the European Union with renowned professors of Sciences Po Paris and the University of Cologne. David Schäfer, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was rewarded the Best Paper Award for his profound analysis of the Banking Union.

PEGASUS Final Conference, Brussels, 27 February 2015

                      Dissemination Conference of the PEGASUS project  image003

27th February 2015

 

The motivation of the PEGASUS project was to establish a genuinely integrated European Ph.D. degree in political science, on questions of European integration (http://www.pegasusphd.eu).

The objective of this Dissemination Colloquium is twofold:

  • To present some of the results of the project;
  • to discuss the opportunities and challenges when developing a Joint PhD program.

The Conference will take place on the 27th of  February from 10-13.00

Venue: Campus Brussels Maastricht University, Avenue de l’Armée 10, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium.

Speakers include representatives of the EU Commission, academics and practioners.

For the draft programme, please see: PEGASUS Dissemination Conference

PONT seminar on EU Asylum and Migration policies

TEPSA is happy to share with you the report of the PONT Working Europe I seminar on EU Asylum and Migration policies which took place in Brussels on 4-8 April. Many thanks to the seminar participants who volunteered to prepare the reports from various sessions!

The report can be downloaded here.

THESEUS Summer School 2015 in Brussels, 22-26 June 2015

New Bitmap ImageTHESEUS

       

 

 

THESEUS Summer School 2015

  “Justice, Security and Liberty: Conflicting Goals?”

22-26 June 2015, Fondation Universitaire, Brussels

To promote interdisciplinary and international networks among a new generation of Europeans, each year the THESEUS Summer School looks for 25 excellent young professionals and researchers to discuss European challenges with high-level experts and decision makers. THESEUS is a well-established European network of thinkers and actors whose aim is to foster a dialogue between academia and politics about the future challenges of Europe (www.theseus-europe.net).

THESEUS Summer School 2015

In view of the current debate on the consequences of Charlie Hebdo, the THESEUS Summer School 2015 will deal with the topic of “Justice, Security and Liberty: Conflicting Goals?” followed by a Moot Court simulation on “Data Retention”. The simulation exercise is carried out in cooperation with the PROTEUS project of the University of Cologne. The Summer School will feature speakers and high-level experts from international organisations, business, politics, as well as recognised researchers. 

ENURC event: “The Economic influence of the EU and Russia on the Eastern Partnership States”, 22 October 2015

LIIA

The third event organised within the framework of the ENURC project is an event in Riga, Latvia on the economic influence of both the EU and Russia on the Eastern Partnership states. The event combined an expert meeting on 21 October 2015 and a public discussion with a wide audience on 22 October 2015. This combination ensured a very high level of expertise and state of the art among the speakers, which was of great interest to the general audience attending the public sessiliia1on.

 The expert meeting was an exchange of views on evaluating the economic presence of Russia and the EU in the Eastern Neighbourhood. The meeting had as aim to develop a concept for a book on Eastern Partnership focusing on the impact of the Deep and Comliia2prehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) or their prospect, in all six Eastern Partnership countries.

The public discussion focused on “Eastern Neighbourhood Economies between the EU and Russia”.
Here experts from the region in question and several EU member states presented and discussed this topic from their diverse (national) standpoints.

The exchanliia3ge of views among experts gathered 11 experts from Latvia, France, Sweden, Belgium and ENP countries Moldova, Armenia and Belarus. The public event gathered over 100 policy makers, diplomats, academics, students, civil society representatives and not-organised citizens. 81 signatures of participants were collected, hence the total number of 81 participants included in the reporting of the project.

There was a majority of the participants coming from Latvia itself, but they had the opportunity to interact with citizens from Italy, Sweden, Finland, Germany, all six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), Norway, Canada, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Japan.

The full conference programme can be downloaded here.

More information about this event can be found on the LIIA website.

Past events at the Institut für Europäische Politik, May-June 2015

logoIEP Lunch Debate with Gunther Krichbaum, MP: “Greece – What happens now?”

The Institut für Europäische Politik hosts an IEP Lunch Debate with Gunther Krichbaum, member of the German Bundestag and chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on the Affairs of the European Union. On 30 June 2015 Gunther Krichbaum speaks on “Greece – What happens now?”.

For more information, see: http://iep-berlin.de/en/forum/iep-lunch-debate-with-gunther-krichbaum-mp-greece-what-happens-now/

IEP Lunch Debate with Prof. Dr. Heribert Hirte: “TTIP as a Challenge to the EU Decision-Making System”

On 19 June 2015 the Institut für Europäische Politik hosted an IEP Lunch Debate with Prof. Dr. Heribert Hirte, member of the German Bundestag and member of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union, on “TTIP as a Challenge to the EU Decision-Making System”.

A detailed report will be published in English: http://iep-berlin.de/en/forum/iep-lunch-debate-with-prof-dr-heribert-hirte-member-of-the-german-bundestag-on-ttip-as-a-challenge-to-the-eu-decision-making-system/

IEP Lunch Debate with Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr: “Current Challenges for the Juncker Commission”

Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr, Head of Cabinet of the President of the European Commission, discussed “Current Challenges for the Juncker Commission” on 1 June 2015 at the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin.

A detailed report will be published in English: http://iep-berlin.de/en/forum/iep-lunch-debate-with-prof-dr-martin-selmayr-current-challenges-for-the-juncker-commission/

Third German-Portuguese Forum, 27-28 May 2015, Lisbon

The Institut für Europäische Politik organized in close cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office and the Portuguese cooperation partner, the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, the third German-Portuguese Forum in Lisbon on 27-28 May 2015. The forum was opened by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Prof. Rui Machete and Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier (member of the German Bundestag) on 27 May. In four panels the forum addressed the following topics: “Generating Investments and Growth in Europe,” “Social Europe,” “Europe’s Future,” and “Science and Innovation”.

For more information, see: http://iep-berlin.de/en/forum/third-german-portuguese-forum-in-lisbon/

IEP Lunch Debate with Dr. Werner Hoyer: “The Role of the EIB in Supporting Innovation, Growth and Employment in Europe”

Dr. Werner Hoyer, President of the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) and former Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, discussed “The Role of the EIB in Supporting Innovation, Growth and Employment in Europe” on 26 February 2015 at the Representation of Saarland in Berlin. The event was moderated by Dr. Mathias Jopp, Director of the Institute for European Politics.

The whole report on the debate is published in English: http://iep-berlin.de/en/forum/iep-lunch-debate-with-dr-werner-hoyer-the-role-of-the-eib-in-supporting-innovation-growth-and-employment-in-europe/

European Parliament Workshop on “The World Humanitarian Summit: time for action, not for complacency”, contribution by Rahul Chandran

TEPSA+DEVE

TEPSA hasWorkshop Worl Humanitarian Summit recently coordinated the participation of Rahul Chandran (Senior Policy Advisor, United Nations University Centre for Policy Research) in a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Committee on Development and hosted by MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom, about the World Humanitarian Summit 2016.

For the workshop, which took place on 3 March 2016, Rahul Chandran prepared a contribution on “The World Humanitarian Summit 2016 – Requirements for an Ambitious Outcome”.

The paper outlines the need for Member States and other humanitarian stakeholders to take responsibility for the World Humanitarian Summit, drawing on the global consultations and the Secretary-General’s report, One Humanity: Shared Responsibility. It suggests that the core problem facing humanitarian action is that it is trying to deliver vastly different outcomes in a range of contexts that demand differentiated approaches. It suggests that the WHS cannot solve this wicked problem, but that through clear commitments linked to outcomes, it can begin to build systems that deliver as appropriate for each situation. It argues that Istanbul is a starting point, not an ending; highlights opportunities for deeper engagement; and makes a number of recommendations for commitments, including a format for commitments themselves.

Rahul Chandran is a Senior Policy Adviser with the United Nations University (UNU) Centre for Policy Research. His previous experience covers the areas of peacekeeping, development and humanitarianism, as well as a focus on UN reform. Before rejoining the United Nations, Mr. Chandran was the Deputy Director of the Center on International Cooperation, where he also helped to run the Afghanistan Reconstruction Program. Mr. Chandran also currently serves on the Consortium Advisory Group for the UK Department for International Development’s Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, and acts as a peer reviewer for a number of journals. He has authored a number of reports, including “Humanitarianism in the Network Age” for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Civilian Capacity in the Aftermath of Conflict”, which received widespread commendation in the UN Security Council, “From Fragility to Resilience” for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, as well as “Recovering From War”, a report commissioned by the British government. Mr. Chandran holds degrees from Yale University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

The paper, as well as the full report of the workshop, can be downloaded here.

Pre-Presidency Conference Luxembourg 4-5 June 2015

lux-300x69Founding member of the European communities and seat of European institutions since 1952, Luxembourg has proven its sound European spirit over the last 11 presidencies it assumed. In 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency will have to face tough challenges. On June 4 and 5 2015, the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche Européenne Robert Schuman in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association organised the Luxembourg Pre-Presidency Conference to discuss these challenges and to describe the main goals of this Presidency Trio: Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg .

On June 4th 2015, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, presented the main stakes of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of EU agenda, during the “Luxembourg EU Pre-Presidency Conference”. TEPSA invited professors, researchers from diverse European institutes, but also European civil servants and former politicians, at the historical Robert Schuman building of the European Parliament.

The inaugural speech by Son Altesse Royale the Grand-Duc Henri, gave the opportunity to highlight the importance of this twelfth Presidency for Luxembourg, where “the European adventure began 63 years ago”. “Our national interest is linked to the progress of the European destiny”, judged the Grand-Duc. Recalling that the Luxembourg Presidencies have often been successful, and that the “research of compromise” has always been prioritized, the Grand-Duc wanted that the Luxembourg Presidency will be “a full success, not for personal glory but only to serve the astounding European project”.

Before describing the global stakes of the program, Minister Jean Asselborn revealed the common key priorities which will guide the Presidency: he affirmed that Luxembourg will exercise an “open presidency” which “will put citizens at the heart of the European project”.

At the heart of the program, which is based on the five objectives of the strategic agenda of the EU for the five coming years, is the will to “act in a determined way in the migration field”, especially following the recent tragedies which took place in the Mediterranean.

Another crucial stake consists of the EU economic crisis. The Minister assured that everything will be set up to create growth and employment. Going deeper into the European social dimension is one of the other priorities. The Presidency will pay due attention to the Investment Plan for Europe of President Jean-Claude Juncker. In his speech, Jean Asselborn emphasized the importance of the competitiveness of Europe, the dynamism of the internal markets and sustainable development (in particular with the upcoming COP21 in Paris).

As a conclusion, the Minister underlined the two topics which are in the current European news, the Greek and the Britain issues. He spoke in favor of keeping Greece in the Eurozone and he also affirmed that it will be possible to find some common ground with Great Britain to keep the country within the EU.

After these introductory speeches, the conference was separate into parallels panels.

During the discussion focused on the Brexit and Grexit questions, the speakers were unanimous to say that an exit is neither in the interest of London nor of Athens.

Graham Avery, honorary member of the TEPSA board, explained that the UK wants to be “exempted of the effect of an “ever closer union”, and to avoid “excessive interference of Brussels”. His main claim is that the British will take their decision whether to stay or not in the EU “as soon as they have analyze the alternatives of their permanency within the EU” which will be less favorable for them.

For Johannes Pollak, from the Institute for Advanced Studies (HIS), a new Member institute of TEPSA, Greece and the United Kingdom would be losers in case of an exit because the economic consequences would be “disastrous”. Additionally, the EU would also be weakened because an exit of the UK would risk creating a domino effect on countries like Hungary, which would begin to demand some conditions to stay in the EU.

Throughout the session on the Juncker Plan, the speakers have showed some criticisms about this new investment plan.

Iain Begg, professor at the London School of Economics and Member of TEPSA Board, was not sure that the Juncker plan constitutes the best answer to the problem of “growth deficit”. For him, the plan is not effective enough and it will not change the actual state of the EU economy. He also warned the assembly of the oppositions and inequalities between EU Member states.

Andras Inotai, professor and director of the Institute of World Economic in Hungary and Member of the TEPSA Board, warned against the risks of having a two-speed Europe. To improve Europe competitiveness, it will be crucial to improve efficiency of the institutions, to maintain real cohesion, to support the creation of “innovative societies” and to strengthen the capacity of social adjustment.

Adriaan Schout, researcher at the Institute of International Relations, Clingendael, a Member institute of TEPSA, affirmed that the Juncker plan creates a “political risk”. He criticised the fact that the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB) are more and more political and are losing their independence.

Another panel was organized on the neighborhood policies and their difficulties, on the EU-Russia relations and on the Ukrainian conflict.

Katrin Böttger, deputy director of the Institute of European Policies (IEP) of Berlin and Member of the TEPSA Board, began her intervention by reminding the historical relations between Russia and the EU since 1990. Since 2013 and the acceleration of the Ukrainian conflict, there has been a crisis in the relations. How long will this period last? And what will happen next? A full membership of Ukraine in the EU would allow putting in place reforms in the country but some skeptics think that it would rather offend Russia.

Atila Eralf, president of the Centre for European Studies, Turkey, a Member Institute of TEPSA, chose to talk about the changes in the Neighborhood policy of the EU. He acknowledged that the neighborhood policy has not been crowned with success because of its special characteristics. The global approach of the neighborhood policy should be revised to be inclined towards geopolitics and precisely to face Russian attempts to strengthen the Eurasian economic union, which competes with the EU policies.

This Pre-Presidency Conference of Luxembourg 2015 was a success thanks to the involvement of the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman. The TEPSA Board and Secretariat would like to express their gratitude to Jean-Marie Majerus and his team.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in the Hague, November 2015

Drukwerk

The Pre-Presidency conference for the upcoming Dutch presidency of the Council of the European Union took place on 19 and 20 November 2015 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The conference was organised by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), and with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Representation of the European Commission in the Netherlands, the European Cultural Foundation, the Municipality of The Hague, Leiden University and the PONT project.

Pre-Presidency conference is TEPSA’s key event, it is organized twice a year before the upcoming, rotating presidency period. The Netherlands will take up the presiding role during the first half of 2016, this will be the 12th time when the country is presiding.  The conference looked at the European Challenges and Dutch Priorities for the upcoming presidency.

On the first day of the conference TEPSA hosted a General Assembly, followed by the opening session of the conference and the first panel: ‘Deeper integration& better governance’. The second day of the conference opened with an initially unintended session reflecting on one week after the terrorist attacks in Paris. The panel discussions of the second day focused on the ‘First year of the Commission President Junker’ and the crisis on both Eastern and Southern borders of the EU, including the EU Asylum and Migration challenges. The conference ended with a public event in cooperation with Leiden University where recommendations of TEPSA to the upcoming Presidency were presented to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.Bert Koenders. The minister gave a speech on ‘Challenges and Chances for European Cooperation’, which was followed by a question and answer session. The concluding remarks of the conference were given by the TEPSA chairperson Prof.Wolfgang Wessels.

The detailed programme of the event is available here and the final report here.