The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally shifted imaginations of the EU’s responses to external threats and crisis. Far from fracturing the EU, the ongoing war has further solidified cooperation and resolve not just among EU members, but in wider Europe. Yet the war is only one aspect of what scholars increasingly describe as a ‘polycrisis’, from which the EU has been suffering since the Global Financial Crisis. Europe is undeniably facing challenges in the realms of economics, domestic and international politics, social order, interstate diplomacy, security, and legitimacy. But are these crises just another ‘engine of European integration’? Or is this crisis accelerating the disintegration of the EU?
Join four of our distinguished experts at this roundtable on challenges and responses to war, crisis, and a changing Europe.
This is the first of three events to mark the 30th anniversary of the Department of European and International Studies at King’s College London. A complementary drinks reception for panellists and guests will be held after the roundtable.
Follow the hashtag #EIS@30 on social media channels to keep updated with our schedule of events.
Prof Christoph Meyer will discuss the processes of learning lessons during and after crises, and how these help to explain the path of European integration over the last decade. His argument is that the EU has learned to live with growing contestation and crisis rather than creating dynamics of disintegration – and as a result Europe has gradually moved towards a new equilibrium in which crisis politics reinforces, rather than weakens, the political character of the EU. Europe’s response to Russia’s war of conquest in Ukraine should be seen as a culmination of these dynamics.
Prof Meyer is Professor of European and International Politics at King’s College London and has written widely on European integration and EU policy-making, particularly in the area of European foreign, security and defence policy. He is the co-editor of, and a contributor to, ‘Estimative Intelligence in European Foreign Policymaking: Learning Lessons from an Era of Surprise’, published in October 2022 with Edinburgh University Press.
Prof Sofia Vasilopoulou will talk about the rise of the far right across Europe, its establishment in the European political and social landscape, and what this means for European and international cooperation more broadly.
Prof Vasilopoulou is Professor of European Politics at EIS King’s College London. Her work examines the causes and consequences of political dissatisfaction among the public and the ways in which this is channelled through party strategies and party competition.
Dr Jimena Valdez will talk about the decline of unions in Europe, and the consequences of this shift in terms of increases in income inequality, and lack of representation for working-class Europeans.
Dr Valdez is Lecturer in Politics at EIS King’s College London. Her work examines what business and labour desire and the ways in which they organize to realise their goals, alongside responses from the state in terms of public policy and regulations.
Dr Alex Clarkson will discuss the European and broader international response to renewed aggression and hybrid warfare from the Russian Federation since 2014, focusing on economic, diplomatic, military, and intelligence responses from the EU, member-states, and non-EU European nations within the wider context of Europe’s external actions and responses to crisis.
Dr Clarkson is Lecturer in German and European Studies at EIS King’s College London. His research focuses on the role of borders and diasporas in shaping European history and contemporary politics.
Dr Russell Foster will chair and moderate this first event to mark thirty years of European and International Studies at King’s College London.
Dr Foster is Lecturer in British and European Politics at EIS King’s College London, and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom (with NATO). He recently co-edited a special issue on crisis and legitimacy in Europe.