At the end of November, I did a long interview with Irene van der Linde for the Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer. The piece (in Dutch) was published on January 6. Among other things, I discuss the shift in EU leadership in response to the coronavirus and how it marks a new, more promising direction for Europe.
I had the chance to talk about my book on the latest episode of FEPS Talks with David Rinaldi, FEPS Director of Studies & Policy. FEPS Talks is the podcast series of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies. Among other topics, we discussed the current health crisis and the democratic process of EU decision-making and its legitimacy. While legitimacy has improved, I suggest there’s still much to improve on the “input legitimacy” for this recovery. A Grand Monetary Dialogue and a participatory process for the European Semester, both involving civil society and social partners, are needed if Europe wants to secure legitimacy of its actions going forward.
I recently had the chance to discuss Europe’s crisis of legitimacy and the interrelationship between democratic legitimacy at the European level and the ongoing Eurozone crisis – the subject of my latest book, Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone, on the Social Europe Podcast.
The podcast explores cutting-edge thinking on politics, economy and employment & labor with some of the most thought-provoking people around, including Nobel Prize winners and other internationally acclaimed experts. I talked about wavering trust in governing activities and authorities in the Eurozone and the different measures of governing legitimacy I use to gauge European Union actors’ legitimacy in the aftermath the Eurozone Crisis.
I was quoted on the paradigm shift in EU’s Covid-19 rescue package compared to the EU’s policy approach after the 2008 financial crisis in a December 6 Wall Street Journal article by Paul Hannon entitled, “Europe Seeks to Boost Pandemic-Damaged Economy by Spending.”
The rescue deal allows for transfers within the bloc to the regions most badly hit by the pandemic and most in need of funds – very similar to what happens in the United States on a routine basis. There has also been a change in monetary policy, allowing for easier borrowing by states in need of fiscal stimulus.
I have just been awarded an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Political Science at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, for a three-year term. I was very surprised and pleased to receive this unexpected honor. In Europe, to be named Honorary Professor is one of the most prestigious awards a University can grant to someone who is not a member of their faculty. It signals their appreciation of a person’s scholarship along with interest in maintaining close ties with them in both research and teaching venues. I have already been a visiting professor at LUISS in the School of Government for a number of years, conducting a short-term seminar in Rome once a year in late spring. This takes the relationship to a new level for the next three years. I am truly honored, and delighted!
On October 11, I gave a talk on “Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone” at McGill University’s Jean Monnet Center. The lecture was recorded and is available on YouTube (see below).
Here is an abstract of the talk:
The policies and processes adopted by the EU in the face of the euro crisis have in fact exacerbated long-standing problems of EU legitimacy and solidarity. Democratic legitimacy has suffered because Eurozone policies have failed to produce good outcomes and because EU citizens have even less say than ever over those policies. Indeed, the excessively intergovernmental processes of Eurozone crisis governance—in which the European Central Bank acts, the member-state leaders in the European Council decide, the European Parliament is side-lined, and the European Commission serves as a secretariat—have unbalanced the EU’s long-standing “democratic” settlement in which all three latter institutions pulled their weight. By “governing by the rules” and “ruling by the numbers,” EU institutional actors seem to have forgotten that democratic legitimacy demands not just rules to follow but policies that both work and appeal to the citizens.
On Oct 7, 2018 I participated on the panel “Germany’s Role in the European Union and the Transatlantic Relationship:1998-2018” for the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration of the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University: Reflecting on the Past, Envisioning the Future: The Center for German & European Studies at Brandeis turns 20. The panel explored how Germany’s role in Europe shifted between 1998 and 2018, what it means, what effects Brexit and right-wing populism are having, how the EU is dealing with these challenges, and what will likely happen in the coming years. A link to the program can be found here.
I have learned that I will be receiving the European Union Studies Association (EUSA) Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 EUSA International Biennial Conference in Denver next May.
The plenary honoring Schmidt at the conference will include Tanja Börzel (Freie Universität Berlin), Matthias Matthijs (Johns Hopkins University), Kalypso Nicolaïdis (University of Oxford), Fritz Scharpf (Max Planck Institute and recipient of the 2007 EUSA Lifetime Achievement Award), George Ross (Université de Montreal and recipient of 2017 EUSA Lifetime Achievement Award), and Alberta Sbragia (University of Pittsburgh and recipient of 2013 EUSA Lifetime Achievement Award).
More information about the prizes can be found here: https://www.eustudies.org/about/eusa-prizes
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a scholar in the field of EU studies whose lifetime of research and writing have been important, enduring, and widely felt influences on EU scholarship.
I was at the University of Tampere, Finland, August 27-29 to deliver a keynote presentation entitled “Theorizing the Power of Ideas and Discourse in Governance beyond the Nation-State” for the Sixth Conference on “Power & Governance: Forms, Dynamics, Consequences” at the Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR).
The agenda of the conference was to probe whether something general can be said about the forms, dynamics and consequences of power and to study what the alternative ways to approach the issue are and what kind of irreconcilable contradictions there are. Plenary sessions were held on the following topics: power relations, global governance, power and knowledge, and critique of power.
I am deeply honored to have been named Chevalier (Knight) in the French Legion of Honor. The prestigious designation, honoring individuals who have contributed to the advancement of French arts and culture, will be presented at a decoration ceremony in the fall of 2018 by Valéry Freland, Consul General of France in Boston.
The French Legion of Honor is an order of distinction first established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May of 1802. It is the highest decoration bestowed in France.