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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!

Update: Conference photos can be seen HERE.
Panel presentation videos are available in Tallinn University YouTube channel.
Conference Schedule:
Thursday, 8th February 2018                     
  • 9:30 – 10.00 Registration               
  • 10:00 – 10.30 Welcoming words: TU Vice-Rector for Research prof. Katrin Niglas and Indrek Grauberg, director of School of Governance, Law and Society

1st Session – Hard Times? Chairwoman Airi-Alina Allaste

  • 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 – 12.45 Rein Müllerson  – Main challenges for Europe and Deficiencies of Political Leadership
  • 12.45 – 13.30 Comments, Q&A                       
  • 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
  • 16.45 – 17.30 Comments, Q&A  
Friday, 9th February 2018                            

3rd session Multilevel Constitutionalism? Chairman Mart Susi

  • 09.45-10.00 Welcoming words European Affairs Undersecretary Matti Maasikas         

  • 10.00 –10:30 John Erik Fossum – The EU at a Crossroads: Muddling Through, Core Consolidation or Fragmentation? 
  • 10:30 – 11.00 Agustin Menendez – The Unmaking of Democracy in Europe: From Structural Economic Constraints to the New Economic Governance 
  • 11.00 – 11.15 Coffee Break  
  • 11:15 – 11.45 Massimo La Torre – A Demented World – Politics Without Politics, State Without State
  • 11.45 – 12.30 Comments, Q&A      
  • 12:30 –  14.00 Pause  

4th session What's to be done? Chairman Rein Müllerson

  • 14:00 – 14.30 Dieter F. Grimm – Ending Europe's Overconstitutionalization
  • 14:30 – 15.00 Hauke Brunkhorst – "To Take Back Control” – the Democratic Catastrophe of the National State in the Post-democratically Shaped Society of Europe
  • 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 – Democracy in the EU: How much has changed?
  • 16.15 – 17.00 Comments, Q&A  
  • 17.00     Ending words – Indrek Grauberg, director of School of Governance, Law and Society                        


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 7th 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.


Agustín José Menéndez is Professor Contratado Doctor Permanente I3 at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) and researcher at ARENA, Universitetet i Oslo. Menéndez holds an LLM from the European Academy of Legal Theory (Brussels) and a PhD in law from the European University Institute in Florence. He was a visiting researcher at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, at the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales (Madrid), sub-director of the Programme of European Studies of the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset (Madrid) and lecturer at the Universidad de León (Spain). Menéndez' main fields of interest include democracy, fundamental rights and legitimacy, the relationship between national and EU law, the constitutional theory of the European Union and the EU's social dimension.


Fritz W. Scharpf is Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, of which he was the co-director between 1986 and 2003. At earlier stages, he had been Director of the International Institute of Management at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Professor of Political Science at the University of Konstanz, and Assistant Professor at the Yale Law School. His recent research has focused on asymmetries of negative and positive European integration, on the deficiencies of monetary integration among heterogeneous political economies, and on issues of democratic legitimacy in Europe. He was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science by the University of Uppsala and honorary doctorates by the Humboldt University, Berlin and by the European University Institute, Florence.


Siim Kallas served as European Commissioner for Transport between 2010 and 2014. Before that he was European Commissioner for Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud between 2004 and 2009. In both Barroso Commissions he was also vice-president. Kallas has been Prime Minister of Estonia, Estonian Minister of Finance, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Member of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union and member of the Riigikogu. Kallas is a member and former leader of the free-market liberal Estonian Reform Party. Kallas was a vice-president of Liberal International. He was twice appointed Acting Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro in Olli Rehn's stead, from 19 April 2014 – 25 May 2014 while he was on electoral campaign leave for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament and from 1 July 2014 – 16 July 2014 after he took up his seat. After leaving the Commission, Kallas run in the Estonian presidential election in 2016, but was not elected. In October 2017, he started as the municipal mayor of Viimsi.


8th of February - I session


Liisi Keedus is a senior researcher at the School of Humanities at Tallinn University. She is a political theorist and historian of twentieth century political thought, focusing on republicanism, critiques of liberalism, but also theories of civil society, political and minority participation. She earned her PhD at the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute in Florence. Her recent publications include the monograph entitled The Crisis of German Historicism: The Early Political Thought of Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss (2015, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

8th of February - II session

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Ahto Lobjakas was Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Brussels correspondent between 2000-2010, and is currently a columnist for the daily Postimees and co-host of a radio talk show on current affairs ("Olukorrast riigis").

9th of February - I session

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Kristi Raik is the Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security in Tallinn and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku. She has previously served inter alia at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki and the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels. Kristi has a PhD from the University of Turku. She has published, lectured and commented widely on European foreign and security policy.

9th of February - II session

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Cristina Blanco Sío-López is Santander Senior Fellow in Iberian and European Studies at the European Studies Centre – St. Antony’s College of the University of Oxford, where she coordinates a project on the History of the EU’s Free Movement of Persons. She is also Associate Established Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History (IHC) – New University of Lisbon, European Commission Expert at the EU Research Executive Agency (REA) and Full Member – 2017 Laureate of the Global Young Academy (GYA). She was recently Visiting Lecturer at the University of Lille and at the University of Perugia, Scholar in Residence at the Jean Monnet EU Center of Excellence (JMEUCE) of the University of Pittsburgh and Invited Expert at Shanghai University -上海大学. She previously worked as Established Researcher in European Studies and Principal Investigator at the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l'Europe – University of Luxembourg, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) and the US Congress. She holds a PhD in European Integration History from the European University Institute (EUI) and her research and publications focus on European Integration Studies –with an accent on enlargement policy temporalities and the Schengen area fundamental rights–, Global Governance, Comparative Regional Integration and Digital Humanities.

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.