Meetings 2019/20

Our regular meeting days are mostly Wednesdays, we aim for one to two meetings per month. If you wish to present your work in the EUSWG please contact

04 March (Wednesday)

Sala del Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia, 14:30-16:00

Talking Europe: The British Conservative Party and the De-Legitimation of the European Union

Prof Kevin Featherstone (Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science / Robert Schuman Centre EUI)

Europe's crisis manager? Explaining Angela Merkel's varying leadership in the EU's recent crises.

Lucas Schramm (PhD Researcher, EUI)

Discussant: Kevin Featherstone

05 February (Wednesday)

Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana, 14:30-16:00

European Parliament Ascendant

Prof Adrienne Héritier (Emeritus Professor, Department of Political and Social Sciences, EUI)

The EU external action: towards a joined-up approach?

Alexandre Veuthney (PhD Researcher, University of Geneva)


In its Global Strategy of 2016, the EU pledges to adopt a more joined-up approach in its external action. The development of a joined-up approach across its external policies would mean for the EU to integrate and coordinate better its diverse forms of external relations, i.e. foreign policy and sectoral cooperation. These different forms of external relations have hitherto been addressed in two separate academic strands of literature (foreign policy and external governance), which makes it difficult to assess whether and under what conditions the EU is moving towards such a joined-up approach. This research looks to develop an analytical framework addressing the intersection between (diplomatic) foreign policy and sectoral cooperation and answer to the questions: Does the European Union adopt a joined-up approach in its external relations with associated countries and under what conditions? How does it evolve, and why? We seek to move beyond the current division between foreign policy, and external governance approaches in European Studies. By proposing a novel analytical framework addressing the interface between the two types of external action, we would contribute to a fuller understanding of the nature, the potential and limits of the EU as a foreign policy actor. The case studies for this research are Israel, Morocco, Ukraine and Switzerland.

Discussant: Eugenio Cusumano (Jean Monnet Fellow, Robert Schuman Center)

15 January (Wednesday)

Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana, 15:00-16:30

A Cleavage Theory of Partisanship

Liesbet Hooghe (W.R Kenan Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/ Robert Schuman Center)

Gary Marks (Burton Craige Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/Robert Schuman Center)

Where does demand for populism come from in the EU?

Stefan Telle (Research Associate, Robert Schuman Center)

Discussant: Sara Svensson (Jean Monnet Fellow, Robert Schuman Center)

05 December (Thursday)

Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana, 17:30-19:00

Brexit and its Consequences

How the EU-27 Came to Be

Brigid Laffan (Robert Schuman Centre, EUI)

Should I Stay or Should I go? A panel study on the media’ encouraging and discouraging potential to vote remain or leave during the Brexit Campaign Period

Emma Hoes (PhD Researcher, SPS)

Discussant: David Moloney (Max Weber Fellow, EUI)

05 June 2019

European Parliament as an actor of EU external action – developments of the 8th legislative term (2014-2019) and perspectives for the next term

Myriam Goinard (Robert Schuman Centre, EUI)

Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana, 16-18h

Trying to capture the actorness of the European Parliament (EP) in the field of EU external action and its evolution in recent years requires to go beyond the question of implementation of the relevant Treaty provisions, and to look empirically at all activities of the EP in relation with non-EU countries. Many of those are codified in the Treaties and in secondary legislation (especially regarding oversight of implementation of acts, reporting and review clauses), as well as in international agreements (establishment of interparliamentary bodies). But other types of activities remain largely informal or are at best framed by EP internal rules only. De facto, the EP engagement in the field of external action is to a broad extent dependent on its own political will and on its ability to translate this will into initiatives which do not need to be codified in the EU legal order - as long as they do not infringe it. This informal character, coupled with a weak role foreseen by the Treaty at least on CFSP/CSDP, certainly explains the general lack of interest of academics working on EU foreign policy for the EP contribution, despite a rather flourishing “niche” literature specifically dedicated to this. To look in a comprehensive, yet synthetic way at the main features of EP’s actorness in the field of EU external action between 2014 and 2019, this research project seeks to address five main questions:

· Has the EP been able to streamline sufficiently its internal decision-making process to be considered a coherent, consistent and credible actor, rather than as a series of different and potentially conflicting actors?

· Has the EP managed to contribute to the shaping of the agenda of the EU external action, and of its related policies and strategies?

· Has the EP improved its practice of scrutiny over the EU executive’s external action, including CFSP/CSDP, and did it have the right means to do it?

· Has the EP further developed its own diplomatic instruments and channels towards third countries?

· Has the EU external action as a whole benefitted from the specific parliamentary contribution?

Overall, the field of external action proves to be an area of “self-empowerment” for the EP which has managed to consolidate and further expand its related role during the 8th legislative term. But there is still a large untapped potential to be explored, should the political will exist for this. The EP could enhance its leverage both towards the EU executive and towards third countries, would it combine more systematically its various “hard” and “soft” channels of influence, provide a more timely input into EU executive’s policies, and exercise a more complete scrutiny. On the other hand, the more classical actors of EU diplomacy would benefit from incorporating the distinct features of EP contribution into a truly EU-integrated approach when devising EU strategies and policies.

13 June 2019

Regulating the European Data-Driven Economy - A Case Study on the General Data Protection Regulation

Timo Seidl (SPS Department, EUI)