Formes of Europe : of the European Union and of other organisations

International colloquium - 21st and 22nd October 2016

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The international colloquium of the Foundation, approaching the theme “Forms of Europe: of the European Union and of other organisations”, took place from Friday 21st to the early hours of Saturday 22nd October. About 200 persons joined the scientific event in order to attempt to the communications of until fifteen experts.

The first day of the colloquium was devoted to presentations on the forms of Europe existing within the European Union. After the opening speech by Pat Cox, President of the Foundation, contributions were brought throughout the morning to develop this issue: the first focused on political and economic motivations behind the creation of the Euro (Dr Gilles Grin); the second on the political dimension of economic governance (Prof. Dario Velo) and the third on solidarity in the European Union (Melinda Merminod). A last contribution came concerning the difference in evolution between CFSP and JHA (Prof. Nicolas Levrat). Mr Pascal Fontaine, Vice-President of the Foundation and Honorary Director at the European Parliament, chaired the morning session that ended with discussions among speakers, actors-witnesses and the public.

The second part of the day was dedicated to issues relating to values in the European Union (Prof. Fausto de Quadros), the importance and limits of federalism for the EU (Prof. Sabine Saurugger) as well as the evolution of the community method (Prof. Gérard Bossuat), democracy in the EU (Prof. Gilbert Casasus) and a contribution by President Cox entitled « An Ever Closer or a More Perfect Union? ». This second part preceded the conference of Professor Leszek Balcerowicz, former vice-president of the Council of Ministers, ex Minister of Finance of the Republic of Poland and former President of National Bank of Poland. The conference focused on differences in economic growth among EU countries. Below are broadcast footage of the highlights of that masterful presentation on economics.

The colloquium extended to the early hours of Saturday October 22nd with presentations on the forms of Europe existing outside of the European Union i.e. through other organisations. It equally served as an opportunity to make a pitch for a new generation of researchers through a partnership between the Foundation and HEIRS (History of European Integration Research Society) and RICHIE (International Research Network of Young Historians of European Integration) networks. These researchers presented other forms of Europe through the NATO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OECD and the EFTA. The morning session was chaired by Professor Brigid Laffan, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre at the European University Institute of Florence, who conducted a detailed analysis by commenting on the different presentations made.

Before President Cox’s gave his final statement to conclude that successful international colloquium, there was a long moment of discussion with speakers, actors-witnesses and the public on issues including the role of Switzerland in those organisations, the Brexit and its possible impacts on new forms of Europe, the historical importance of the post-war character of the organisations presented by contributors, the challenge of European defence as well as the future of Europe’s politics towards more federalism and a core of European integration.

Colloquium’s opening by Pat Cox, President of the Foundation, former president of the European Parliament and of the European Movement International

Leszek Balcerowicz’s keynote address

Discussion between Leszek Balcerowicz and Pat Cox