The influential role played by nationalism, identity and cultural heritage with regard to attitudes towards European integration was explored. The seminar provided an overview of the rise of nationalistic and independence movements in Europe following the financial crisis and the discussion was linked to the current status of EU skepticism. Case studies from the Netherlands, Iceland and Scotland were explored. The seminar was organized in cooperation with the Department of Folkloristics/Ethnology and Museum Studies at the University of Iceland.
Herman Roodenburg is Professor of Historical Anthropology and Ethnology of Europe at the Free University of Amsterdam and Special Researcher of Dutch Ethnology at Meertens Instituut.
Guðmundur Hálfdánarson is Professor of History at the University of Iceland.
Alyson Bailes is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland and works with the think tank Scottish Global Forum.
Human rights and the EU
, 19 May
The seminar tackled issues concerning the status of human rights within the EU’s borders following the financial crisis. Furthermore, the seminar focused on the human rights policy of the European Union and illustrated how it encompasses civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. This was achieved by utilizing case studies focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, gender equality, as well as the issue of freedom of expression.
Kinga Göncz is an MEP, the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and the former foreign minister of Hungary.
Pauline Torehall is a specialist at the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The EU and the Arctic, 2 June
This seminar focused on the European Union and the Arctic. Emphasis was placed on the formation of the EU’s Arctic Policy. How has it developed and which actors within the EU (institutions and member states) have a role in its implementation? What are the next steps for the EU in the Arctic? Furthermore, the seminar explored to what extent the EU can influence policymaking in the High North. Moreover the focus was on new shipping routes in the Arctic and various services related to them, such as transshipment ports and search and rescue centers. The seminar was organized in cooperation with the Nordic House in Reykjavík.
Richard Tibbels, Head of Divison, Arctic Affairs at the European External Action Service (EEAS) explains the European Union’s Arctic Policy.
Hannu Halinen, Arctic Ambassador of Finland.
Malgorzata Smieszek, Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland.
Andreas Raspotnik, Analyst at the Arctic Institute.
Iceland, the EU and Climate Change
The seminar focused specifically on recent developments concerning the EU’s climate change policy and how it impacts regulations in Iceland through the EEA agreement. Is the EU “doing enough” to combat climate change? Ranking among the highest greenhouse gas emitters per capita in the world, what is Iceland doing? Case studies were utilized to illustrate how cutting GHG emissions can be linked to innovation in the business sector in Iceland and some insight was given into attitudes towards climate change in the country. The seminar was organized in cooperation with in cooperation with the Icelandic Environment Association and the Iceland Nature Conservation Association.
Samuel Flückiger, Climate Change and Environment Officer at EFTA
Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe
Hugi Ólafsson, Director General at the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources
Bryndís Skúladóttir, Head of Environment, Federation of Icelandic Industries
Finnur Guðmundarson Olguson, Co-Editor of the Online Environmental Magazine grugg.is