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Conference 'Europe in Hard Times – What's to be Done?'

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On 8th and 9th February 2018 Tallinn University will host an exceptional academic conference “Europe in Hard Times – What's to be Done?”. The aim of the conference is to promote a sophisticated debate on a subject that is fundamental for our time: the shape and the content of European integration. The conference will discuss the future of Europe, revise the over positive narrative about European integration and ask what is to be done, if we want to maintain on the one side the civilizing process introduced by the European integration and on the other side keep some control on our public life and our destiny as workers and citizens.

The conference is organized by Tallinn University School of Governance, Law and Society and its working language is English.

 Let´s debate about the shape and the content of European integration.

Use the opportunity and be present!

Conference Schedule:
Thursday, 8th February 2018                     
  • 9:30 – 10.00 Registration               
  • 10:00 – 10.30 Welcoming words: TU rector prof. Tiit Land and European Affairs Undersecretary Matti Maasikas         

1st Session – Hard Times? Chairman Rein Müllerson

  • 10:30 –  11.00 Giandomenico Majone –  Expensive Journey To An Unknown Destination. The Transaction Costs Of EU Style Integration – And How To Reduce Them.
  • 11:00 –  11.30 Fritz W. Scharpf –  From Legal Constraints to the Empowerment of Political Action” 
  • 11:30 – 11.45 Coffee Break 
  • 11:45 – 12.15 Chris Bickerton –  Europe Beyond the Void
  • 12:15 – 13.30 Rein Müllerson  – Main challenges for Europe and Deficiencies of Political Leadership                       
  • 13:30 – 15.00 Pause  

2nd session Ever Closer Union? Chairman Massimo La Torre

  • 15:00 – 15.30 Andrew Moravcsik – Why Right-Wing Populist Foreign Policies Fail in Europe and the US
  • 15:30 – 16.00 Christian Joerges – How is a Closer Union Conceivable Under Conditions of Deepening Socio-economic and Political Diversity?
  • 16:00 – 16.15 Coffee Break  
  • 16:15 – 16.45 Pavlos Eleftheriadis – Political Legitimacy in a Union of Peoples
Friday, 9th February 2018                            

3rd session Multilevel Constitutionalism? Chairman Mart Susi

  • 09:30 –10:00 John Erik Fossum – The EU at a Crossroads: Muddling Through, Core Consolidation or Fragmentation? 
  • 10:00 – 10.30 Agustin Menendez – The Unmaking of Democracy in Europe: From Structural Economic Constraints to the New Economic Governance 
  • 10:30 – 10.45 Coffee Break  
  • 11:15 – 12.15 Massimo La Torre – Constitutionalism Without Constitution. Multilevel Constitutionalism's Black Hole    
  • 12:30 –  14.00 Pause  

4th session What's to be done? Chairman Indrek Grauberg

  • 14:00 – 14.30 Dieter F. Grimm – Ending Europe's Overconstitutionalization
  • 14:30 – 15.00 Hauke Brunkhorst – Systems Integration Without Social Integration? - The Regime of the Euro Brings the Ever Closer Union Into Existence Together with Ever Deeper Social, National and Generational Divide 
  • 15:00 – 15.15 Coffee Break  
  • 15:15 – 15.45 Siim Kallas "Democracy in Europe – Problem or Solution for the Union?”    
  • 15:45 – 16.15 Renaud Dehousse – How to Give People a Say?
  • 16.15     Ending words                          


Please let us know you are coming and register so that we can plan the conference better and take your wishes into account. 

Register for the conference here!  

Please register by 4th February, 2018.

Conference speakers:


Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Professor of Public Law at the University of Oxford. He studied at the Universities of Athens (BA, 1990) and Cambridge (LLM, 1991, PhD, 1995). His book Legal Rights - which offered arguments against the legal positivist account of law and rights and in favour of a moral account of legal rights based on public reason - was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. Since then he has written on the theory of human rights, the right to health, the idea of sovereignty, the problem of parliamentary sovereignty as well as several aspects of the constitutional theory of the EU. He is the co-editor, with Julie Dickson, of the collection of essays Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (Oxford, 2012). He is also a barrister in England and Wales and practises in EU and public law in London.

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Massimo La Torre is a Professor in Philosophy of Law at the Law School of Magna Graecia University in Catanzaro, Italy, and a Visiting Professor of European Law at the Tallinn University. He has extensively researched in the field of European, Public and  Constitutional Law. Currently he is working on the idea of European Citizenship, the concept of a constitutional state, and the comparative role of defense in different legislative systems. Dr. La Torre is the author of fifteen books and has published over 150 articles in several different languages. In addition, he is the co-director of the book series Res Publica, an associate editor of Ratio Juris and has been a member of the editorial committee of various international publications.

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Christian Joerges is Professor of Law and Society at the Hertie School of Governance since 2013 and Co-Director of the Centre of European Law and Politics at the University of Bremen.. His research focuses on economic ordering through law at the national level and in the processes of European integration and globalisation. The focus of current projects is on the European crisis, the history of economic law traditions and economic cultures, the role of expertise in contemporary governance and transnational risk regulation. Over many years he has dealt with "The Darker Legacies of Law in Europe". This beek received 27 reviews. Until 2007, he held the chair for European Economic Law at the European University Institute Florence. He was a Visiting Professor at Law faculties of Faculty of Legal Science at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Trento, Toronto, NYU, Columbia and Birkbeck College of Law in London. He has been a fellow at the Institutes for Advanced Study in Berlin and Wassenaar, NL. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University Freiburg i.Ue.


Andrew Moravcsik is Professor and Director of the European Union Program at Princeton University. He has authored over 4 books and 125 other scholarly publications on European integration, international relations theory, human rights, international law and organization, historical methods, Asian international politics, and other topics. In the policy world, he has served as trade negotiator for the US Government, special assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, press assistant for the European Commission, and on various policy commissions, as well as publishing over 100 commentaries and policy analyses, mostly on transatlantic and European affairs. He publishes scholarship and daily commentary on classical music, particularly opera.

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Giandomenico Majone is currently Professor of Public Policy, Emeritus, at the European University Institute. Before joining EUI, he held teaching/research positions at a number of European and American institutions, including Yale, Harvard and Rome University. After leaving EUI, he has been a Visiting Professor at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne; at Nuffield College, Oxford; at the Center for West European Studies, University of Pittsburgh; and at the Department of Government, London School of Economics, as Centennial Professor.

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Hauke Brunkhorst is Professor of Sociology at the European-University Flensburg, Germany. Studies in German literature, philosophy, biology, education and sociology in Kiel, Freiburg and Frankfurt, PhD in philosophy of social science, habilitation in sociology. His research fields are social evolution, sociology of constitutions, legal and political theory. During the 2009-2010 academic year, he was the Theodor Heuss Professor at the New School for Social Research, New York. 2017 Europapreis of the Europa-Universität Flensburg. He is the author of many books and essays, among them Solidarity: From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community (MIT Press, 2005); Critical theory of legal revolutions – evolutionary perspectives, New York/ London: Bloomsbury 2014.


Professor Dieter Grimm teaches constitutional law at Humboldt University Berlin and at the Yale Law School. From 1987 to 1999 he served as Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. He holds a law degree and a doctoral from the University of Frankfurt and an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School and honorary doctoral degrees from the universities of Toronto, Göttingen, Porto Alegre and Bucharest. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Academia Europaea and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Recent publications are “Constitutionalism - Past, Present and Future”, Oxford University Press, 2016, and “The Constitution of European Democracy”, Oxford University Press, 2017.  His main research fields are constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism, constitutional history, European law.


Chris Bickerton is a Reader in Modern European Politics at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge. He has published numerous books and articles on European integration, including the prize-winning book, European Integration: From Nation-States to Member States (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is the author of the best-selling book The European Union: A Citizen’s Guide (Penguin, 2016), and has written regularly for the New York Times, the Wall Street Times, Prospect Magazine and The Big Issue.


Rein Müllerson is Professor Emeritus of Tallinn University since September 2017. Before that he was Research Professor at Tallinn University, 1994-2009 Professor of International Law at King’s College, London. In 2004-5, on Sabbatical from King’s, he worked as the UN Regional Adviser for Central Asia. In 1992-94 he was Visiting Centennial Professor of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In 1991-92 Müllerson was First Deputy Foreign Minister of Estonia and in 1988-92 a Member of the UN Human Rights Committee. He is a native-speaker in Estonian, Russian and English, fluent in French.


John Erik Fossum is Professor of Political Science at ARENA Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. He has run and participated in a number of large projects on issues pertaining to European integration, state transformation and democracy. He has published 16 books (+2 under contract), 6 journal special issues and over 80 articles and book chapters on European and Canadian issues. Special focus has been on federalism, democracy, constitutionalism and identity. He has written on Arctic issues, and is currently working on the challenges facing Europe, including Brexit.


Renaud Dehousse has been President of the European University Institute since 1 September 2016. Prior to this, Professor Dehousse was a Professor and holder of the Jean Monnet Chair of European Law and Political Science at Sciences Po, where he also directed the Centre for European Studies. After studying law at the University of Liège (Belgium), he obtained a doctorate at the European University Institute. His research has been the subject of publications in many international scientific journals, including: Journal of Public Law and Political Science, Journal of Common Market Studies, American Journal of Comparative Law, West European Politics, European Journal of Public Policy, European Journal of International Law, Rivista italiana di diritto pubblico comunitario, Common Market Law Review, European Union Politics.

Additional information: 

If you have any questions about the conference and arrangements, contact us:

Marleen Allemann, e-mail marleen.allemann....at....tlu.ee

Research Assistant

This conference is supported by Estonian Gambling Tax Council.