As the results of the UK referendum became clear in the early hours of 24 June 2016, the EU was confronted with the exit of one of its large member states, the first state in the history of the Union to depart. The referendum outcome came at a time when the EU struggled to manage multiple crises. Some scholars suggested that Brexit was the worst political crisis that the EU had ever faced and that it would trigger disintegrative dynamics in the Union. In reality the EU27 reacted to Brexit with resolve – its response was rapid, united and effective. The EU’s response is analysed from the perspective of the collective capacity and power of the EU; the power to frame the Brexit problem, the power to leverage the collective institutional capacity of the Union and the capacity to agree on what the collective interests of the EU were.
Since 2014 the Robert Schuman Centre has honoured its first Director, Yves Mény, with its annual lecture to mark the beginning of the academic year and to launch the Schuman Centre’s Seminar Series. Yves Mény was the first Director of the Robert Schuman Centre from 1993 to 2001.
This year they featured Brigid Laffan, current Schuman Centre Director, as speaker, Yves Mény as discussant and David Levine as Chair.
Watch the full lecture here.