A new Schuman Declaration?

The event promoted by the European University Institute is back in Florence. Focus on political integration, economy, citizenship, and foreign affairs " "

Over the years European integration has prompted a wide range of economic, political and social opportunities that go beyond the Nation-State. European citizens can decide to obtain their academic degrees in Germany, work in France, invest in Sweden or in the United Kingdom and enjoy their pension in Spain, Cyprus or Poland. This is true at theoretical level, since inside and outside European borders there still are many cases in which not only the integration principle but also a set of fundamental rights is not yet fully respected. Moreover, the economic crisis of the past years has called into question the very unitary process owing to surging nationalisms and populist claims, demanding a halt to the Union’s process. What will be the future of Community Europe? The theme will be broached in Florence on May 6 to 9, during the “State of the Union, Sou2015 -, a four-day meeting organized by the European University Institute, EUI,) with guests and speakers from across the continent. Towards a new integration. Each day of the meeting will be dedicated to reflections on a specific theme, starting with economic and political integration, high on the EU agenda for the past year after the electoral success of populist parties at the European parliamentary elections of May 2014. “For years – states a declaration by EUI -many have sought to contextualize the issue with academic rigour. The State of the Union 2015 will host the foundation of the Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre on the History of European Integration, to study history of policies, practices, and ideas of integration in our recent past”. “The critical challenges facing Europe today cannot be tackled merely by technical or governance solutions”, the organizers go on. For this reason on the second day of the meeting will be proposed “a new narrative for Europe”, as Robert Schuman did on 9 may 1950. “To renew and re-examine his vision by announcing a new Schuman Declaration for the 21st century”, explained the promoters of the initiative. The proposal, already drawn up by Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister, Élisabeth Guigou, ex French Minister for European Affairs, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia, and Joseph Halevi Horowitz Weiler, EUI president, will be made known during the second day. Security today. Given the present geopolitical landscape Europe has been called to reflect about its place as a unified global actor, whilst abiding to its fundamental values. Political experts from the Middle East, North Africa, the United States, and members of ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will discuss the theme. The debate will focus, inter alia, on “international security, crisis response, peacekeeping and the responsibility to protect”, the organizers pointed out. Finally, over the past years Europe has struggled to articulate a consistent stance on the balance between security and privacy, also through the multidimensional and multidisciplinary aspects of surveillance on the basis of the results of the FP7-funded project, the results of which will be discussed during the last day of the SOU2015 meeting. “The discussion will address, inter alia, the complex legal and ethical balance between security and intrusion into privacy, cybersecurity, freedom of expression, the forms of smart surveillance in European Cities as well as the policy implications of these issues”, made known the promoters of the event, whose invited participants and speakers include members of the EFUS (European Forum for Urban Security). Forming and informing. Also for this edition, the European University Institute fulfils its goals of promoting public interest on Europe’s integration process, by increasing transparency on the work of the institutions in Strasbourg and Brussels, not only because its represents the study and research institution set up by six founding countries of the European Community in 1972, but also because since 1986 EUI is the seat of the Union’s Historical Archives. Here in fact it is possible to consult the official documents of EU institutions (thirty years since their publication) and the private funds of collections of personalities, movements and international organizations, which have played an important role in Europe’s integration process.

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