SUMMER SCHOOL : Graduates explore surge in populism

More than 35 graduates from all over Europe and beyond participated in our lively annual Europaeum Summer School held early in July in the historic Escorial Palace area near Madrid, focussing on the apparent crisis in democracy, particularly the rise of new populism, from the Left as well as the Right. Discussions covered the collapse of traditional political parties, broken leadership tropes, protest voting, the rise of the outsider, demagogues, independents, opprobrium against establishment elites, and the anti-politics against politicians and systems. Please see the final programme here and the full list of participants here. Among highlights were keynote talks from Professors Eva Anduiza (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Anthony Arblaster (Sheffield/Oxford), Manuel Muñiz (IE University), Enrique Baron Crespo (former President of the European Parliament), David Ellwood (Bologna/SAIS); a public debate involving all participants, role playing, and working group reports. Please see here summary biographies of keynote speakers, and see abstracts of papers presented by graduates here. Feedback is very positive, and the Europaeum event is already deemed one of the highlights of the whole Escorial summer programme.


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Kohl praised Europe-wide academic works

Helmut Kohl and the Europaeum

The recent death of Helmut Kohl, giant of European politics, Chancellor of Germany for 16 years, brings to mind the day his public praise for the Europaeum, the day he graced a special Europaeum celebration event in Bonn, then a Europaeum member and capital of Germany, when he and George Weidenfeld, founder of the Europaeum, were each awarded the University’s highest honour, Senatorships. It was only up close could one confirm just how, literally, Chancellor Kohl was a towering figure (and how firm was his huge handshake !). It was Kohl who helped smooth Bonn’s entry into the Europaeum – the University received two huge Federal grants – one to study European integration. In his address he talked about how the Europaeum could contribute “towards solving the great cultural and social problems of our age”. In the 1997 special ceremony Kohl’s remarks came in the course of the main address at a special ceremony at Bonn University, on 22 May, to elect Lord Weidenfeld, a founding father of the EVROPAEVM, as an Ehrensenator. The Chancellor described Lord Weidenfeld as ‘a man who over his lifetime has built many bridges and continues to do so.’ He noted how Bonn now had the opportunity to become a focal point of European and international cooperation.”It is an investment in the future because the universities are playing an increasing role in the process of European integration,” he says. He went on to support Lord Weidenfeld’s thesis that Europe needed an elite – not with hereditary privileges but “citizens who are prepared to make a greater effort than others and to assume greater responsibilities”. He goes on to praise the EVROPAEVM, for “preventing academics from taking a blinkered view of their specialized fields”. See the full report in our early series of regular Europaeum Newsletters here.

“Agon” at Sixty

NYRB salutes passing editor with workshop on iconic ballet

For many years the Europaeum has collaborated with the New York Review of Books Foundation, which recently marked the sad passing of its illustrious and brilliant, founding Editor, Bob Silvers, memorial event at the New York Public Library. Bob participated in many events which the Europaeum had the pleasure to back. Our collaboration remains strong. The New York Review of Books Foundation is mounting a special symposium to mark the 60th anniversary of the iconic Stravinsky–Balanchine ballet, Agon, and once again it is recognising the Europaeum as one of its linked supporters. The event takes place in new York on June 26th. Please see more details, and the programme here. Later in the autumn, the Europaeum will be supporting a major event on the theme of democracy, globalisation and inequalities.

Past Events: Europaeum Summer School : Is democracy in crisis ?

Everywhere democracy seems to be in crisis. The rise of a new populism seems to have bypassed traditional political party structures, while the new leaders have broken traditional leadership tropes customs and rules, and voters have either stayed at home, or voted more frequently for outsiders and independents, heaping opprobrium not only on the establishment elites but on all politicians and politics itself. So Trump rules in part through Twitter, the UK establishment delivers Brexit which is does not support, while third parties rise in Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia – even Modi promotes Hinduvta over traditional secularism in India. This year’s Europaeum annual Summer School – the 24th in our series – explores the rise of Populism and Anti-Politics: and asks Is democracy in crisis ? Applicants are now invited for this event, hosted at the Escorial Monastery, linked to  Complutense University Madrid, in early July, 2017. Liberal Democracy has long  been the desirable model –  balancing representation, accountability, equality, participation, and “good governance”, boosted through the European Union expansion ending dictatorships and absorbing the former Eastern bloc. Experts from politics, civil service, think tanks, NGOs, and universities, will discuss key issues over five days of talks, panels, working groups, debates, a role-playing exercise, and discussions. It is open to all Europaeum graduates with local costs covered apart from travel (other students must cover local costs). To apply, please send a short CV (max. 2 pages), a letter of motivation, and a reference from your supervising professor to [email protected] no later than early June. For more information see the poster here.

Past Events: June 26th-28th: International Graduate Debate – Lisbon

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.

Past Events: Europaeum Lecture series : What next – after Brexit ?

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.

Past Events: Europaeum Lecture : Illiberal democracy and Post-Truth politics

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.

Europaeum lectures covered refugees, Brexit, leadership and humanitarianism

Keynote lectures in 2016

There were four keynote lectures last year, covering the crisis of refugees & migrants at Europe’s Door, given by Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, Emeritus Professor of International Refugee Law, in Bologna; on whether Brexit might mean the end of the EU, given by Josef Joffe, Publisher-Editor of Die Zeit and Fellow of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University; on Humanitarian Economics, given in Oxford by Gilles Carbonnier, Professor of Development Economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva; and on the leadership of Winston Churchill given by Professor Archie Brown, Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College. Please read the report on these here.

Past Events: 2016 US Presidential Election: a turning point ?

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.

Past Events: 2016 Europaeum Day on Migration crisis set for Geneva

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.