Programme

 
Expand All +
  • Day 1


  • How content are Europeans currently with the EU and its policies? And how satisfied are they with how democracy across member states is functioning? This session will present and discuss the results of the latest opinion polls conducted by the PEW Research Centre, investigating public attitudes towards the EU and democracy three decades after the fall of communism.
    Institutions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • Keynote speech by major EU leader on the outlook for the new EU legislature
    Institutions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • Already one of the most advanced in the world, the EU Better Regulation agenda will continue to evolve during the von der Leyen Commission. New features will include the introduction of a ‘one in one out’ rule, the review of the ‘innovation principle’, and the possible refocusing of the whole agenda towards sustainability to reflect the adoption of Agenda 2030 and ambitious initiatives such as the Green New Deal. Will these new directions increase the coherence of the agenda? What will be the role of member states and EU institutions in the renewed better regulation agenda?
    Innovation
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Climate policy is a priority for the 2019-2024 Commission and the circular economy is considered crucial for transforming EU industry and achieving a climate-neutral economy. What is the precise role of the circular economy in the EU’s efforts to achieve decarbonisation? Where would most emissions savings from circularity come from? What are the trade-offs in different industry sectors? What kind of policy, at European or member state level, is needed to bring about the transformation? This session is supported by Mistra.
    Climate
    Energy
    Where
    SOLNA

  • Since the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has been obliged to take political (non-economic) objectives into account in its trade policy. These include the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the promotion of sustainable and environmental development and the strengthening of international security. More than ever, the European Parliament and civil society is scrutinising the Commission’s commitments in this regard, for example by strongly monitoring the sustainable development chapters in EU FTAs. The signature and ratification of trade agreements with Vietnam and Mercosur will further intensify this debate. How, and to what extent, is the EU’s trade policy a (or ‘the’) tool to promote these broader political objectives and how can new proposals such as a Carbon Border Tax and a Chief Trade Enforcement Officer contribute?
    Trade
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Money laundering has been high on the EU’s agenda for the last 25 years, with already four updates to the initial 1992 AML directive, but recent high profile events seem to indicate we are still far away from a solution in an increasingly complex and inter-connected world. Malign actors have been able to exploit the freedom of movement for services, capital, people within the EU, but national authorities follow mostly national interests and different rules leave many opportunities for arbitrage – suggesting the usefulness of a European approach. Dealing effectively with money laundering requires not only cooperation across borders, but also across several policy areas, involving a variety of authorities, from the supervisors, to tax authorities, justice departments and data protection bodies. Can this be achieved at the European level?
    Finance
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • Cohesion is a key aim of the EU. Traditionally, policies have focussed on lagging countries or regions. However, the real problem now seems to be growing divergences within regions (or countries) between many, but not all, rural areas and so-called metropoles, i.e. cities that attract talent and jobs. What are the political consequences of ‘dispersed’ inequality (yellow vests)? What does it mean for EU cohesion policy?
    Economy
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • One of the most visible EU responses to the 2015 refugee crisis was a revised 2019 mandate of the European Border and Coast Guard agency (Frontex), which foresees the establishment of a “standing corps” of 10,000 border guards by 2027. But will what these extra staff do in practice? Is the focus on more border controls justified? What role will the EBCG play in ensuring a more predictable and effective Search and Rescue system in the Mediterranean? What mechanisms will be foreseen for ensuring the accountability of the agency’s personnel? This session is organised in the context of the ReSOMA Project (Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum). The project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
    Rights and Security
    Where
    RIGA

  • Votes for populist parties fell short of expectations at the European Parliament elections last May, yet the predicted end of the S&D and EPP duopoly did hold true. The election results showed a marked decline in support for the two main traditional political groupings, alongside increased support for the smaller parties. The result is a far more pluralistic composition in the assembly, which requires more than two parties to find the common ground to pass legislation. Almost half a year after the new Parliament started its mandate, this session will shed light on the internal dynamics of the EP. What differentiates this Parliament from its predecessor; what kind of coalitions are now likely to form; which parties might come together to make decisions; and do we see the pro-EU camp teaming up against the anti-EU camp? Is the era of left vs right of the political spectrum now over?
    Institutions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are top priorities for the new Commissioner for ‘International Partnerships’. With the EU’s Gender Action Plan in development and external relations, a.k.a. GAP II, coming to an end in 2020, what has been achieved and what lies ahead? How can the EU speed up the implementation of the SDGs’ gender targets in all aspects of its external action? Do partner governments and societies endorse the EU’s efforts in fostering gender equality externally? What should be done so that EU delegations and member states can implement a more ambitious feminist agenda abroad?
    Foreign policy
    Where
    STRASBURG

  • Given that membership of PESCO, the central cog in the EU’s emerging ‘defence union’, is virtually identical to that of the European Defence Agency and that the first 47 projects have achieved nothing of substance yet, critics have dismissed the new architecture as a laborious exercise in reinventing the wheel. They also point to France’s European Intervention Initiative, which corrals half of the membership and the UK in structures outside of the EU and NATO. Is a European strategic culture nevertheless emerging? Does the EU need more strategic guidance for capability development? In what areas can the EU add value to NATO efforts and transatlantic burden-sharing?
    Defence
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • Governments and people around the world are concerned about the link between agriculture and food policies and improved health and nutrition. Due to the growth in demand for agricultural production worldwide, price volatility, market concentration and increased scarcity of resources, global agricultural and food systems are facing major new challenges, such as ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security and enhancing industries’ sustainability and competitiveness, while reducing their impact on the environment and climate change. How can we address not just agricultural productivity but improvements throughout the food and nutrition system in order to respond to these challenges in Europe and globally?
    Agriculture and Food
    Where
    ANGERS

  • In October 2019 the EU and the UK agreed on the Revised Political Declaration for the Future Relationship with a ‘comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement’ at its core. Since then, the Von der Leyen Commission has published in February 2020 its proposals for negotiating directives for a new EU-UK partnership, aiming for an "ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership" with a strong focus on ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition. Meanwhile, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his goal for a trading agreement along the lines of an EU-Canada style deal. This Lab will explore the scope and depth of the new EU-UK economic relationship, focusing on the future agreement’s rules on market access and regulatory cooperation.
    UK & the EU
    Where
    LIBRARY

  • Space policy can provide a substantial contribution to EU competitiveness and sustainable development. Flagship programmes such as Galileo, Copernicus and EGNOS, as well as the ‘space situational awareness’ programme (SSA) and secure satellite communications for national authorities (GOVSATCOM) will provide the European public and private sectors with a world-class infrastructure. However, the governance of this system is still unclear: who will take the driver’s seat? What will be the terms of cooperation between the European Commission and the European Space Agency? What actions would enable Europe to make the most of the resources invested in this domain?
    Innovation
    Where
    TALLINN

  • The Political Guidelines of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen foresee carbon-neutrality for the ‘continent’ as both the greatest challenge and opportunity. But the continent is much larger than just the EU. The emissions of Russia alone are higher than those of Germany, France and Italy combined. A carbon-neutral continent can only be achieved in collaboration with the EU's neighbours. What offers can the EU make to Russia and other neighbours to achieve carbon neutrality?
    Climate
    Energy
    Where
    SOLNA

  • The WTO’s rule-making capacity has been undermined in recent years, over and above the demise of the Appellate Body, for example in the areas of state-owned enterprises, public bodies, notification and transparency, and developing member status. This will render the WTO less relevant as these issues are now more important than traditional ones. As a staunch supporter of multilateralism, the EU has so far proposed a number of initiatives with the hope of spearheading WTO reform. Can the EU make the multilateral trading system relevant again?
    Trade
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Despite contributing to the centralisation and harmonisation of bank supervision and resolution in the Eurozone, the Banking Union remains a work in progress after more than five years. And without a single deposit insurance, backstop and liquidity facility in resolution, etc., it is still a considerable way from achieving its objective of breaking the potentially fatal link between banks and their governments. Moreover, both the SSM and SRB are confronted with the obstacles of an incomplete single market with only partially harmonised regulatory frameworks, especially as non-financial legislation still varies substantially across countries (taxation, insolvency, etc.). Additionally, Eurozone cooperation within the Banking Union has repercussions for the rest of the European Union. For example, the possibility to pool and transfer liquidity and capital in both good and bad times across jurisdictions as well as the cooperation between supervisory and resolution authorities constitutes a challenge for both banks and their regulators, especially in small host countries. This session is organised in cooperation with the Croatian National Bank.
    Finance
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • The combination of ultra-low interest and inflation rates appears to make opting for public sector deficits and debt a ‘no-brainer’. Perhaps the fiscal rules of the euro area, including both the upper limit on deficits of 3% of GDP and the commitment under the Fiscal Compact to lower debt levels continuously towards 60% of GDP, no longer make any sense. Should these rules be changed, or just ignored?
    Economy
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • Interoperability of EU databases is officially presented as an attempt to ‘break down the silos’ currently hindering law enforcement and security actors across the EU, and to allow police access to data gathered for asylum, immigration and border management-related activities. Is the implementation of interoperability feasible? Will it lead to more trust or mistrust among national officials and practitioners in EU cooperation? What are the main risks of repurposing data pertaining to migrants and asylum seekers for the purposes policing and combating criminality? Which basic fundamental rights safeguards need to be ensured in the operationalisation of the new interoperability framework, and how can they be made effective?
    Rights and Security
    Where
    RIGA

  • Ursula von der Leyen reconfigured the College and set new policy priorities. She also labelled her Commission ‘geopolitical’ and promised a ‘whole-of-government’ approach. Following Juncker’s example, she organised the College in portfolio-related Commissioner groups, each led by a vice-president. What exactly is a whole-of-government approach and what does geopolitical actually mean? Is von der Leyen’s European Commission more or less ‘political’ and how sustainable is the one-in-one-out principle? Is her College more hierarchical than that of her predecessor? This session will look at the internal dynamics of the new Commission and its relations with the other institutions 100 days into its new mandate.
    Institutions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • The purpose of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) programme was to prevent the emergence of new borders in Europe after the ‘eastern’ enlargement of the EU and to build a common platform, to share democracy, prosperity and stability. Ten years on from its launch, the EaP has divided between the three Association Agreements and DCFTAs with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine as its most substantial achievement, alongside much thinner relations with the other three for well-known political and economic reasons. Should there be a ‘new deal’ for the Eastern Partnership, with the three Association Agreements to be further built on as the three states wish, while also enhancing the EaP of the six? This lab is funded by 3DCFTAs project.
    Foreign policy
    Where
    STRASBURG

  • If approved in ongoing budget negotiations, the €13 billion European Defence Fund (EDF) would make serious money available for the research and development of military capabilities. What impact can the EDF realistically have on addressing critical capability shortfalls? What can be done to tailor the fund and the other EU defence instruments to better contribute to closing strategic capability shortfalls? How committed are member states?
    Defence
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • How can EU regulation and policies contribute to sustainable economic development through transformation of the agri-food value chain? In his September 2019 State of the Union Address, President Jean Juncker proposed deepening the EU’s economic and trade relationship with Africa through investment and job creation. The Task force rural Africa recently set up by the European Commission has recommended contributing to sustainable development of agri-food value chains as a priority. How can the EU best put this recommendation into action?
    Agriculture and Food
    Where
    ANGERS

  • After Brexit, the UK financial sector will lose access to the Single Market under the various passport regimes. While equivalence rules offer some alternative to passporting, they are available only for certain regulated activities. Equivalence decisions can also be withdrawn unilaterally by the authority granting them, be that the UK or the European Commission. There are also concerns about the increasing politicisation of the process. Given the UK’s departure from the EU, and its stance against necessarily maintaining strict alignment or rules, the question arises how the respective regulatory autonomy of the EU and UK can be maintained while continuing to recognise the equivalence of each other’s regimes. What additional regulatory and supervisory arrangements might be put in place alongside the existing equivalence regimes?
    UK & the EU
    Where
    LIBRARY

  • Why did the West, after winning the Cold War, lose its political balance? In the early 1990s, hopes for the eastward spread of liberal democracy were high. And yet the transformation of Eastern European countries gave rise to a bitter repudiation of liberalism itself, not only there but also back in the heartland of the West where politicians like Trump have been able to turn liberalism's principle against the liberal order itself. Krastev argues that the supposed end of history turned out to be only the beginning of an Age of Imitation. But today leaders in China and Russia now proudly refuse to imitate the liberal model, providing a new challenge for the West - different from the one provided by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Based on the book “The Light that Failed: A Reckoning” by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes.
    Economy
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • Is the EU a strong actor in sustainable development, climate policy, or digital policy? Which kind of EU governance arrangements boost Europe’s power and influence in the world? In this session, experts from the TRIGGER project present research insights on the EU’s ‘actorness’ in global governance, in particular a framework for evaluating EU actorness and influence as well as AGGREGATOR, a new database aiming at a better understanding of global governance and the EU’s role in it. The TRIGGER project, led by CEPS, is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and counts 13 research partners.
    Innovation
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • Sustaining convergence in Central and Eastern Europe requires a shift to an innovation-based growth model, which is supported by appropriate financing. Yet still, significant gaps exist in the innovation ecosystem and its financing, and most of the countries remain moderate or modest innovators. A new report from the Vienna Initiative has analysed the innovation ecosystem in CESEE and availability of finance for innovation, proposing a number of concrete measures to accompany more innovation in the region. The Vienna Initiative, a unique platform encompassing international financial institutions, central banks and regulators, as well as the international banks active in the region and other financial market players, has been investigating the issue of finance for innovation in CESEE. The working group focused on identifying gaps. While risk capital ecosystem is developing in the region, yet it remains small compared to the EU. More funding is needed for mid-stage/growth financing. Public intervention should aim at crowding in and catalysing private investors. Interconnection of risk capital hubs is needed to help companies in their scaling-up efforts. Besides risk capital, bank financing can also be a suitable instrument to support innovation at the later stages of the company life cycle. Positive lessons from innovation-focused credit guarantee programmes should be carried forward into the next EU budgeting period. There is potential to develop the supply of venture debt. Specific steps are needed to encourage intangibles-backed financing, which is currently non-existent. Besides funding, targeted advisory support for innovators can be a catalyst for improving local framework conditions.
    Finance
    Where
    SOLNA

  • Day 2


  • The EU has invariably called Turkey a ‘key partner’. This notion represents a downgrade from the term ‘key strategic partner’ used as late as October 2014, i.e. prior to the Union’s acrimonious negotiations of the joint statement aimed at stopping the flow of irregular migration across the Aegean Sea. President Erdogan’s autocratic turn and his country’s purchase of Russian air defences, drilling activities in the EEZ of Cyprus, war against Kurdish ‘terrorists’ and military incursion into northern Syria have ruffled European feathers and triggered new restrictive measures. Is the EU’s ‘siloed’ approach to bilateral issues with this candidate country appropriate and effective or should the Union take a different, more holistic and strategic approach in dealing with Erdogan’s Turkey? In either case, what would be next?
    Foreign policy
    Where
    SOLNA

  • There are many faces to protectionism, even when tariffs are trivially low or no longer used. Tools may include targeted domestic industrial policy, subsidies that do not deal with market failures and favour local firms, discriminatory public procurement, regulatory barriers biased in favour of local firms, closing off market access of specific sectors (often services), artificially maintaining SOE zombies, rendering take-overs impossible, using restrictive negative FDI lists, imposing local standards or SPS requirements in the presence of international agreements, etc. For over a decade, Simon Evenett has carefully documented such trends in his Global Trade Alert. He will explain its methodology and present some rather worrying results, which underpin a following session, “Is the problem trade wars or rising protectionism?” (March 6 - 9:30).
    Trade
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Many friends of CEPS will have known and loved John Peterson, who was part of the CEPS family for nearly thirty years. John spent regular research stints at CEPS, and also served for many years as a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. He was author or co-author/editor of many books on the European institutions, became inter alia editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies and was widely known across Europe (and North America) as one of the leading scholars in EU institutional affairs. Tragically, John died suddenly in 2019, and none of us had the chance to say goodbye. We at CEPS wanted to remember him, with his wife Elizabeth and his sons, and with friends from across Europe, in a way John himself would have enjoyed. This session will feature some informal and hopefully boisterous discussion about John Peterson, his life and times – and of course, Europe.
    Institutions
    Where
    TALLINN

  • While Artificial Intelligence shows enormous promise, developments in AI, as for any powerful general purpose, dual-use technology, also present enormous challenges. Though AI could improve cybersecurity and defence measures allowing for greater system robustness, resilience and responsiveness, AI in the form of machine learning and deep learning will make an escalation of cyber-attacks easier, allowing for faster, better targeted and more destructive attacks. The application of AI in cybersecurity also poses security as well as ethical concerns. Public policy should step in to avoid the ‘technology trap’: the fear that the use of AI in cybersecurity in the short run will make things worse would slow the pace of automation and innovation, making everyone worse off in the long run.
    Innovation
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Seeing more ‘low-carbon products made in Europe’ will require greater investment in innovation and research. Many contend this will necessitate a review and ultimately a re-design of EU industrial policy together with competition policy, trade, the EU budget and financing instruments. Others argue that this will not be necessary if carbon is priced properly. What lies behind the controversy about reform of these policies that have served the EU’s interests well in the past?
    Climate
    Energy
    Where
    SOLNA

  • Although ‘trade wars’ are regular front-page news, most of the ‘military’ activity (i.e. increasing tariffs and limiting trade in other ways) has been initiated by the US administration; forcing other WTO partners to retaliate. Nobody else starts trade wars. However, Trump’s highly visible tariffs might have obscured a subtle and less overt trend undermining the world trade system: rising non-tariff protectionism. Some indicators show a steady rise in resort to indirect protectionism over a decade or more. How can these be best assessed and what can realistically be done to reverse the trend permanently and credibly?
    Trade
    Where
    BILBAO

  • The digital revolution forms the biggest challenge for EU banks as we know them. While still relying heavily on legacy systems, they need to develop new products and improve processes to withstand the competition from new entrants such as FinTechs and Big Tech. This session will discuss the impact on banks of the ongoing digital revolution as well as the needed changes to the supervisory and regulatory framework. How are EU banks dealing with the digital revolution? Are they competing on equal terms with FinTechs and Big Tech? Are there financial or non-financial risks and opportunities that require legislative intervention?
    Finance
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • Inflation is stuck at around 1% in the euro area and market-based forecasts point to low inflation continuing for the foreseeable future. The ECB has not been able to induce higher spending, even with ‘unconventional’ policies of negative rates and bond buying. Should it consider measures to foster higher spending directly, for example by providing explicit subsidies for lending or issuing ‘helicopter money’’?
    Economy
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • EU judicial cooperation in criminal matters is based on the presumption that all member states comply with the EU fundamental values enshrined in the Treaties and primary law. Yet, mutual recognition of criminal justice decisions cannot be founded on blind trust regarding the independence of the judiciary and compliance with fair trial and defence rights guarantees, including detention conditions. To what extent is the process of rule of law backsliding in some EU countries jeopardising mutual trust? How does this affect criminal justice cooperation in the EU? Who should be, in practice, responsible for monitoring that such values, and corresponding guarantees, are respected? How could a new EU rule of law monitoring mechanism add value?
    Rights and Security
    Where
    RIGA

  • Recent studies of the Commission and of the balance of power between EU institutions find that the Commission’s powers and influence are on the wane. The assertiveness of the European Council (EUCO) on the EU institutional stage is often portrayed as a threat to the Commission and its key function as agenda-setter. Relations between the EUCO and the European Parliament also generate friction, as was apparent in the institutional turf battle around the appointment of the Commission President. Undoubtedly, the EUCO has emerged as a powerful player on the EU institutional stage. How far does this affect the institutional balance? What role does the EUCO President play when it comes to relations with other institutions, and how might we compare the former incumbent with 2 new President Charles Michel? To stimulate the debate, thoughts on these questions will be offered by TRACK (Teaching and Researching the European Council), led by Wolfgang Wessels.
    Institutions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • The reverberations of conflict and tension in the Gulf area are a major preoccupation for Europe and its neighbourhood. Can or should the EU play a greater role in restoring stability? Can it preserve the JCPOA and, if not, can it devise alternative approaches to the Iranian complex? If there are opportunities for the EU to find common ground and work more closely with the US and China on security in the Gulf, has it the political will and interest to cooperate effectively with Gulf states on broader issues such as human rights, climate, trade and economic diversification, as the region begins to face up to the long term decline of oil & gas?
    Foreign policy
    Where
    STRASBURG

  • In view of the specificities of cross-border defence markets and integrated supply chains, non-EU country participation will be assessed on the basis of award criteria that put fostering excellence, innovation and the competitiveness of the European defence technological and industrial base front and centre. Is this policy ‘protectionist’ and intended to favour the emergence of ‘European champions’? Will this contribute to or erode the overriding aim of enhancing Europe’s strategic autonomy?
    Defence
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • Recent proposals of the OECD and the EU have taken a tougher stance on aggressive tax planning by multinationals. The dependence on physical presence for the establishment of a taxable nexus, which is a main feature of the existing tax framework, poses a great challenge for the taxation of cross-border transactions of, but not only, digital businesses. This EconPol Europe Lab Session will discuss the opportunities and risks of recent policy initiatives such as the European Commission’s Digital Services Tax proposals. Can these proposals deliver what they promise – do they close the current loopholes in the tax system? What are the costs to competition and economic welfare in general and can such proposals find support amongst all member states? EconPol Europe – The European Network for Economic and Fiscal Policy Research is a unique collaboration of 14 policy-oriented university and non-university research institutes that contribute their expertise to the discussion of the future design of the European Union. The network’s joint interdisciplinary research covers sustainable growth and best practice, reform of EU policies and the EU budget, capital markets and the regulation of the financial sector, and governance and macroeconomic policy in the European Monetary Union. More information about the network is available on our webpage at: http://www.econpol.eu/
    Economy
    Where
    ANGERS

  • Europe has a tendency to develop ‘plans for Africa’, but the Africans themselves will forge the future of the continent. The two crucial problems remain investment and governance. How can Europe and African policy makers collaborate to address these two problems? What could be the contribution of local civil society? What can we learn from the African success stories? This session is supported by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA).
    Economy
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • Environmental externalities are not fully incorporated into asset prices at present. But investors (from households to asset managers, insurers or pension funds) can provide powerful incentives to integrate environmental sustainability into business operations. A plethora of instruments is currently discussed under the European Commission Action Plan such as taxonomy, disclosure requirements for investors, low-carbon benchmarks, non-financial corporate reporting, credit and sustainability ratings, green bonds standards, eco-labels for retail financial products. Will they be able to ‘move the trillions’ of investable funds
    Climate
    Energy
    Finance
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Negotiations on a new MFF tend to become cliff-hangers. This is the case this time as well since the positions of Member States and the European Parliament on the size of the budget diverge considerably. The new Commission President von der Leyen has pledged to mobilize a trillion Euro for the Green Deal. This means that the Commission has now two key priorities, namely supporting innovation and green investment, which jostle with the traditional priorities of Member States to defend their 'acquis' in agriculture and structural funds. Brexit and the increasing mood to restrict the EU budget further in net contributor countries reduce the margins for meaningful changes. Only a fundamental shift in the approach towards the EU budget could yield a good result. Is this possible or will the new MFF bring mainly cosmetic changes, some green labels here and some mainstreaming? Much ado about little?
    Climate
    Economy
    Energy
    Where
    TALLINN

  • The UN Global Compact on Refugees expresses the political will of all governments and relevant stakeholders to foster fair and human rights-compliant sharing of responsibility for refugees. Among key GCR objectives is that of expanding mobility and admission channels for international protection seekers through resettlement and ‘complementary’ pathways of admission, such as humanitarian admission programmes and visas. How do current EU asylum policies and instruments characterised by a ‘contained mobility’ logic – such as the EU-Turkey Statement – fit with the spirit and commitments enshrined in the UN GCR? What role should the EU play in ensuring EU member state government contributions in implementing the GCR? This session is organised in the context of the ASILE Project (Global Asylum Governance and the European Union's Role). The project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
    Rights and Security
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • With the rise of China, the Indo-Pacific is increasingly becoming a theatre for revealing the geopolitical order of tomorrow. The US developed its Indo-Pacific strategy, where Japan, India and Australia have prominent roles. France is leading the European presence in the region. Is there an enhanced role for the EU in the region as security provider? If so, then in what form? This Prime Talk is organised in cooperation with the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi).
    Foreign policy
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • China is the EU's second agri-food exports market, amounting to an annual €12.8 billion from September 2018 to August 2019. It is also the second destination of EU exports of products protected by geographical indications (GIs), accounting for 9% of its value, including wines, agri-food and spirits. A high-growth potential is envisaged, as when the country becomes richer, the demand of its 1.4 billion consumers for iconic European products will be driven higher. GIs protection is a component of the EU's common agriculture policy and an instrument for rural development. A satisfactory GIs protection chapter is a must-have in the EU's trade agreements. China has developed a comprehensive GIs protection legal framework in recent decades. But leveraging GIs protection for enhanced international trade has so far not been its focus, and enhancing GI protection for rural development is just starting. With the conclusion of the EU-China Agreement on Cooperation on, and Protection of Geographical Indications in November 2019, what can both sides do to achieve this potential?
    Agriculture and Food
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • ‘Black Swan’ is an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect and is unexpected by experts, e.g. 9/11, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Brexit, coronavirus. Our discussion aims to explore ‘black swans’ through history and discuss if there are patterns that help to foresee unexpected and impactful political and techno-centric events. This session is organised in cooperation with the Antropov Foundation.
    Where
    SOLNA

  • The EU has a democracy problem and President von der Leyen has made tackling this issue one of her key priorities. With The Conference on the Future of Europe, the Commission is hoping to provide a platform for European citizens that can boost democratic processes. Will the Conference manage to amplify Europeans' voices or simply live in its own echo chamber? This session is part of the ‘Towards a Citizens’ Union’ project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. It is the result of collaboration with 20 renowned think tanks from the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN).
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • A functioning democracy requires ‘mutual tolerance’ and respect for the political legitimacy of the opposition. It also requires different branches of government to collaborate in a system of separation of powers and refrain from actions that could undermine the other branches or the opposition. But these essential elements are today under threat, even in the old Anglo-Saxon democracies. Is the European Union with its multi-level governance and many checks and balances better suited to preserve democracy?
    Where
    AUDITORIUM