Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation

Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation
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Deciphering the Next Commission: an Organisational or a Political Problem?
8 Septembre 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30     

The team of Jean-Claude Juncker outlined a diagram depicting the future organisational structure of the next Commission. The basic idea is to organise the chapters of the EU's budget into clusters, with each one falling within the responsibility of a Vice-President. Despite the opposition of several Member States, claiming that the 'clusterisation' might lead towards junior and senior commissioners, the project is gaining momentum. Will the re-organisation be enough to improve efficiency and accountability, and increase legitimacy on the output side? Or should the Commission become a more politically accountable actor, in line with the expectations raised by the spitzenkandidaten process? Can internal restructuring alone replace political will and leadership, or will both be necessary for delivering policies that meet the future challenges of the EU?  

Citizen’s Controversy with Michel Troubetzkoy, Senior Advisor at Avisa Partners, and Etienne Davignon, Ministre d'Etat and Former Vice-President of the EU Commission.  

The debate will be moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate will be held in English.

To register, please send your name, title and the name of your organisation to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or by fax to: +32 (0) 2 209 62 11.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us on: +32 (0) 2 209 62 10.

Participation fee: €10 / Students: €3. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided from 12:30 onwards


Is the Central African Republic a Turning Point for European Engagement?
2 July 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

European officials have proposed that European countries move quickly to send troops into the Central African Republic (CAR), either to the capital Bangui or to the West of the country. The proposals for an EU force of at least battalion-strength will please France, which has urged allies to do more to bolster the 1,600 troops it sent to its former colony. Does this commitment signal a new momentum in Europe's engagement abroad, going beyond humanitarian assistance or support of one-country intervention? In particular, is Germany likely to adopt a new position, or rather does its limited commitment in the CAR only reflect the fact that this case, as a rigid application of the peacekeeping concept, is easier to get through constitutional barriers? What are the specificities of the Central African context, and in what ways could this case contribute to a European strategic concept for Sub-Saharian Africa?

Citizen’s Controversy with Thierry Tardy, Senior Analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies, and Alexander Mattelaer, Assistant Director, Institute of European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).  

The debate was moderated by Jo Coelmont, Senior Associate Fellow at the Egmont Institute. 

The debate was held in English.

A report is under preparation

Carbon Capture and Storage: Back in the EU Agenda?
25 June 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Despite the low interest shown by a large number of Member States, and the perception that the momentum has been lost, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is now back on the Comission's agenda. CCS is viewed as a way of coping with stringent emissions commitments, as well as a means to avoid the perceived negative consequences on competitiveness that the abandoning of fossil fuels would have. But what is its potential for significantly reducing CO2 emissions, and how much investment would be realistically needed for it to be effective? Should Emission Trading Schemes (ETS) revenue be reallocated towards CCS investment, given the expansion in coal consumption, or does it make more sense to keep on funding the renewable sector? Does CCS technology have the potential to enhance the "coal revival", thereby extending the European economy's addiction to fossil fuels?     

Citizen’s Controversy with Chris Littlecott, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G, and Sander Van Egmond, Project Manager at the Utrecht Sustainability Institute, University of Utrecht.  

The debate was moderated by Nancy Kontou, EU Affairs Consultant and former Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas.

The debate was held in English.

A report is under preparation

What Europe after the Elections?
23 June 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

The future of Europe will largely depend on the next institutions' interpretation of their role. The two Barroso mandates have been frequently portrayed as excessively prone to accomodating the Council's stance, in a situation - created by the EMU crisis - where significant differentials of power arose in this body, to the detriment of EU legitimacy among EU citizens and significant segment of the political spectrum. Are the electoral results, affected by low turnout and by the significant rise of anti-European political elements, likely to push the Member States towards an even more "souveraniste" stance? What Commission does Europe need, and what Commission will it get? What message did the voters send, at the national and European level?     

Citizen’s Controversy with Christian Lequesne, Director of Research at Sciences-po, and Ben Crum, Professor of Political Theory at the University of Amsterdam.  

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.

A report is under preparation

Was Xi Jinping’s Message Received Loud and Clear?
16 June 2014, Committee of the Regions (Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels), 15:00 - 17:00

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, recently toured Europe, stopping in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium. He also paid the first ever visit of a Chinese President to the European Institutions. Though less commented on and less visible in the media than President Obama’s visit the week before, President Xi’s agenda was nevertheless very busy with more than 90 events; ranging from discussions with officials and the signature of business deals,  to cultural events and visits to tourist attractions. What was the core message that China wanted to convey? And what did Europe hear? How was his visit perceived in Europe? What does it mean for the future of China-EU / China-Member States relations?  

Guo Yezhou, Vice-minister of the International Department of the CPC, Council Chairman of the China Centre for Contemporary World Studies

Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and Director of the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN).

David Scott, Professor, Brunel University London

Gerhard Stahl, former Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation.

A Report is under preparation


In partnership with the Committee of the Regions

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