The EU is currently facing a series of internal and external challenges and tensions. Some essential features are still missing in order to assure a sustainable European Economic and Monetary Union, and a political agreement for that purpose is still far from granted. Moreover, some important aspects of the EU policies in the fields of asylum and immigration have been overtly challenged by certain Member-States. Also, there have been signs of regional tensions in individual Member-States, either by opposition to EU transatlantic trade deals or by new attempts of regional independence. Finally, in 2017 the first retreat procedure of a Member State from the EU has begun with the United Kingdom triggering Article 50 TEU. Sixty years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome and twenty-five years after Maastricht, the EU may be living a true moment of “constitutional mutation” that may dramatically change its identity. Therefore, this is the right time to address the EU federal experience from an historic perspective and to analyse the role which such an acquis may play in the shaping of the future EU.
The Conference will adress mainly the following topics:
- EU and federalism on the 60 years of the Treaty of Rome, where several questions shall be addressed, such as the role of federalism and anti-federalism in the history of the European integration, the EU federal experience vis-à-vis other federal experiences in the world, the place of the EU’s federal experience within general theories of federalism, existing connections between the EU’s federal experience and globalization and between federalism in the EU and issues of differentiated integration.
- Federalism now: a current and general assessment of the EU as a federal system
An assessment of the many challenges currently faced by the EU in a variety of areas— for example, in the fields of social rights, regionalism, nationalism, technology, competition, external action, trade policy and Brexit — is helpful to understand how federalism can help (or not) the EU in the future, in a more comprehensive light. This topic covers the discussion of several questions such as the relation of federalism with democracy and with fundamental rights, federalism and the current structure of the EU jurisdictional system, federalism and regionalism, the implications of Brexit for federalism and federalism and the role of the EU in the international community.
- Federal challenges in the Eurozone
Some tensions regarding national compliance with EMU rules and the EU’s proposed economic and financial integration project, in face of national constitutional principles put the topic at the forefront of crucial federal challenges for the future of EU integration. The conference aims at discussing how did Eurozone integration fare nine years after the beginning of the economic and financial crisis, the main challenges posed by the new EMU setting on federalism, fiscal federalism, the federal implications of the new banking union and capital markets union projects, amongst other topics.
- Federal challenges in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
The “unprecedented migratory and refugee crisis” which the EU has been facing since 2015 has made clear the incongruence between the federalist goal of an area without internal border control and its almost exclusively decentralized (“confederal”) implementation by Member States. This topic covers, in particular, the discussion of the control and surveillance of the EU external borders in times of “migratory and refugee crisis” and of global terrorism, the reform of the EU asylum and immigration policies and the significance of the Schengen acquis.