Reassessing the Brexit battleground

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current events, Current features, Events, Features

may-feat

Despite the fogginess of the British government’s approach to Brexit, there is little desire among the electorate to see the referendum played out again, according to Matthew Goodwin, a politics professor and Brexit expert from the University of Kent. Speaking at an event organised by the Migration Policy Centre at the Schuman Centre last week, Goodwin pointed out that there has been little change in public opinion towards Brexit in the eighteen months since the referendum. In fact, if anything, Leavers and Remainers’ positions have hardened. After delivering his lecture at Villa Schifanoia, Goodwin sat down with EUI Times, to discuss what comes next for Britain and the EU, and how we got here in the first place.

Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of Kent and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Chatham House. His new book, ‘Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union’, was published earlier this year.

Central banks ‘have never seemed so powerful,’ says Patrick Honohan

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current events, Current features, Events, Features

Honohands

When the European Central Bank woke up to crisis in 2008, they quickly realised that it was their responsibility to stabilise the money market, despite some saying they were acting above their station. Speaking at Villa La Fonte last week, Patrick Honohan, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, argued that the crisis drew the ECB and its affiliates into policy areas where its mandate was implicit, though no less real. Now, he claims, those central banks have ‘never seemed so powerful.’

Patrick Honohan was delivering a lecture for the Florence School of Banking and Finance on ‘Central Banking in Europe Today: Over-Mighty or Under-Powered?’ on 27th November. Honohan was Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank from September 2009 to November 2015. He is an honorary Professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin, non-resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC and member of the Scientific Committee of the Florence School of Banking and Finance. The event was made possible by the support of Fondazione CR Firenze.

The historical roots of the world’s ‘racism emergency’

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Current profiles, Features, Profiles

Hebdo -- featured

The world is in the grips of a ‘racism emergency’, according to James Renton. Typically for a historian, he believes that it is essential to look back in order to plot a route forward. In 2017, Europe commemorates two major milestones: the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Both these landmarks, Renton argues, can teach us a great deal about modern-day racism, and governments’ responses to it.

James Renton is a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. His new book, ‘Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story?’ (co-edited with Ben Gidley), is available now.

Smuggling as care, not crime

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

tijuana-kids

For all the bombast coming from Washington these days, it would be easy to think that the US-Mexico border is in crisis. Yet that is far from the truth. In fact, Gabriella Sanchez explains, life on the border is as it has been for centuries. Rather than building a wall, Sanchez suggests adopting a more considered and conciliatory approach to people smuggling as a way to alleviate suffering and increase our understanding of migration on the US-Mexico border.

Gabriella Sanchez is a Research Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre, based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Having arrived in Florence from the University of Texas in El Paso in September, Sanchez plans to develop a body of comparative, evidence-based research on global smuggling practices.

Rebuilding trust in experts after Brexit

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Current profiles, Features, Profiles

Jean Pisani-Ferry

‘The paradox of our times,’ according to Jean Pisani-Ferry, is that people are more educated than ever before, yet ‘distrust’ in expert opinion has never been stronger. Speaking to EUI Times after participating in the first of the Schuman Centre’s ‘Conversations for the Future of Europe’, on how to structure a post-Brexit Europe, Professor Pisani-Ferry argues that institutions like the EUI have a fundamental role to play in rebuilding the public’s trust in the relationship between science and politics.

Jean Pisani-Ferry is a professor of economics with Sciences Po Paris and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and he holds the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa chair of the European University Institute in Florence. In the first half of 2017, Pisani-Ferry served as Director for Programme and Ideas for Emmanuel Macron’s successful presidential campaign.

Catalonia in crisis

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current events, Current features, Events, Features

The Catalan referendum on independence, held on 1 October, has plunged Spain into its deepest constitutional crisis in over forty years. With the Spanish government set to suspend Catalonia’s regional autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid, one of the EU’s largest and most stable member-states is entering uncharted waters. ‘Nobody really knows what’s going on,’ says Carlos Closa, part-time Professor at the EUI’s School of Transnational Governance. ‘It is impossible to predict what will happen next.’

Beyond reaction: The EU’s challenge in tackling antisemitism

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Current profiles, Features, Profiles

‘Hate cannot be contained in one corner,’ says Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s first specialist coordinator on tackling antisemitism, ‘sooner or later it spreads.’ For that reason, she argues, it is the responsibility of society as a whole – not just the Jewish community – to combat antisemitism. Von Schnurbein recently joined the EUI as an EU Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, where she will spend the next year formulating policy proposals on how the Commission can help stem the rising tide of antisemitism in Europe.

Europe facing a ‘Sputnik moment’, says EU Commissioner Moedas

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

For Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, the series of crises which Europe has endured over the past decade has felt like being repeatedly ‘punched in the stomach’. Speaking at the opening of the School of Transnational Governance at Villa Salviati on October 4th, he told the audience that Europe is facing a uniquely challenging moment, ‘a time when change is needed, and complacency must give way to action.’

Punish Russia – just not like this

Written by Ellen Halliday. Posted in Current features, Features

Anthony Gardner

On Tuesday, the United States Congress voted by 413 to three in favour of a bill which will both increase sanctions on Russia and weaken the power of the President to revoke such measures. Former US Ambassador Anthony Gardner has urged his ‘friends in Congress’ to be tough on Russia, but not at the expense of US-EU relations. ‘I think [punishing Russia] is absolutely the right objective, I just think that the tools used here were the wrong ones,’ he said. ‘We [Americans] really should be working with the EU’.