Institutionalisation of Political Parties: Comparative Cases. Edited by Robert Harmel and Lars G. Svasand

Keynote Lecture and Roundtables

Keynote Lecture: Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration

Plenary Roundtable: Whither European integration – Addressing EU Internal and External Challenges

Roundtable: Europe in Political Turmoil: Explaining Party Politics and Electoral Dynamics in European Welfare Democracies

Roundtable: Brexit: Where Are We, and Where Are We Headed?

Keynote Lecture

Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration

When? Thursday 14 June, 18:15–20:00

Where? Amphithéâtre Boutmy, 27SG

This lecture by Catherine de Vries (University of Essex) is sponsored by the Journal of European Public Policy, and will be introduced by the journal’s co-editor, Berthold Rittberger.

The European Union is facing turbulent times. It is plagued by deep divisions over how to shape its future. Over half a century of integration has created a profound interconnectedness between the political, economic, and social fates of member states. At the same time, however, the fortunes of member states have started to diverge dramatically.

As a result, the political fault lines are widening. Today, they crosscut the continent from North to South on the economy and austerity, and from East to West on migration and human rights. What are the effects of these developments on public opinion? By presenting a wealth of empirical evidence, this lecture provides an overview of the contours of public opinion. Moreover, it discusses how it matters for behaviour in elections and how it shapes possible reform of the European Union in the future.

Catherine de Vries is a Professor of Politics in the Department of Government at the University of Essex where she also serves as the Director of the Essex Centre for Experimental Social Sciences, and a Professor and Chair of Political Behaviour at the Free University Amsterdam. She is also an associate member of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. Over the years, she has published extensively on the most important societal and political problems facing Europe today, such as the ramifications of the Eurozone crisis, the success of extremist parties or political corruption. Her recent monograph Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration with Oxford University Press provides a systematic account of public opinion towards Europe.

The Journal of European Public Policy (JEPP) was founded 25 years ago by Jeremy Richardson, and has become one of the most authoritative sources on scholarship on public policy, European politics and the European Union. It consistently ranks among the top political science journals (9/165, Journal Citation Report 2016; 6th, Google Scholar 2016).

The journal is currently co‑edited by Jeremy Richardson and Berthold Rittberger.

Plenary Roundtable

Whither European integration – Addressing EU Internal and External Challenges

When? Wednesday 13 June, 18:15–20:00

Where? Amphithéâtre Chapsal, 27SG

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 leitmotif 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 analyse 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


  • Virginie Guiraudon, the Conference Academic Convenor


  • Renaud Dehousse, President, European University Institute
  • Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute
  • Enrico Letta, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs


Europe in Political Turmoil: Explaining Party Politics and Electoral Dynamics in European Welfare Democracies

When? Friday 15 June, 14:15–16:15

Where? Amphithéâtre Sorel, 27SG

Europe’s political landscapes are in turmoil, and new radical parties challenge the established political order. The process of European integration is more and more contested politically. This Roundtable, based on the recently published Oxford University Press volume Welfare Democracies & Party Politics, locates Europe’s contemporary challenges within the longer economic and political trajectories of its ‘welfare democracies’. Based on analysis of structures of political competition and voter-party links in different European democracies, it presents a general understanding of the political and economic turmoil of recent decades. It also provides an analytical framework that links welfare states to party systems, combining recent contributions to the comparative political economy of the welfare state and insights from party and electoral politics.

The Roundtable describes three phenomena: First, concerning electoral politics, it identifies a certain homogenisation of European party systems, the emergence of a new combination of leftist socio-economic and rightist socio-cultural positions in many parties, and the different electoral success of the radical right in the north of Europe and of the radical left in the south. Second, it underlines a confluence toward renewed welfare state support among parties and voters. Third, it shows how the Europeanisation of political dynamics, combined with incompatible growth models, has created pronounced European cleavages.


  • Philip Manow, University of Bremen
  • Hanna Schwander, Hertie School of Governance
  • Bruno Palier, Sciences Po Paris, CEE.LIEPP and CNRS


  • Catherine de Vries, Free University of Amsterdam and University of Essex


Brexit: Where Are We, and Where Are We Headed?

When? Friday 15 June, 14:15–16:15

Where? Amphithéâtre Leroy-Beaulieu, 27SG

This Roundtable will consider the state of the Brexit process in terms of negotiations between the UK and the EU and within the UK itself. Panellists will speculate how this process might unfold and with what consequences.


  • Catherine Barnard, University of Cambridge
  • Anand Menon, Kings College London
  • Tom Nuttall, The Economist Columnist
  • Ivan Rogers, Former UK Permanent Representative to the EU
  • Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus European Council, Minister of State & President of the European Policy Centre

"History is past politics, and politics is past history" - E.A. Freeman

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