On February 13-14, I will be in Yale for the European Students Conference. It will be a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, students, scholars and policy-makers, to discuss the future of the EU.
The European Union must decide what it wants to do when it grows up. We are finally understanding how the dream of our funding fathers of greater integration is more essential now than ever. Because of this, I have stated multiple times that the necessity for a European federation and for greater integration is today more a “must” than an “option” and it should be more a matter of “when” than “if”. Arguments that this is the case could be made both from a realist/neorealist perspective of International Relations and from a liberal one, they go across political affiliations as well as national boundaries.
What the EU will be in a couple of years unfortunately we do not know. What we can say without a doubt is that it will not be the same way it is today. We are witnessing the weakness of the institutional and political status quo in finding feasible solutions for the crisis in Ukraine, which is showing how our foreign and defense policies should be more united than ever. We are witnessing our inability to find common ground on our Member States’ fiscal policies, on sustainability and growth. We are witnessing common problems, such as low growth rates and high (youth) unemployment, especially in some of our Member States, all issues which call for common solutions.
This, essentially, is why I will be in Yale this weekend:
From February 13 to February 14, 2015, eighty undergraduate and graduate students from US universities will gather at Yale University to discuss the future of the European Union, their personal contribution to a more successful Union, and the creation of a student think-tank for EU policies and affairs in the United States.
The overall goals of the conference are for students:
- To develop a vision for the European Union concerning borders, transatlantic relations, an innovative economy, democratic participation and identity and solidarity in Europe.
- To enter into a debate with distinguished professors, current and former EU policy-makers, and representatives of the European Commission.
- To draft a concrete plan of action: How can each of us contribute to our vision in our own lifetime.
- To form a student think-tank to continue the debate and follow up on our vision with initiatives at US universities.
- To dedicate student creativity, ingenuity and time to build the future of the European Union.
If you want to know more about ESC, read the concept here.
Here is the list of speakers taking part in our works:
Here is the Conference’s schedule: