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.
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.
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.
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’.
Philippe Van Parijs is one of the most original political philosophers of our time. He is Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics at the University of Louvain, a special guest professor at the University of Leuven and an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1986 he founded the Basic Income Earth Network and remains chair of its International Board to this day. He is currently a fellow in the Global Governance Programme at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the EUI.
Collective memory thrives on trauma. Lived experiences spawn myths which in turn build nations and destroy unions. That’s why there are fireworks in New York on the 4th July and parties in Paris ten days later. It’s why, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, people united by a shared history of empire wear a red flower to remember a century-old war. Yet the ways in which memory guides our present day actions are not always so obvious.
‘We don‘t like to look at the wreckage of our creative destruction,’ she says. ‘But I’m trying to inspire people to think about the past and present in more nuanced ways. I’m trying to empower them to do something’. The communities of the Pripat marshes have survived calamity after calamity. In their determined resilience, Brown sees not pitiable peasants but unlikely heroes: ‘guides to our future, as we figure out how to live with a radically altered climate and planet encased in toxins’.
In Europe, the influx of asylum seekers last year was initially accompanied by an outpouring of heartfelt public sympathy. Ordinary citizens offered up clothes, toiletries and even their spare rooms to asylum seekers. But in recent months, policymakers, reacting to their polities, have hardened their stance to favour the expulsion of refugees rather than open arms.