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The European Union and the Politicisation of Europe

Date: 06 December 2012 - 08 December 2012
Location: Budapest, Hungary, 09:00 - 17:00
Website: Visit website

6-8 December 2012

Mercure Budapest City Center Hotel, Budapest, Hungary

The European Union was described by Jacques Delors as an unidentified political object and by Jose Manuel Barroso as the first non-Imperial empire. The descriptors assigned to the European Union are creative and diverse yet the agreement on what is the actual shape that the EU is taking is by no means an easy one to be achieved. Historical choices shaped and reshaped the size and functioning of the EU while the goal of an emerging ‘ever closer union’ is still in search for the paths of real and not ideal accomplishment. The agreement seems to come when it’s about the growing impact of the decisions taken in Brussels on the daily lives of the European citizens and the increasingly redistributive outcomes of the policy choices inside the EU. These dynamics created the framework for the politicization of Europe and opened a vivid debate about the direction and proportions of such a process. 

The politicization of Europe takes various shapes and addresses significant puzzles. While it is clear that the EU doesn’t resemble a state it is less clear if the decisions that shape its policies are configured by Pareto efficient outcomes or by dynamics that are intrinsic to a political system and defined by emerging party politics within the European Parliament. The democratic problem or the democratic deficit issue was and continues to be one of the main challenges facing the European Union in any terms or from any position is understood or described. The problem of accountability for the decision making inside the EU was there from the beginning and it emerged gradually as more emphatic on the agenda of vivid debates as the powers of the EU have grown after the Maastricht Treaty. This was concomitant with a growing disenchantment of citizens from member states with politics in general, with debates over the democratic deficits inside member states, with enlargement and with a visible and worrying decrease in voters’ turnouts at both national and especially European elections. The optimist supporters of EU believe in its power to constantly reinvent and reshape while the pessimists see either a persistence of existing problems or a darker scenario that could lead in front of current problems even to the end of the EU as we know it.

The Euroacademia International Conference ‘The European Union and the Politicization of Europe’ aims to survey some of these current debates and addresses once more the challenges of the EU polity in a context of multiple crises that confronted Europe in recent years. It supports a transformative view that involves balanced weights of optimism and pessimism in a belief that the unfold of current events and the way EU deals with delicate problems will put an increased pressure in the future on matters of accountability and will require some institutional adjustments that address democratic requirements for decision making. However in its present shape and context the EU does not look able to deliver soon appropriate answers to democratic demands. In a neo-functionalist slang we can say as an irony that the actual crisis in the EU legitimacy is a ‘spillover’ effect of institutional choices made some time before. To address the EU’s democratic deficit however is not to be a skeptic and ignore the benefits that came with it but to acknowledge the increasing popular dissatisfaction with ‘occult’ office politics and with the way EU tackles daily problems of public concern while the public is more and more affected by decisions taken at the European level.

Is the EU becoming an increasingly politicized entity? Is the on-going politicization of Europe a structured or a messy one? Do political parties within the European Parliament act in a manner that strengthens the view of the EU as an articulate political system? Are there efficient ways for addressing the democratic deficit issue? Can we find usable indicators for detecting an emerging European demos and a European civil society? Does a Europeanization of the masses take place or the EU remains a genuinely elitist project? Did the Lisbon Treaty introduced significant changes regarding the challenges facing the EU? Can we see any robust improvements in the accountability of the EU decision making processes? Are there alternative ways of looking at the politicization processes and redistributive policies inside the EU? These are only few of the large number of questions that unfold when researchers or practitioners look at the EU. It is the aim of the Second Euroacademia International Conference ‘The European Union and the Politicization of Europe’ to address in a constructive manner such questions and to offer o platform for dissemination of research results or puzzles that can contribute to a better understanding of the on-going process of politicization within the European Union.

Participation fee: 265 Euro

The participation fee includes:

- the registration fee,

- all the materials for the conference

- a copy of the electronic volume

- access to Euroacademia discussion group and newsletters

- discounted rates for participation in the future Euroacademia conferences

- coffee brakes with snacks and fruits for all the duration of the conference

- wine reception and a cocktail with buffet dinner for 6 December 2012 at the 4* Mercure Budapest City Center Restaurant

- a 3 course lunch on 7th of December 2012 at the 4* Mercure Budapest City Center Restaurant

- a 3 course lunch on 8th of December 2012 at the 4* Mercure Budapest City Center Restaurant

- certificate of attendance

- optional social program.

A registration form will be sent to accepted participants that must be filled in and sent to application@euroacademia.eu until 25th of October 2012 and until the 30th of October the payment of the participation fee through bank transfer is requested and considered as the final confirmation of attendance. No paper will be introduced in the program without confirmation and payment of the participant fee.

Please be aware that the final confirmation of attendance will be considered upon payment of the participation fee in the Euroacademia account:


Credit Mutuel

IBAN: FR7610278060470002073210155



The participation fee can be paid only through bank transfer. A confirmation of receipt with the scanned invoice will be sent to you by e-mail and the original invoice will be delivered to you on site at the conference.

Few partial participation fee waivers will be available on a competitive basis for participants with limited financial support from their institutions of affiliation based on proven need.

Euroacademia is a non-profit organization, based in Paris and Vienna, aiming to foster academic cooperation, networking and a platform for dissemination and valorisation of academic research results, trends, and emerging themes within the area of concern for European studies, political science, critical studies, cultural studies, history, anthropology, social psychology, semiotics, philosophy, sociology and wider and inclusive interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches that contribute to a better understanding of the “self-organizing vertigo” (Edgar Morin) of the European realm. Euroacademia’s goal is to become a hub for academic interaction on and about Europe. For more information visit www.euroacademia.eu

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