Born under the impulsion of the Centre for European Research (CER), the project investigated the future of EU-UK relations by assessing the latter’s historical achievements considering Brexit as well as the impact of major events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, to identify the best decision-making practices in policymaking.
In addition to fostering a dialogue between the academic world and policymakers, NEXTEUK’s other main objective was to ensure CER’s ongoing mission of providing cutting-edge teaching and research in EU studies by involving a wide range of academic and political experts, including the public. Born under the impulsion of the Centre for European Research (CER), the project investigated the future of EU-UK relations by assessing the latter’s historical achievements considering Brexit as well as the impact of major events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, to identify the best decision-making practices in policymaking.
Sarah Wolff, Professor in European Politics and International Relations and Director of the Centre for European Research.
Tim Bale, Professor of Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations.
Paul Copeland, Reader in Public Policy.
Dr Stella Ladi, Reader in Public Management (School of Business and Management).
Dr Stijn van Kessel, Reader in European Politics (SPIR).
Dr Matthieu Burnay, Senior Lecturer in Global Law (School of Law).
Dr Mario Mendez, Reader in Law (School of Law).
Professor Violeta Moreno-Lax, Professor of Law (School of Law).
Professor Rainbow Murray, Professor of Politics (SPIR).
Dr Agathe Piquet, Postdoctoral Researcher / NEXTEUK Team Manager (SPIR).
After the Centre was awarded the prestigious Erasmus + Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence prize in 2019, NEXTEUK had the opportunity to organize various events and conferences throughout the 2019-2022 period. Although its focus was mainly on EU-UK relations, the project also explored how ongoing events happening at the global scale were impacting the latter and the intersections of other issues that affect European studies and policies.Most of these events happened under the “think tank” format, where policy officials, NGOs, practitioners, business leaders, and academics blended their expertise with academic activities through interdisciplinary forums.
Dr. Wolff’s strategic and scientific contributions to NEXTEUK have appeared in numerous important academic journals. Her work includes a new research agenda on the Future of British public policy trajectories with the concept of (re)engagement resulting in a special issue in Comparative European Politics with a team of 8 (co)authors.
Moreover, her pioneering work on governance in times of Covid, namely the special issue co-authored with Dr. Stella Ladi on the EU’s response to the pandemic and her theorisation of ‘coordinative Europeanization’ and ‘permanent emergency’, has been selected to feature in the Journal of European Integration, while competing against 40 other submitted special issues.
NEXTEUK’s main aim is to assess the historical achievements in the context of the EU-UK relationship and analyses emerging challenges to this relationship. Main research outputs are:
NEXTEUK analyses the roots of Brexit and its implications for European integration and British politics. Various outputs have been produced by the NEXTEUK team and project in this respect. One of the main research outputs consisted in a special issue compiling multiple analyses on these issues
NEXTEUK’s first international conference focused on the multi-faceted components and processes of Brexit from a European integration perspective. Despite being entirely online on the Hopin platform, the event successfully organized two policy roundtables and provided various networking opportunities and discussion for a between policymakers and academics. Key drivers of the two-days programme included:
Most of the conference’s videos can be accessed on NEXTEUK's videos page.
NEXTEUK offers a forward-looking analysis of the future of the EU-UK relationship and formulates policy-relevant recommendations. Various outputs have been produced by the NEXTEUK team and project in this respect, which can be found on NEXTEUK’s website.
The 2022 NEXTEUK Conference maintained the same format as its first edition, by focusing this time on the future of the EU-UK relationship post-Brexit and its evolution on the global stage. Moreover, the conference investigated the latter further by dedicating the second policy roundtable to the importance of climate change on human security in the global order.
The seismic impact of the pandemic led to production of research outputs, such as:
Over the 3 years, NEXTEUK organised as many as 27 lectures and webinars/seminars, which happened through a partnership between London (Europe House in London and the European Parliament Office) and Paris (Maison Jean Monnet in Bazoches).
With an initial focus on the European political space, they also covered timely topics such as the Presidential French elections and the war in Ukraine, to cite a few examples. Some of the lectures were organised in partnership with the Europe House in London and the European Parliament office, and Maison de l’Europe and the Maison Jean Monnet in Bazoches in Paris.
NEXTEUK organised two Summer Schools offering an extensive range of lectures, resources, and advice provided by policymakers and leading international scholars to early researchers and PhD candidates in the field of EU studies. The Summer School provided a multidisciplinary program with the objective of honing participants’ academic and research skills.
NEXTEUK 2021 Summer School’s central research question, “Researching post-Brexit and (post-) Covid EU-UK Relations: What impact on Policies, Methods and Theories?” addressed the methodological and theoretical tools to study the era of changes triggered by the UK withdrawal from the European Union. Due to the pandemic, the Summer School happened entirely virtually in partnership with critical online pedagogy scholars from the University of Colorado (ThinqStudio).
NEXTEUK Summer School 2022 focused on the research agenda(s) for post-Brexit and post-Covid EU studies. It addressed how these events impact the EU’s sovereignty and institutions, the state of trust within the Union, the concept of Europeanisation, and the politicization of European integration in those contexts. As the restrictions regarding the pandemic loosened up, participants in the second Summer School had the chance to assist in person in Paris, where, in addition to the two-day program at Queen Mary (rue de Constantine), they benefited from a two-day academic retreat at the Jean Monnet House in Bazoches.
NEXTEUK maintained a strong presence on social media, especially on Twitter. NEXTEUK’s Twitter account has more than 500+ followers since its creation in 2019 and observed on average an increase in total impressions of nearly 35% over the three years.
Most importantly, the sign that NEXTEUK sparked some interest as its activities unfolded throughout the years is visible with the difference in top tweets between its two most prolific years (2020-2021), as the engagement rate witnessed a 62% increase between 2020 and 2021.
This can also be seen through the sharp interest in the project’s activities following NEXTEUK’s first international conference which happened in September 2020, as there was a +103% difference in impressions between the beginning of 2020 (22.3k) and 2021(53.3k).Over the three years, NEXTEUK followers were mostly interested in topics (top tweets) regarding the Conservatives’ challenge of handling populism (2019), NEXTEUK international conferences (2020 and 2022), and the Eurozone crisis (2020).
To make its content accessible to the wider public, NEXTEUK has published most of its conferences and lectures on CER’s youtube channel, which accounts 8.3k views and 92k impressions in total. The video accounting for the most views is “’You can’t always get what you want’: the Impact of Brexit on UK international security”.
Moreover, videos of the first International Conference stimulated a lot of interest, demonstrating NEXTEUK’s digital content as a valuable resource through the way the audience has gone back to watch excerpts of the conference long after it occurred.
Many viewers from non-European countries have watched NEXTEUK’s content, notably established in the US, Canada and South Korea.
Despite the pandemic forcing the project to move most of its events online, and the mobility restrictions rendering the organisation of activities between London and Paris as planned difficult, the pandemic provided NEXTEUK with the possibility of extending its reach at a global level, by saving the onerous cost of traveling for some of the +300 participants to its events and provide some of them with invaluable knowledge that they could not have acquired otherwise. Excepted Oceania, NEXTEUK had participants from all around the world.
Amongst its top 10 countries of participation, it accounted 3 non-European countries (Turkey, Brazil and South Korea).
Map representing the worldwide participation to NEXTEUK events online.
The two international conferences held by NEXTEUK had very positive feedback, with many participants (mostly with an academic background) stating that the topics assessed were fed directly into their own research; moreover, most participants stated that they would participate in other conferences organized by NEXTEUK.
"(...) The Summer School has given me the very rare opportunity of having my work commented upon by an expert. It was an immense bonus!"
"I really liked the peer-review process, both from a colleague and a senior academic. I think that receiving their feedback on our research was one of the most enriching things of the Summer School."
"The panels that we were attending broadened my knowledge about job opportunities for PhD students. This summer school allowed me also to meet interesting people that shared their practical experiences and talk to us about their work"
"Yes, I think the Summer School has helped instil a greater sense of confidence when attending academic events/conferences. It has provided a reassurance that my research has relevance and is developing, even at an early stage. The skills I have gained or improved on include: - presenting - developing concepts and linking them to my research - exploring historical links to contemporary events - developing critical analysis skills"
The feedback for the PhD Summer School was very positive overall. Participants were highly satisfied, with a majority estimating that their expectations were met, either topic-wise (some stating that their knowledge about Europeanisation was deepened for instance) or academic-wise, as some participants underlined the fact that the Summer School inspired them for their future research. They also praised the Summer School’s opportunity of connecting and exchange with other participants. The “retreat” format at Jean Monnet House was one of the strengths of the Summer School, as its non-traditional academic atmosphere was a great factor of inspiration for the participants.