EU Policy in times of crises: Integration / Disintegration
Description of the conference:
Since the Eurozone crisis, the cohesion of European Union polity has been challenged as never before. The global financial crisis, the refugee crisis, the data protection crisis, the rise of nativist right wing parties, anti-European parties in some member states, the trade wars and recent threats by the Trump administration, climate change, the Brexit process and the rise of secessionist movements have added increasing pressures on the much needed political consensus on deeper integration in the EU. As a result, some claim that historical solidarity and collaboration between EU Member States is waning. National voices contest the extent to which the EU institutions are better equipped than the domestic institutions to adequately address the collective challenges and emerging crises.
The above scenario has led a number of scholars and policy makers to suggest that the EU is at risk of ‘disintegration’ and potentially faces an existential crisis. Divisions between east, west, north, and south have resurfaced and still fewer people think that the European Union serves them well. The exclusive reliance on national democracies in a deeply integrated European market has become a threat to the survival of the Union and to the welfare of people in all member states.
Nevertheless, others advocate that European integration remains the best option for meeting the internal and external challenges posed by globalization. Yet in order the European project to be saved, enhancement of its’ democratic legitimacy is required. EU citizens must be able to hold European leaders accountable for their decisions, and – through their representatives – impact policy content during negotiations at the EU level. The EU has to reinstate popular sovereignty over core state powers and address citizens’ frustrations about their weak voice in European politics, economics and societal matters.
As EU institutions expand their competences, member states’ party organizations must make a genuine effort in meeting the challenges of a multilevel polity. For an effective pursuit of policy goals and citizens’ representation, parties must forge transnational links which will enable them to promote their goals through a common front at the EU level. This brings a new understanding of solidarity between states, people and EU institutions
Is crisis the new norm in European politics? If so, how can the EU establish effective policies that can address this, draw Europe together and defend democracy in an increasingly post-factual world order?
These are some of the core questions that will be addressed at the forthcoming Danish European Community Studies Annual Conference, Roskilde University, 26- 27 September 2018.
Organiser: Sevasti Chatzopoulou
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