180613 - ECPR SGEU Plenary Roundtable: Whither European integration – Addressing EU internal and external challenges

13 Juin, 2018 - 18:00 - 20:00


Plenary Roundtable Whither European integration – Addressing EU internal and external challenges";

Wednesday 13th, June 2018, 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm, Amphitheater Chapsal, Sciences Po,;27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris

 To attend the Plenary Session, please register here


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To print the poster (pdf)


Since Aesop’s fable “the Four Oxens and the Lion,” the idea that there is strength in numbers is common sense. This is also a leitmotiv in many discourses on European integration, notably in idea that the European states needs to “speak with one voice” in global settings, that some issues such as the environment are best dealt through cross-state cooperation to avoid a “tragedy of the commons”, or that de jure “unity in diversity” is a positive sum game.

EU scholars have long exposed a much more complex reality:

  • Legally – Differentiated political integration is a historical fact: “à la carte” Schengen, euro opt-outs, multi-speed Europe after enlargement. Socioeconomically, disparities among member states and their populations remain high despite common policy frameworks and anti-EU parties exploit the notion that only some Europeans benefit from integration processes.
  • Diplomatically – Member states sometimes sing different tunes just as in the Eurovision contest. We have observed it in 2018 with the debate on the GAFAM and proposals to tax the US IT giants. Concomitantly, there has been resistance from EU subnational and/or civil society actors to EU agreements with third states with the CETA or with Turkey regarding migration. The question is thus how to best address external challenges given tensions and contradictions within the EU.

This roundtable brings together three prominent speakers whose careers reflect an enduring commitment to the comprehension of European integration and a willingness to contribute to EU policy developments. Their combined experience in and outside of academia and within and outside European institutions and think tanks is precious to help us analyze some of the key challenges facing the EU and European societies. Based on their diagnostic of the situation, they will help us assess what is both desirable and feasible.

 Introduced by Frédéric Mion, Director of Sciences Po

Chaire: Virginie Guiraudon, the Conference Academic Convenor

 Roundtable speakers:

Renaud Dehousse
 is President of the European University Institute (EUI). Before coming to the EUI, he was Professor and Jean Monnet chair in EU law and European Policy Studies at Sciences Po, Paris, where he founded and directed the Centre d’études européennes from 2005 to 2016. He chaired Sciences Po’s executive board from 2013 to 2016.
Renaud Dehousse was a scientific advisor at Notre Europe, a study and research centre founded by Jacques Delors. He was member of several think tanks on the reform of European institutions established by the European Commission or the French government.


Heather Grabbe is the director of the Open Society European Policy Institute and director of EU affairs. From 2004 to 2009 she was senior advisor to then European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, responsible in his cabinet for the Balkans and Turkey. Before joining the commission, she was deputy director of the Centre for European Reform in London. She holds a PhD from the university of Birmingham 



Enrico Letta is the Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po and the founder of the Scuola di Politiche. He was the Prime Minister of Italy from April 2013 to February 2014. Between 2001 and 2015 he was Member of the Italian Parliament or of the European Parliament. He has held several ministerial positions since 1998, including Minister for EU Affairs, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Crafts and Foreign Trade. Enrico Letta obtained a PhD in European Union Law at the School for Advanced Studies Sant’Anna” of Pisa.

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