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International Conference: Democracy and the Rule of Law in the EU

RECONNECT Conference with keynotes from Prof. Dr. Koen Lenaerts and Prof. Dr. R. Daniel Keleman

Join us on the 5th of July for the RECONNECT Conference on Democracy and the Rule of Law in the EU, featuring keynote addresses by Prof. Dr. R. Daniel Kelemen (Rutgers University) and Prof. Dr. Koen Lenaerts (President of the European Court of Justice).

Take part in the discussion during two Policy Roundtables on the state of democracy and the rule of law in the EU, alongside representatives from the EU institutions, from civil society organizations and from academia.

Speakers include Prof. Dr. Alberto Alemanno, Prof. Dr. Petra Bárd, Mr. Nicolaas Bel, Prof. Dr. Veronika Bilkova, Prof. Dr. Paul Blokker, Prof. Dr. Ben Crum, Dr. Gaelle Dusepulchre, Ms. Tina Hocevar, Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kritzinger, Ms. Marta Pardavi, Prof. Dr. Laurent Pech, Prof. Dr. Pieter de Wilde and Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters.

See below for the full programme:



12:30 Sandwich lunch served

13:15: Welcome: Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters, RECONNECT Coordinator

13:30:  Keynote: “Challenges to Democracy in the European Union” – Prof. Dr. R. Daniel Kelemen, Professor of Political Science and Law and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics at Rutgers University

13:50: Policy Roundtable: Democracy in the European Union

This panel will reflect on the most significant implications of the 2019 European Parliament elections and how these elections may mark a turning point for EU politics. The panel will assess where Europe stands in terms achieving stronger democratic legitimacy and greater levels of citizen engagement, as well as the impact of the so-called Spitzenkandidaten system on the election turnout. It will also discuss the new distribution of seats in the European Parliament – especially the significance of the rise in seats held by Eurosceptic MEPs – not only in terms of the positioning of the Parliament in the exercise of its legislative powers, but also what it means for current and future developments in EU ; Finally, the panel will also examine public opinion issue priorities and voting behaviour surrounding the 2019 elections in eight EU Member States in which RECONNECT collected new survey data.

Chair: Prof. Dr. Ben Crum, Professor of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

     -Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kritzinger, Professor for Methods in the Social Sciences, University of Vienna

     -Prof. Dr. Pieter De Wilde, Associate Professor in European politics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

     -Prof. Dr. Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law & Risk Regulation at HEC Paris, Director and Co-founder of ‘The Good Lobby’

     -Dr. Gaelle Dusepulchre, Representative to the EU, International Federation for Human Rights

     -Ms. Tina Hocevar, Vice-President of the European Youth Forum

15:30: Coffee Break

16:00: Policy Roundtable: Rule of Law in the European Union

This panel reflects on the growing debate on how to further strengthen the rule of law within the EU, which has acquired a greater sense of urgency during the past year. In particular, the panel will assess the proposal to introduce a new mechanism to protect the EU’s budget in case of risks posed by generalised deficiencies of the rule of law in Member States, the proposed EU Council-led periodic peer review mechanism, and the many questions raised by the Commission in its Communication of 3 April 2019. Tools and measures beyond the EU institutional context will also be discussed, such as the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Finally, panellists will take stock of the rule of law situation in a number of Member States and in particular the two countries subject to ongoing Article 7(1) TEU proceedings.

Chair: Prof. Dr. Petra Bárd, Lecturer, Central European University

     -Prof. Dr. Laurent Pech, Jean Monnet Chair of European Public Law, Middlesex University London

     -Prof. Dr. Paul Blokker, Associate Professor in Sociology, University of Bologna

     -Prof. Dr. Veronika Bilkova, Member of the Venice Commission

     -Mr. Nicolaas Bel, Deputy Head of Unit, Fundamental rights and rule of law – Justice policy and rule of law, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission

     -Ms. Marta Pardavi, Co-Chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee

17:30: Keynote: “Upholding the Rule of Law within the EU” – Prof. Dr. Koen Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union

18:00 Reception


5 Jul 2019 @ 12:30 pm

5 Jul 2019 @ 07:00 pm

Duration: 6 hours, 30 minutes


Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts

1 Rue Ducale

1000 Bruxelles


Organised by

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven

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