The European Union was described by Jacques Delors as an unidentified political object and by Jose Manuel Barroso as the first non-Imperial empire. The descriptors assigned to the European Union are creative and diverse yet the agreement on what is the actual shape that the EU is taking is by no means an easy one to be achieved. Historical choices shaped and reshaped the size and functioning of the EU while the goal of an emerging ‘ever closer union’ is still in search for the paths of real and not ideal accomplishment. The agreement seems to come when it’s about the growing impact of the decisions taken in Brussels on the daily lives of the European citizens and the increasingly redistributive outcomes of the policy choices inside the EU. These dynamics created the framework for the politicization of Europe and opened a vivid debate about the direction and proportions of such a process.
The politicization of Europe takes various shapes and addresses significant puzzles. While it is clear that the EU doesn’t resemble a state it is less clear if the decisions that shape its policies are configured by Pareto efficient outcomes or by dynamics that are intrinsic to a political system and defined by emerging party politics within the European Parliament. The democratic problem or the democratic deficit issue was and continues to be one of the main challenges facing the European Union in any terms or from any position is understood or described. The problem of accountability for the decision making inside the EU was there from the beginning and it emerged gradually as more emphatic on the agenda of vivid debates as the powers of the EU have grown after the Maastricht Treaty. This was concomitant with a growing disenchantment of citizens from member states with politics in general, with debates over the democratic deficits inside member states, with enlargement and with a visible and worrying decrease in voters’ turnouts at both national and especially European elections. The optimist supporters of EU believe in its power to constantly reinvent and reshape while the pessimists see either a persistence of existing problems or a darker scenario that could lead in front of current problems even to the end of the EU as we know it.
The Fourth Euroacademia International Conference ‘The European Union and the Politicization of Europe’ aims to survey some of these current debates and addresses once more the challenges of the EU polity in a context of multiple crises that confronted Europe in recent years. It supports a transformative view that involves balanced weights of optimism and pessimism in a belief that the unfold of current events and the way EU deals with delicate problems will put an increased pressure in the future on matters of accountability and will require some institutional adjustments that address democratic requirements for decision making. However in its present shape and context the EU does not look able to deliver soon appropriate answers to democratic demands. In a neo-functionalist slang we can say as an irony that the actual crisis in the EU legitimacy is a ‘spillover’ effect of institutional choices made some time before. To address the EU’s democratic deficit however is not to be a skeptic and ignore the benefits that came with it but to acknowledge the increasing popular dissatisfaction with ‘occult’ office politics and with the way EU tackles daily problems of public concern while the public is more and more affected by decisions taken at the European level.
Is the EU becoming an increasingly politicized entity? Is the on-going politicization of Europe a structured or a messy one? Do political parties within the European Parliament act in a manner that strengthens the view of the EU as an articulate political system? Are there efficient ways for addressing the democratic deficit issue? Can we find usable indicators for detecting an emerging European demos and a European civil society? Does a Europeanization of the masses take place or the EU remains a genuinely elitist project? Did the Lisbon Treaty introduced significant changes regarding the challenges facing the EU? Can we see any robust improvements in the accountability of the EU decision making processes? Are there alternative ways of looking at the politicization processes and redistributive policies inside the EU? These are only few of the large number of questions that unfold when researchers or practitioners look at the EU. It is the aim of the Fourth Euroacademia International Conference ‘The European Union and the Politicization of Europe’ to address in a constructive manner such questions and to offer o platform for dissemination of research results or puzzles that can contribute to a better understanding of the on-going process of politicization within the European Union.
The conference is addressed to academics, researchers and professionals with a particular interest in Europe, Europe related and European Union topics from all parts of the world. As the nature of the conference is intended to be multidisciplinary in nature, different academic backgrounds are equally welcomed. Cultural approaches, political studies, critical studies, out of mainstream approaches and artistic/literary contributions to the better understanding of Europe in its past present and future dimensions are all equally welcomed. Euroacademia favors alternative and innovative thinking proposals and non-mainstream methodologies.
Post-graduate students, doctoral candidates and young researchers are welcomed to submit an abstract. Representatives of INGOs, NGOs, Think Tanks and activists willing to present their work with impact on or influenced by specific understandings of Europe and/or the European Union are welcomed as well to submit the abstract of their contribution.
Abstracts will be reviewed and the participants are selected based on the proven quality of the abstract. The submitted paper for the conference proceedings is expected to be in accordance with the lines provided in the submitted abstract.
Registration and Fee
Registration fee is 225 Euro
The Participation Fee Includes:
- the registration fee
- participant’s package with all the materials for the conference
- inclusion in the conference proceedings published volume
- a copy of the electronic volume
- access to Euroacademia discussion group and newsletters
- coffee brakes and refreshing drinks for all the duration of the conference
- sparkling wine welcome drink on 20th of November 2015
- a 4 course Czech specialties lunch on 20th of November 2015
- a 4 course Czech specialties lunch on 21st of November 2015 at
- certificate of attendance
- access to optional social program
Unfortunately, Euroacademia has no available funds for covering transport and accommodation to/in Prague. Participants are responsible for securing funding to cover transportation and accommodation costs during the whole period of the conference. Official invitation letters can be sent by Euroacademia to the financing institution to confirm the selection and participation in the conference upon request.
|1st of October 2015||Deadline for Submitting Panel Proposals|
|12th of October 2015||Deadline for Paper Proposals: 300 words abstracts and details of affiliation|
|13th of October 2015||Latest notification of acceptance|
|15th of October 2015||Sending the Registration Form|
|20th of October 2015||Payment of the conference fee|
|10th of November 2015||Sending the draft paper to be uploaded on the conference website|
|12th of November 2015||Publication of the conference program and uploading the draft papers on the website|
|20th of November 2015||The conference commences at 9.00 am|
This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here: