Referendums: asking for trouble?
Whether one thinks that referenda are good or bad for Europe, they have certainly challenged the assumption that national electorates favour the European project. This articles talks with four experts recently at the for a Robert Schuman Centre workshop about the challenge referendums pose to the EU.
Feature image: Allsdare Hickson on Flickr (creative commons license)
The EUI: a long term investment for Europe
Vincenzo Grassi joined the EUI as Secretary General in January 2017. He has been a diplomat for Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for many years, with long experience in the area of European affairs. Prior to his arrival at the EUI, he was Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the Kingdom of Belgium. In this interview with EUI Times, he offers his perspective on the EUI’s contribution to Europe–both now and in the future.
Change the habits of a lifetime
Professor Michele Belot joined the Faculty at the Economics Department of the EUI in January 2017.
As an applied economist, she has made a career working on policy-relevant interventions to improve people’s health.
An interview with the President
Professor Renaud Dehousse became President of the European University Institute on 1 September 2016. At the end of the EUI’s 40th birthday celebrations, where does the President place the EUI in the landscape of European higher education, and what plans does he have for the future?
The leaders we deserve
Leaders in Brussels ‘are not looking at the 46.6% of Austrians who just voted for the Freedom Party or the fact that Marine Le Pen has consistently been the only French politician polling in the double digits,’ Woods warned. ‘If you are going to lead, you need to be right in the middle of a group, to mobilise them,’ she said. Yet the shock of Brexit and the anti-establishment, anti-immigration discourse which continues to dominate political news-cycles suggests that democrats are failing to connect with their electorates.
Feature image: Paul-Henri Spaak, an early leader and one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the European Union. Source: CreativeCommons (Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F004456-0010, Karlspreis Aachen, Verleihung an Paul-Henri Spaak.jpg)
Finding the best match
Professor Philipp Kircher joined the Faculty at the Economics Department of the EUI in January 2017.
Although he describes himself as a classical economist in terms of the methods he employs, his research subjects, such as unemployment and even diseases like HIV/AIDS, are compelling for their real-world effect on human life.
Far From the Ivory Tower
Professor Anton Hemerijck joined the EUI in January 2017 as Professor of Political Science and Sociology.
He is first and foremost an academic, but the substance of his work belies a dual responsibility. ‘At institutes like [the EUI], our work should be judged on its academic merit. But over the years some my ideas have been taken on board by political actors. For me, that is important,’ Hemerijck told the EUI Times.
The Spectre of Populism
Across the continent, populists, from Farage’s Brexiteers and Marine Le Pen to Italy’s left-wing Cinquestelle movement, have gained ground in strides that seemed unthinkable just one year ago. As 2016 draws to a close, the old divisions of left and right are no longer adequate to explain the dynamics of our political landscape. For although united under a single word, populists these days have a varied face. So what unites the self-identified rebels who are taking control of the mainstream?
EUIdeas: the idea of utopia
In the first of a new series of podcasts from the EUI, Dr Joanne Paul and EUI History Researcher John-Erik Hansson discuss the idea of utopia in politics and literature, from More and Morus to Morris, and more. As 2016 draws to a close and we look to an uncertain future in Europe, it’s hard to imagine a better time to delve into the fascinating possibilities and curious criticisms contained within utopian worlds.
The Brexit mythology
As post-Brexit emotions run high, an appeal to myth lends a removed calm to divisive decisions which is otherwise worryingly absent. ‘Across our ideologies, countries and languages, myths are something common we can hang onto,’ she says. So whilst Brexit may have been ‘a cataclysmic event for the European Union – an earthquake,’ as Nicolaidis argues, ‘we should try to make sense of Brexit in our European life, as European citizens.’
Kalypso Nicolaidis is Professor of International Relations and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Oxford. She delivered a Max Weber Lecture entitled ‘The Three Meanings of Brexit’.