On May 25, I participated in a webinar on the politics of emergency, as part of a series of online talks from UCL’s European Institute and the Department of Public Policy/School of Public Policy.
The roundtable discussion builds on a debate section on “European and the Transnational Politics of Emergency,” co-eds Christian Kreuder-Sonnen and Jonathan White (2021) , in the Journal of European Public Policy, to which I contributed. Myarticle for the journal is entitled: “European Emergency Politics and the Question of Legitimacy.”
On Monday, May 24, I took part in a discussion hosted by BU’s Center for the Study of Europe with Bojan Bugaric, Professor of Law at Sheffield University and Associate Fellow, SPERI (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, and Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. Bugaric and Tushnet were presenting their forthcoming book from Oxford University Press:Power to the People: Constitutionalism in an Age of Populism. I was joined by Robert L. Tsai, Professor of Law at Boston University, who also offered comments.
Bugaric and Tushnet’s book challenges the notion that populism is ipso facto incompatible with modern liberal democracy. While acknowledging that some variants of populism are indeed incompatible with constitutionalism, they argue that the tension between populism and constitutionalism is narrower than much of the commentary suggests. Their analysis of populism in a variety of contexts reveals there are many populisms, and further, that sometimes populism helps to revivify democracy rather than undermine it.
On May 21, I gave a presentation entitled “COVID 19 and Its Possible Implications for EU Differentiation” for PhD students in a short course on “A Differentiated Europe and Its Implications” organized by ARENA Center for European Studies, Oslo University. The core objective of this course is to address differentiation as a central concern in European studies, across academic disciplines from political science, public policy and public administration, to law, sociology and history.
On May 10, 2021, I took part in a webinar organized by the RECONNECT Horizon 2020 project—a four-year multidisciplinary research project on ‘Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law’, aimed at understanding and providing solutions to the recent challenges faced by the European Union (EU).
The event begins with a presentation by RECONNECT partner Prof. Bernd Schlipphak (University of Münster), who summarizes theresults from a survey among 12,000 citizens from six European countries on the ideal setting of the EU in the mind of European citizens. Based on these results, a panel of experts consisting of myself, Prof. Brigid Laffan (EUI, Florence), Prof. Michael Zürn (WZB, Berlin) discusses the implications for the wider prospects of EU reform. The webinar is moderated by RECONNECT partner Prof. Oliver Treib in collaboration with Dana S. Atzpodien (both from the University of Münster).
On Wednesday, April 21, I gave a talk entitled “Democratic Legitimacy in Times of Emergency: Eurozone Crisis and the Covid-19 Pandemic.” It was a one hour videoconference presentation for the seminar series International Relations in the North East at Northumbria University, Newcastle on Tyne.
On Monday, April 19, I gave a keynote speech for a series of online events organized by the trade union movement in Germany together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Hans Böckler Foundation under the title: “Towards the United States of Europe? Trade union visions for a progressive European economic policy.” In addition to my keynote speech, I was asked to participate in the third panel, focused on “How united should the United States of Europe be? Opportunities and limitations of flexible integration in EU economic policy.”
Other keynotes were given by Martin Schulz, former President of the European Parliament, and Frank Werneke, head of the industrial services Union. The other participants in the panel discussion, which was chaired by Melinda Crane, were Reiner Hoffmann (German Trade Union Confederation), Philippa Sigl-Glöckner (member in the economic advisory board of the German Social Democratic Party) and Lukas Oberndorfer (Chamber of Labour Vienna).
Key questions discussed during the panel were:
1) What exactly can a flexible EU economic policy look like? How much flexibility is possible in the Monetary Union?
2) Does the current EU economic governance have a legitimacy problem? How can the legitimacy of the EU economic governance be strengthened?
3) Are further integration steps needed in EU economic policy? What kind of reforms are needed? Can further integration steps in EU economic policy be harmful?
On Monday, April 12, I was a speaker on a panel entitled “The New EU Economic Policy after Covid-19 and Next Generation EU” as part of the day-long high level conference “An Economy that Works for the People: Beyond Brexit and Covid-19.” Organized by the the DCU Brexit Institute in Dublin in the framework of the Jean Monnet Project RELAY, an EU-funded Erasmus+ project, coordinated by the University of Maastricht and involving a number of partners across Europe, the aim of the conference was to to assess the policy priorities of the new European Commission. The event, which featured a keynote speech by Mr. Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner in charge of Economic Affairs, took stock of the major developments which Next Generation EU, the post-pandemic recovery fund, represents for the future of the European Union. [Download the conference program]
On March 8, 2021, I gave a presentation entitled“Discursive Institutionalism: Analyzing the Power of Ideas and Discourse in Institutional Context” for a research seminar series on Law, Democracy and Welfare (RDV) hosted by a university consortium in the West of Norway.
The seminar series is based on a collaboration between the Research Group Law, Democracy and Welfare at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, the Center for Research on Discretion and Paternalism at the Department of Administration and Organization Theory at the University of Bergen, and the Center for Law and Social Transformation at the University of Bergen. The seminar series’ field of interest is located at the interplay between law, welfare, and democracy, with a focus both on the effects different legal constructions have on the liberty and social and political participation of vulnerable groups and on of welfare services practice and decision-making.
On March 15, 2021, I gave gave an online Book Talk on European’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).
The event – Legitimacy and Power in the EU: Lessons from the Eurozone and Coronavirus Crises – was moderated by Anthony Teasdale, head of the European Parliamentary Research Service, and featured Jim Cloos, who recently retired from the Council secretariat to become Secretary General of TEPSA, as a discussant. After briefly introducing my reasons for writing the book, I set out its main arguments and reflected on its implications for the current coronavirus crisis.
On February 15th, I took part in a virtual discussion of my new bookEurope’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozonefor SPERI, the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield. I presented the key arguments of the book the implications for an EU that, with the ongoing pandemic, faces yet another crisis of its political economy (and, potentially, its legitimacy). The event was organised byDr Owen Parker, Research Fellow at SPERI, who chaired the discussion.Professor Simon Bulmeroffered thoughts and reflections on the book, for which I am grateful.