Rise of Anti-European Politics

Friday 28th April, moorning (9:00h - 12:45h)

From the beginning Union citizenship has been a shifting concept between national and transnational paths. Due to its complementary character it does not replace national citizenship but it is actually transforming it by challenging traditional orders of membership. Especially in times of crises this undecidedness might be a weakness, likely to strengthen the national path. The Brexit-decision expresses this problem in an ideal-typical form: Europe-friendly citizens do not use their right to vote while anti-European activism brings citizens to the ballots. The European integration project seems experiencing its most challenging period since its creation. This is due to EU leaders impossibility to find solution to a range of problems (the Eurozone crisis, high levels of unemployment, the refugee crisis. The political and academic debate about this development is highly complex. EU-citizenship now has moved from a rather special, even technical topic to the center of the problem. Under strong pressure of anti-European politics, the long-held assumption that European integration is unidirectional seem not anymore true. It becomes obvious that legitimacy, cohesion and solidarity in the EU are closely connected to the prospects of EU-citizenship in a broader sense. Democratic theorists argue for a reform of the institutional architecture of the EU and suggest that if the European Parliament gets the same competences as national parliaments in fiscal and social policies, it will become the forum of discussion for European citizens to resolve their conflicting interests about redistributive policies. Thus it might become the founding institution of a new cohesion based on solidarity. Skeptics hint to the will of the people to defend their national identities and coherence as well as their social arrangements. The ongoing cuts of entitlements to social benefits for mobile EU-citizens in the member states express the social dimension in relation to nationalization quite clear. 

These discussions have revealed that European integration,  the legitimacy of the Union, its cohesion and future is closely connected to the political representation and solidarity of its citizens. But how can solidarity be developed between citizens which are represented along national cleavages? What role can EU-citizenship play against the rise of the anti-European politics? How can European Citizens develop a sense of solidarity in a transnational sphere? How can European disintegration be avoid?

The Panel will address these issues along the following topics:

1. Perspectives of a further transnationalization of EU citizenship and paneuropean solidarity.

2. Nationalization in the European Parliament (and European Disintegration) What role play nationalist or right wing parties in the EP for the rise of anti-European politics? How can this be dealt with?

3. Social selectivity of political participation in the EU. The rise of right wing populism has much to do with  the passivity of those citizens who feel no longer represented by political parties and politics .  


9.00 – 12.45

Rise of anti-European Politics: Legitimacy, cohesion and solidarity in the EU

9.00-10.00  Keynote: ‘EU citizenship as ‘inter-national’ citizenship – a republican intergovernmental approach’, Richard Bellamy (European University Institute, Florence)

Chair: Uwe Puetter (Professor, Central European University, Budapest)

10.00-11.15 Insights from bEUcitizen: European political citizenship
Chair: Manuela Naldini (Associate Professor, University of Turin)

Direct democracy – why and when it works (or not), Dr. Monica Ferrin (University of Zurich)

European Parliament elections and political equality, Sandra Seubert (Professor, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main)

How the populist right frames migration, mobility and gender, Birte Siim (Professor, University of Aalborg)

The euro crisis as a constraint for EU democracy, Uwe Puetter (Professor, Central European University, Budapest)

11.15-11.30 Coffee Break

11.30-12.45 Panel discussion – The future of European political citizenship and democratic participation

Chair: Birte Siim (Professor, University of Aalborg)

Steven Blockmans, (Rapporteur, CEPS Task Force ‘Regroup and reform’, Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels)

Agnes Jongerius ( Vice-Chair, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament, S&D Group, Brussels)

Daniel Kelemen (Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick)

Alice Kessler-Harris (Professor, Columbia University, New York)