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The future of the EU in a post-Brexit and post-COVID era: a conversation with Brigid Laffan

On July 9th, the participants to the NEXTEUK Summer Schoold had the opportunity to listen to and engage with Brigid LaffanDirector and Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Director of the Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, on the future of the EU in a post-Brexit and post-COVID era. 

The UK in a post-Brexit and post-COVID changing Europe: a conversation with Anand Menon

On July 8th, the participants to the NEXTEUK Summer School had the opportunity to listen to and engage with Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King's College London in the United Kingdom, director of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative and former special adviser to the House of Lords EU committee, on the UK in a Changing Europe in the post-Brexit and post-COVID era. 

The decision-making of Brexit: a conversation with Philip Rycroft

On July 6th, the participants to the NEXTEUK Summer School had the opportunity to listen to and engage with Philip Rycroft, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU from October 2017 to March 2019, on the decision-making of Brexit. 

Brexit from an international relations perspective: a conversation with Frédéric Mérand

On July 5th, the participants to the NEXTEUK Summer School had the chance to listen to and engage with Frédéric MérandProfessor of Political Science and Scientific Director of CÉRIUM, on Brexit from an international relations perspective. 

Lessons from the Eurozone crisis: EMU limitations and national bargaining 

On June 1st, the NEXTEUK project organized a double book launch on the Eurozone crisis: "The Politics of Bad Options" (OUP, 2020) and "Capitalising on constraint" (MUP, 2021).

Their authors, Stefanie Walter, University of Zurich, and Stella Ladi, Center for European Research, Queen Mary, University of London, and Catherine Moury, Nova University Lisbon presented their perspectives and the methods they used to understand one of the biggest crises that hit Europe in the last decade. They were discussed by Matthias Matthijs, John Hopkins University and Paul CopelandCenter for European Research, Queen Mary, University of London. The debate was moderated by Sarah Wolff, Center for European Research, Queen Mary, University of London. 


A (dis-) United Kingdom? The 2021 Scottish elections in the post-Brexit process

In 2016, the Scottish National Party was very vocal about how “Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will” could be a sufficient argument to set up a second vote on independence, after the 2014 referendum. The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, supported by Scottish Greens, has since played an active role in asking Westminster to give formal consent to the organisation of a new independence referendum, without success.

The 2021 May elections and the electoral success of the SNP and Greens could be a turning point and raises many questions our lecturers (Fiona Simpkins, Lyon 2 University, Lecturer in English studies; Michael Keating, University of Aberdeen, Chair in Scottish Politics, Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh, Professor of Territorial Politics and Co-Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change) 
dealt with: will the SNP respect its commitment to set up a new referendum? Will Westminster allow it, and if not could Scottish decision-makers go without it? Will Scottish electorate go through with their ideas of independence? Would Scotland ask for EU membership? What would the divorce look like, would a hard border be installed between England and Scotland and how could the two work together?

China’s AI Revolution and its Implications for Europe

This webinar organised jointly by the Jean Monnet Network on EU-China Legal and Judicial Cooperation (EUPLANT) and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on the Future of EU-UK Relations (NEXTEUK) aims to analyse recent technological and regulatory developments relating to AI in China. It focuses among others on China’s Social Credit System(s) and increasing use of science diplomacy in the field of AI. Finally, the event looks into the implications of those developments for Europe and the emergence of an AI Global Order (Ref: 599857-EPP-1-2018-1-UK-EPPJMO-NETWORK).

Living in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a science-fiction premise nor a vision for the future but a reality that we are all experiencing albeit to different degrees. While our societies are getting transformed in depth, China has affirmed its intention to become a world leader in the development of AI by 2030 (New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan 2017). For China, not only do developments in the area of AI support the creation of new instruments of population control and surveillance at the disposal of the Party State, they also participate to the export of China’s own vision of cyberspace governance globally.



Jonathan Diaz, winner of the CER/NEXTEUK Dissertation Prize: "Towards more E-volved Democracy"

Presentation by Jonathan Diaz of the main results of his working paper written from his dissertation which was awarded the CER MA Dissertation Prize 2020. In this dissertation, Jonathan reviews the essential characteristics of Estonian governance and consider how they could be applied in the US for the betterment of its democracy. He examines Estonia’s road to digitalization, constructs the “Estonian Model” of digital governance, and shows how pillars of the Estonian Model can reinforce modern democracy. Lastly, he considers the case of the US and examine if, and how, the US can apply key lessons from the Estonian Model.

Griffin Shiel, winner of the CER/NEXTEUK Dissertation Prize: "The Emergency Relocation Scheme: A Burden Sharing Failure" 

Presentation by Griffin Shield of the main results of his working paper written from his dissertation which was awarded the CER MA Dissertation Prize 2020. In this dissertation, Griffin analyses the link between burden sharing and European integration during the European Refugee Crisis. He argues that the inability of the EU and its Member States to meet the burden sharing objectives of the EU’s Emergency Relocation Scheme (ERS) should be understood as a by-product of new intergovernmentalism, specifically the prioritisation of domestic policies over supranational ones, the emphasis on deliberation and consensus as policy-making methods and the use of de novo bodies.

EU and UK health and vaccination strategies in times of Covid-19: (mis)trust and politics

On March 1st, the NEXTEUK project organised in partnership with the IHSS Covid-19 Working Group at Queen Mary University of London a lecture on EU and UK health and vaccination strategies in times of Covid-19 and the impact of the vaccination race on the future of the EU-UK relations. 

Louise van Schaik, Head of Unit EU & Global Affairs, Netherlands Institute for International Relations, Remco van de Pas, Public health specialist and global health scholar, Maastricht Centre for Global Health, and Anna Holzscheiter, Chair of Political Science TU Dresden and head of the 'Governance for Global Health' research group at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), exchanged views and were discussed by Valsamis MitsilegasProfessor of European Criminal Law and Global Security, chair of the IHSS Covid-19 working group, Queen Mary University of London. The lecture was chaired by Sarah Wolff


(Virtual) Coffee and Politics: Brexit and the State of British Democracy

On February 2nd, the NEXTEUK project, with Dr Joanne Yao's help, organised its first (virtual) Coffee and Politics. Attendees had the opportunity to listen and engage with Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis (Oxford University) and Dr Robert Saunders (QMUL) on Brexit and the State of British Democracy. The event was chaired by Agathe Piquet


Special Issue: "Pandemic Politics and European Union responses"

Sarah Wolff, main investigator of the NEXTEUK project, and Stella Ladi, member of the NEXTEUK steering committee, have coordinated a Journal of European Integration Special Issue on "Pandemic Politics and European Union responses". They introduce in this video the goals of this Special Issue and the main results, and are followed by the presentation of their article by some of the scholars having contributed to this collective research. 

The whole Special Issue is accessible on

Table of contents: 

  1. "European Union Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic: adaptability in times of Permanent Emergency" by Sarah Wolff & Stella Ladi  
  2. "EU economic governance and Covid-19: policy learning and windows of opportunity" by Stella Ladi & Dr Dimitris Tsarouhas
  3. "The development of EU health policy and the Covid-19 pandemic: trends and implications" by Eleanor Brooks & Robert Geyer
  4. "Sizing up the competition: explaining reform of European Union competition policy in the Covid-19 era" by Sophie Meunier & Justinas Mickus
  5. "The Covid-19 crisis: a critical juncture for EU climate policy development?" by Claire Dupont, Sebastian Oberthür & Ingmar von Homeyer
  6. "Discursive continuity and change in the time of Covid-19: the case of EU cybersecurity policy" by Helena Carrapico & Benjamin Farrand
  7. "Framing immobility: Schengen governance in times of pandemics" by Sarah Wolff, Ariadna Ripoll Servent & Agathe Piquet
  8. "Loyal at once? The EU’s global health awakening in the Covid-19 pandemic" by Louise van Schaik, Knud Erik Jørgensen & Remco van de Pas
  9. "Integration through (case) law in the context of the Euro area and Covid-19 crises: courts and monetary answers to crises" by Sabine Saurugger & Fabien Terpan
  10. "Theorizing institutional change and governance in European responses to the Covid-19 pandemic" by Vivien A. Schmidt 

The impact of the US elections on Europe and the future EU-UK relationship

Three experts debate the impact of the 2020 US elections on Europe and the future EU-UK relationship: 
Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Director of Research Paris Office-German Marshall Fund
Christian Lequesne, Professor at Sciences Po
Richard Johnson, Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London.
Debate moderated by Sarah Wolff, Director Center for European Research, Principal Investigator NEXTEUK Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on the future of EU-UK Relations, Queen Mary University of London (Funded by Erasmus + programme)



 Highlights of the NEXTEUK International conference 


Video 1: openings and keynote speech

Conference openings: Sarah Wolff, Agathe Piquet, Kimberly Hutchings

Keynote speech :"Where are we at? The EU-UK negotiations so far and future challenges" by Philip Rycroft (ex-Permanent Secretary of Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) between March 2017 and March 2019), discussed by Tim Bale (QMUL - Deputy Director at UK in a Changing Europe)



Video 2: Roundtable “The impact of COVID-19 on the EU-UK relations”

Discussants: Paul Copeland (QMUL) and Elaine Fahey (City University)

Chair: Agathe Piquet (QMUL)

- Stella Ladi (QMUL): "The EU's socio-economic response to COVID-19"

- Sarah Wolff (QMUL): "Schengen governance in times of pandemics"

- Justinas Mickus (Princeton University): "Competition policy and COVID-19"



Video 3: Policy Roundtable “Turbulent times for the freedom of movement in Europe? The impact of Brexit and Pandemic Politics”

Discussants: Valsamis Mitsilegas (QMUL) and Sabine Saurugger (Sciences Po Grenoble)

Chair: Sarah Wolff (QMUL)

– Claude Moraes (ex-MEP)

- Violeta Moreno-Lax (QMUL)

- Susanne Oberhauser (European Parliament Liaison Office in the UK)

- Nicole Sykes (ProBono Economics, ex-CBI head of EU negotiations)


Video 4. Panel 1- British Euroscepticism and populism

Discussants: Stijn van Kessel (QMUL) and Sofia Vasilopoulou (University of York)

Chair: Agathe Piquet (QMUL)

- Agnès Alexandre-Collier (Maison française d’Oxford):“David Cameron, Boris Johnson and the ‘populist hypothesis’ in the British Conservative Party”

- Franco Zappettini (University of Liverpool): “The tabloidization of the Brexit debate: Power to the (British) people”

- Luca Augé (EHESS): “From Cameron to Brexit: The path to a mainstream and nationalistic British Euroscepticism between 2005 and 2016”

- Gulay Icoz (independent researcher): “New era British Euroscepticism – opposing the expansion of differentiated integration and sailing for an alternative beginning”



Video 5. Panel 2 - The ‘Brexit Moment’ in EU External Action

Discussants:Nicholas Wright (University College London) and Sarah Wolff (QMUL)

Chair : Sarah Wolff (QMUL)

- Nicholas Wright (University College London): “Managing the ‘Great Unmooring’: Re-shaping Britain’s foreign policy for the era of Brexit”

- Amelia Hadfield (University of Surrey): “EU Development Policy post Brexit”

- Benjamin Martill (University of Edinburgh): “Great expectations: The Brexit moment in EU security and defence and the return of the capabilities–expectations gap”

- Marja-Liisa Öberg (Örebro University): “Blessed be the fruit: On Brexit, cherry-picking and the EU’s relations with the neighbourhood countries”


Video 6. Forums "How to teach EU-UK relations and EU integration" (Heidi Maurer, NORTIA and University of Oxford, Britsol University) and "The impact of research on policy-making" (Catherine Fieschi, Counterpoint)

Chair: Sarah Wolff (QMUL)


Brexit: The Scapegoating of the EU for the failures of British Neoliberalism?

Presentation by Humaira Mahmud of the main results of her working paper written from her dissertation which was awarded the CER MA Dissertation Prize 2019. In this dissertation, Humaira puts forth the case that the underlying pressures of economic insecurity caused by decades of neoliberal globalisation were at the root of people’s disaffection, particularly following the global financial crisis of 2008 and the austerity measures enacted thereafter.

Negotiating the future EU-UK relations in the times of pandemic

Dr Sarah Wolff and Dr Agathe Piquet are joined by Professor Anand Menon (KCL), Professor Patrick Le Galès (Sciences Po Paris), Dr Elvire Fabry (Institut Jacques Delors) to discuss how the ongoing EU-UK negotiations have been impacted by COVID-19.

In conversation with Dr. Ruben Zaiotti (Dalhousie University) - Episode 3: NEXTEUK Virtual Seminar Series online, European integration and the future of EU-UK relations in times of COVID-19

What has been the impact of the current pandemic on borders and on Schengen? Is Schengen in danger? How human rights taken for granted are affected by the measures adopted in Europe? Would new views on migration appear? What could be the consequences on the EU?

COVID-19: perspectives from Greece, Serbia, France, the UK,  the Netherlands - Episode 2: NEXTEUK Virtual Seminar Series online, European integration and the future of EU-UK relations in times of COVID-19

Five NEXTEUK experts (Dr Stella Ladi, Dr Davor Jancic, Dr Agathe Piquet, Prof Tim Bale, Dr Sarah Wolff) discuss how different European States have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and what could be the impact on the European construction?

In conversation with Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration (Boston) - Episode 1: NEXTEUK Virtual Seminar Series online, European integration and the future of EU-UK relations in times of COVID-19

What has been the EU and the EU member States answer to COVID-19? What are the consequences on European integration? How have reacted populist leaders and parties? Is the current pandemic an opportunity for populism? What is the future of social Europe and of the Welfare State in Europe? How would the Brexit negotiations and the EU-UK relations be impacted by the situation? 

Insights from Negotiating Strategies - Roundtable highlights

What are the next steps in the negotiation process, and how will key players such as France and Germany influence the discussions?

What's next for British Democracy?

The potential consequences of Brexit on UK parliamentary democracy, and Europe are discussed by Prof Pauline Schnapper (Sorbonne Nouvelle), Prof Tim Bale (QMUL), Prof Prof Helen Drake (Loughborough) and Dr Sarah Wolff (QMUL).


Referendums in Europe: people power or political elite device?

Dr Saskia Hollander debates the strategic use of referendums in Europe based on her book ‘The Politics of Referendum Use in European Democracies’.

In Secular Power Europe and Islam: Identity and Foreign Policy (2021), Sarah Wolff, Principal Investigator of the NEXTEUK Project, argues that secularism is not the central principle of international relations but should be considered as one belief system that influences international politics. Through an exploration of Europe’s secular identity, an identity that is seen erroneously as normative, Wolff shows how Islam confronts the European Union’s existential anxieties about its security and its secular identity.

In this conversation, Wolff and Berkley Center Senior Fellow Jocelyne Cesari will unpack secularism as a bedrock principle of international relations and diplomacy. They will explore how Islam disrupts Eurocentric assumptions about democracy and human rights, as well as discuss how European secular identities should be reconsidered in areas of religion and foreign policy. Judd Birdsall, senior research fellow at the Berkley Center and project director of the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy, will moderate the event.