Once again the Europaeum will be facilitating our usual lively international debate led by Europaeum graduates as part of the next – 25th anniversary Estoril Forum on June 26th – 28th near Lisbon, organised by our colleagues at the Institute of Political Studies IEP at the Catholica University, before an audience of some 150 participants. The Europaeum is one of a number of leading partners working with the IEP, this year the conference focusing on the theme Defending the Rule of Law and the Western Tradition of Liberty. Keynote speakers will include Professor Jose Manuel Barroso, who led the European Union for eight years, is now a trustee for the Europaeum, and teaches at the Catholica; Jacques Rupnik from Sciences Po and the College de Bruges, who has collaborated with the Europaeum through our Vaclav Havel Dialogue Project.
The Europaeum plans to host a small research workshop in Oxford exploring ow effective current policy initiatives are at tackling gender inequalities. The plan is to invite a number of specialist researchers from academe, public NGOS and other civic bodies such as Oxfam, and from think tanks, to look at current thinking – taking as a starting point, recommendations outlined in recent World Bank and IMF reports – and to set up a new Europaeum Research Project Group. The workshop is being led by Professor Devaki Jain from Delhi, Professor Anthony Heath of Nuffield College, Oxford, and Dr Paul Flather of Mansfield College, and is being supported by a new Ford Foundation grant. The event will be hosted in Oxford, deferred from summer to the autumn due to unavoidable circumstances. It is hoped to produce a report from the work. As usual, the group is by invitation only but Europaeum academics interested in being considered for this new EPRG, are invited to write to the Secretary-General. Colleagues from Madrid, Geneva, Helsinki have already indicated interest. More details will follow.
Professor Charles Wyplosz, professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, will chair our next special Europaeum Lecture in our regular series. This will be given by Will Hutton, a noted economic commentator, currently Principal of Hertford College, Oxford University, and Chair of the Oxford Europaeum Group. Mr Hutton, who has regular influential columns in The Guardian and The Observer newspaper (where he was once Editor), will be discussing What Next – after Brexit ? In recent columns, Mr Hutton has written on the consequences for international trade that loom after the Brexit and Trump votes in the UK and US, and now he could add the Renzi referendum vote in Italy (see link here). He has also previously discussed the costs and benefits of globalization (see link here). After beginning his career as a stockbroker and investment analyst, he moved to the BBC as a producer and reporter. He has been Economics Editor of the BBC’s flagship Newsnight programme (1983-88), Editor-in-Chief of the European Business Channel (1988-90), and Economics Editor at the Guardian (1990-96), winning several media awards. He is currently Chair of the Big Innovation Centre Innovation Board.You can read Professor Wyplosz ‘s Europaeum Lecture on Fiscal Discipline in the Monetary Union here.
Aleksander Smolar, the well-known journalist and commentator, gave the keynote Europaeum Lecture in Prague on February 17th on the theme of Illiberal democracy and Post-Truth politics : counter-revolution in Poland today ? He was a well-known member of anti-communist opposition, founder and editor of the political quarterly Annex, and spokesman for a number of activist groups. After 1989, he served as an advisor to Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Hanna Suchocka. He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and has many awards including the Sakharov Prize for lifetime achievement (2009). We are pleased to have Professor PÉTER BALÁZS, now professor at the Central European University in Budapest, and a former member of the European Commission and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary to give a Hungarian perspective too, alongside leading Czech commentator to give Czech perspectives. Full details on this poster here.
With American voters poised to choose their 45th President in what has been deemed one of the most volcanic and decisive campaigns in decades, it may be worthwhile to ponder how such elections – from time to time – are considered turning points or watershed moments in the history of US politics. This 58th election – according to some polls – remains finely balanced, with very high stakes. Either way, history is set to be made.
A previous Europaeum Lecture, by Godfrey Hodgson, journalist, broadcaster, and academic who studied History at Oxford and Pennsylvania, before joining The Observer and The Sunday Times in Washington, looked closely at the impact such events can have. In that lecture, he examined the presidential election as “a device for national introspection”, drawing particularly on the elections of 1876, 1912, 1968, and 2004. At each of these, Hodgson contended, America stood at a crossroads – something few could deny applies equally to 2016. Please read The Other American Presidential Election: Choosing a President and Psychoanalyzing a Nation, delivered at the Campus den Haag at Leiden University in 2004, here.
The Europaeum is once again mounting a special Europaeum Day initiative focussing a series of events to be hosted with the Graduate Institute in Geneva, on European migration and mobility, amidst the fall out from the UK vote to exit the European Union.
The plan for the Europaeum’s European Migration Day is to invite a select group of past and current Europaeum alumni to come to Geneva on October 20th for a day of debates and discussion, including a ‘fireside chat’ with leading European figures, and a model European Parliament-style debate on the theme including reforms to free movement rules, dealing with asylum seekers from north Africa, the impact of the Brexit vote, and how to build Europe-wide cooperation on migration issues.
The high-level panel exploring the politics behind the migration crisis in Europe will include former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, and we hope the Economist and The Observer newspaper columnist, Will Hutton. Please contact the office if you wish to be considered for participation.
This year’s Europaeum Academic Council will be hosted by Rector Tomáš Zima, at Charles University in Prague (who featured in our last e-bulletin) on May 12th as part of the University’s special celebrations to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of its founder, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. It will also celebrate Prague’s international links – and membership of the Europaeum, of the COIMBRA Group of ancient universities, and of the UNICA group of universities in capital cities. Europaeum partners – including several Europaeum rectors/deputy rectors – will participate in a special ceremony in the Aula Magna in the old Carolinum Building at Charles University, as well as in an exhibition, and a special Rectors’ conference on the Legacy of Charles IV – Education and Academic Freedom, Innovation and Open Society. Rectors and deputy rectors from Helsinki, Leiden, the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and Oxford are taking part.
Some 25 past, present and future MA graduates attended our special celebratory event hosted by Leiden University to mark the 10th full year of our pioneering and jointly-offered MA programme in European History & Civilization – which links the History Faculties of Leiden, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Oxford Universities.
Our “pilot year” was launched in 2004-5, with just five intrepid pioneers ! Many have gone on to exciting careers in cultural industries, in public service, and of course in academia, too. The get-together in Leiden on September 18th also coincided with the final graduation of this year’s MA cohort of eight students. Proceedings involved an update on the MA programme, and a special seminar looking at the development of rights through European history. The seminar involved leading professors from Leiden, Oxford and Paris I Universities, discussing key moments in the development of the story of human rights, arising at least in part from the time of Magna Carta 800 years ago, which was, of course, in keeping with the special qualities of our course, given in three differing perspectives, reflecting views from the Netherlands, from France and from the UK.
Certificates were handed out to this year’s graduates by Rector Magnificus Professor Carel Stolker of Leiden University who attended the event, along with one of the programme’s founding fathers, Professor Wim van den Doel, Dean of Humanities at Leiden. Good wishes were sent from the other two who were both speaking at other conferences, Professor Robert Evans, Emeritus Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and Professor Jean-Pierre Genet, former Professor of History at Paris 1 Panthenon-Sorbonne.
The Europaeum, 99 Banbury Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK, OX2 6JX