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Is Eurosur the Right Response to Lampedusa?
28 April 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Coinciding with the latest in a long series of humanitarian disasters in the Mediterranean, the European Parliament has given the green light to Eurosur, an integrated external border surveillance system combining satellite tracking, drones, intelligence equipment and offshore sensors. The system aims at ensuring better detection of migrant flows by informing the departure countries in real time, preventing smuggling and human trafficking, and improving coordination between different jurisdictions. This is in response to the concerns of Member States who claims to have being "left alone" by Europe in confronting maritime migrant arrivals. However, critical voices argue that the measures focus on issues of border defence rather than rescuing human lives: is Europe breaching its human rights commitments by "externalising" its borders to North African countries which have been repeatedly criticised for their treatment of refugees? Do Eurosur provisions risk giving the same treatment to smugglers, refugees, and asylum-seekers? Should the measures contain explicit reference to rescue operations, or has this the potential to further incentivise migrants to undertake dangerous sea journeys?    

Citizen’s Controversy with Kris Pollet, Senior Legal and Policy Officer at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, and Oliver Seiffarth, Policy Officer for Eurosur at the DG Home Affairs of the European Commission.  

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

The debate was held in English.


Is Euroscepticism a Blessing?
9 April 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Eurosceptic parties are expected to significantly increase their influence in the next EU Parliament. Despite the lack of uniformity of the anti-Europe parties, who span the political spectrum ranging from the xenophobic and radical right to the anti-establishment movements, the eurosceptic rise is exposing the fault lines of the European response to the crisis. Citizens feel failed by an elite-driven discourse of integration, which according to them is partly responsible for global developments fostering inequalities and weakening the middle class. Is this a step towards institutional paralysis, or is it a sign of healthy democracy? Does this indicate that European citizens are beginning to recognise the EU as a political space influencing their lives, or do elections not leading to government formation necessarily become an occasion to vent issue-specific grievances rather than selecting between different political projects? Will the growing eurosceptic success drive pro-EU parties towards a cartel replacing the left-right divide and therefore alienating citizens even more, or will it be the chance for the pro-EU movement to finally politicise European discourse?  

Citizen’s Controversy with Thomas Klau, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council for Foreign Relations, and Mats Persson, Director of Open Europe.  

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

The debate was held in English.


What Way Ahead for Ukraine?
31 March 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

In the aftermath of the Crimean referendum, Ukraine's political destiny seems more uncertain than ever. The new leaders in Kiev are confronted by endogenous and exogenous threats to the country's territorial integrity, and by a desperate economic situation which might call for tough adjustment measures. How can the Euromaidan movement be read in light of the recent political developments, and how representative is it of the Ukrainian people as a whole? In defining its future, is Ukraine forced to make a choice between the EU and Russia, or is there room for it to assert itself as a "bridge state"? Would such an outcome be possible, or the detachment of Crimea will irreversibly radicalise an East-West confrontation? What is at stake in the regional distribution of power?   

Citizen’s Controversy with Aude Merlin, Professor of Post-Soviet Studies at the ULB, and Gunnar Wiegand, Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE at the European External Action Service (EEAS).  

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

The debate was held in English.


No Benefit Tourists: A Single Market without Free Movement?
3 March 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Among EU governments and political parties, there is a rising tendency to claim that intra-EU migration puts a serious strain on the sustainability of welfare provision. Several countries are enforcing measures aimed at limiting the access of other EU citizens to unemployment schemes, health care assistance, etc. also calling on the EU tighten rules to end "benefit tourism". However, Commission reports have shown how minimal the impact of "benefit tourism" is on welfare scheme budgets. Does this political attitude, which exposes the growing concerns of the traditional parties about the competition of right wing populism, risk adding further barriers to labour mobility and to the portability of rights, especially in a time of widening gaps in employment differentials? How much of the welfare financing difficulties do the intra-EU flows account for? Does this identitarian rhetoric add up to a race to the bottom in social provisions? Should a European response, in defence of the single market, aim at establishing level playing fields rather than accommodating social competition? 

Citizen’s Controversy with Jackie Morin, Head of Unit for Skills, Mobility and Employment Services at the DG EMPL of the European Commission, and Yves Pascouau, Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC).  

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

The debate was held in English.


Financial Services and the TTIP: Why is the EU insisting?
28 February 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

The European Commission aims to insert a regulatory level playing field for financial rules in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), despite growing scepticism on the risk of undermining multilateral efforts for regulation at the G20 level and in Basel. Would the insertion of financial services in the TTIP water down reform paths already undertaken such as the Dodd-Frank in the US and the Banking Union in Europe? Would a US-EU agreement serve as a model for negotiations at the global level, or would it compromise these efforts and foster further fragmentation? Is this move aimed at keeping financial reforms at the EU level and therefore preventing progress at the eurozone level? Would it pave the way for further cooperation in tackling tax havens?    

Citizen’s Controversy with Almoro Rubin de Cervin, Deputy Head of Unit for Financial Services Policy and Relations with the Council, DG MARKT, EU Commission, and Benoit Lallemand, Co-head of Policy Analysis, Finance Watch.  

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

The debate was held in English.


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Call for Applications

Peace Tour Award for Outstanding Chinese Students in Europe

The Peace Tour Award has been jointly set up by the Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation (MCF) and the Europe-China Cultural and Educational Foundation (ECCEF), the European branch of the Peace Tour Committee - World Famous Chinese Artists Global Painting Peace Tour Committee - in order to grant awards to outstanding Chinese students or researchers studying in the European Union.

Results of the Jury's deliberation will be delivered by the end of July.

The date of Award Ceremony will be made public as soon as possible. 

More info here



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