The EU at a Crossroads: From Technocracy to High Politics?



It was not very long ago that talk of the European Union evoked the arcane world of milk quotas, product standards, and social security rules for transborder workers. Not so any longer. Today, the EU is at the center of virtually every hot-button political issue—from the Euro crisis, to Syrian refugees, international terrorism, and democratic backsliding. It faces harsh criticism, both for not doing enough to stop these crises, and, most vociferously, for contributing to, or indeed causing, these crises. The most telling sign of the EU’s switch from obscure administrative body to political lightening rod is the rising tide of populism across Europe. These parties and movements have called into question the very existence of the EU, championing national and ethnic identities over what is portrayed as the rootless elitism of EU governance. In the face of these multiple challenges, the key question today is how the EU will respond to the new political context. Virtually all observers agree that the current situation is not tenable and that there will be significant changes going forward. But what will be the direction of change? Will the EU make the leap from technocratic governing body to full-fledged political union or will it, de facto or de jure, retrench to a common market arrangement? Since the founding of the EU, legal and public policy studies have served as crucial analytical tools for both advancing and explaining the trajectory of European integration. Now that the European project is at a turning point, it is vital to bring those same intellectual tools to understanding the cause of crisis and to charting the way forward. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together an inter-disciplinary group of legal scholars, political scientists, and policy experts to take stock of the multiple policy challenges facing the EU. The panels will explore the roots of the current crises, drawing out the links and tradeoffs between the multiple topics, and will propose legal and institutional reforms for the future.

Language: English


Start date: 23-03-2018 09:15
End date: 24-03-2018 17:30


Country: USA
City: Washington DC
Address: The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20052


Organiser: The George Washington University Law School
Contact email:
Registration required: No