Young researchers gather to discuss Europe's future and to address its pressing problems

With Europe in turmoil, what does the future hold for the continent? New ideas are needed and promising young researchers will gather at the University of Helsinki to discuss them at the Future of Europe symposium time/place. The Co-Director of the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice Professor Joseph Weiler will deliver the keynote speech.

On 9 May 1950 Robert Schuman proposed to set up a common High Authority governing the production of coal and steel. The Schuman Declaration is considered the symbolic start of the European project. Exactly 68 years later, on 8-9 May 2018, an important Symposium will take place at the University of Helsinki.

The title of the Symposium, "The Future of Europe", sounds promising, but at the same time reminds us of the turmoil and difficulties that the European Union has been facing in the last decade, including the refugees and terrorism crisis, Brexit and the rule of law crisis, as well as the financial and economic reforms and external trade issues. What is more, the European continent itself is undergoing an extended period of uncertainty and instability. The basic tenets of globalization are being questioned from different angles, as confirmed by the rise of populism and Euroscepticism in both Eastern and Western Europe. This unprecedented state of affairs inevitably affects the way European Union law works, for example as regards supranational governance, the implementation of EU legislation at the national level, compliance with human rights standards and the rule of law, the protection of citizens' rights following Brexit, and so on.

The Symposium brings together promising Finnish and international young scholars and practitioners, with a view to addressing these problems not only separately, but also from a holistic perspective. The complexity of the questions posed requires an accurate analysis both from a theoretical and a practical point of view. New research ideas are needed. This is why one of the most prominent international scholars in this area, Prof. Joseph Weiler, has been invited to give a keynote speech. The intention of the organizers of the Symposium is not only to discuss contemporary issues and challenges, but also to enable junior researchers to receive feed-back from their peers and more experienced academics. The new generations may demonstrate creativity, flexibility and problem-solving skills, which are more than ever necessary at a crucial stage of European integration.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • the crisis of the EU liberal project of integration
  • the compatibility of the vocabulary of constitutionalism with EU integration
  • the consequences of Brexit for the EU system of protection of fundamental freedoms
  • the future trade and investment relationship between the EU and third countries
  • the role of the EU in common foreign and security policy
  • the area of freedom, security and justice
  • the reform of the economic and financial system
  • the rule of law crisis in Central and Eastern Europe
  • the Catalan case

More information:

Massimo Fichera,

Young Researchers Symposium on "The Future of Europe"

8-9 May 2018, Consistorium Hall, University Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33

Please read more on the Symposium website