SEI assesses the future of Europe
At a time when the ‘European project’ appears to be threatened by unprecedented economic and financial challenges, what will make the difference between progress and decline in Europe?
A conference and four workshops being organised by the Sussex European Institute (SEI) will bring together leading academics, practitioners, policy-makers, NGOs and think tanks to assess the risks and opportunities.
The SEI has secured a €20,000 grant from the European Commission for a project on 'The future of Europe in an age of changes, challenges and chances', which includes the five events.
They have been organised around a series of themes and questions, with the aim of providing a cumulative understanding of some of the key challenges that face the continent and determining the UK’s position within Europe at a time of austerity and change.
The first event will be the SEI’s 20th-anniversary conference on ‘The Future of Europe: Progress or Decline’ to be held at Sussex on 27-28 September.
The keynote speaker will be a former Vice-President of the European Commission, Sir Leon Brittan.
The Commission will provide additional sponsorship for this event, which is already substantially funded by the University of Sussex through the Higher Education Innovation Fund.
Four more focused workshops will follow, building and expanding on the themes discussed at the conference.
Running from November 2012 through to June 2013, they will cover:
- challenging financial times in Europe;
- social citizenship and migration in Europe;
- EU foreign policy and the EU’s diplomatic service;
- and Euroscepticism in the UK and reconnecting the UK public with the EU.
Professor Sue Millns, SEI Co-Director, commented: “These events and the publications that arise from them will make a major contribution to high-level academic and policy-making discussions on the future of European integration.
“They will provide an excellent opportunity for us to think creatively about the future of Europe and present solutions to the problems which currently face European governments and citizens.
“This project draws on the SEI’s research strengths and inter-disciplinary expertise in all of the main areas where Europe currently faces major challenges.
“It also takes advantage of our broader ‘reach’ to practitioners and networks of scholars working in these fields at Sussex and beyond.
“The European Commission grant is an important and welcome re-affirmation of SEI’s visibility as a leading international centre for research and debate on the strategic issues facing Europe and the UK, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary and look forward to the future.”