Course: “The Current State of the European Union: Conference on the Future of Europe”, June 27 – July 1 (EIPA, Maastricht)

The European Union is becoming an ever more complex entity that is difficult to grasp even for practitioners. At the same time, the European integration project has lately been facing unprecedented challenges that affect the core of the EU’s policymaking capacity as well as the political commitment of its Member States. The culmination of recent events, starting from the 2015–16 migration crises, to the Covid-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, creates dilemmas that go much further than traditional ‘deepening’ or ‘expanding’ the integration paradigm and push the European Union to embody its mission more convincingly.

The summer school’s primary objective is to address the major issues discussed in the frame of the ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’, such as making the EU more democratic, incorporating climate change and green economy, digital transformation, migration and security. To do so the discussion will start to first see whether the novelties introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in various policy areas have proved themselves in practice. Then, with a view to the current crises-driven context, to see what further modifications should and could be sought to better equip the EU to respond to the current challenges.

More specifically, the summer school will tackle how the institutional structure of the EU could be enhanced to better adhere to the democratic principle. In that regard, the possibilities of designing new electoral laws for the elections of the European Parliament will be discussed in detail as well as the right of initiative as the cornerstone of the current ordinary legislative procedure. Then, the course will elaborate further on how the EU could effectively safeguard the rule of law in its Member States, especially in cases of backslidings. Later, the modules will also address, inter alia, how the EU could further ensure the protection of fundamental rights in the EU, how the EU is to preserve the Eurozone (and whether to expand it), how to make the European Union greener and how to fight effectively against the climate crisis. Moreover, the course will also make a distinct effort to explain what digital transformation entails, and what regulatory efforts are made at the EU level to tackle artificial intelligence (AI), big data and social media platforms. Finally, the course will map out how make the EU more secure and what role the EU should play on the world stage. On that basis, the summer school will make an attempt to see whether the EU’s united and swift response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has a lasting impact on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Defence and Security Policy of Europe.

What you will learn in this course

The objective of the summer school is to provide national administrations, interest groups and practitioners working with issues related to the European Union with an enhanced understanding of how the current challenges shape EU policymaking and regulatory affairs related to the integration process.

In essence, the course explores the tenets of the European Union and helps participants to understand the underlying political, social and economic dilemmas, and evaluate European-level responses.

Read more here.