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RECONNECT Webinar: The State of the European Union: Reconnecting to European Citizens?

This RECONNECT Virtual Roundtable will discuss the Commission President’s speech, with a view to gleaning what lies ahead.

 October 09 2020 - 14:00 - 15:30 CET

On September 16th 2020, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave her first Speech on the State of the European Union. Its aim was, in part, to reassure European citizens that the fallout from the current pandemic is under control. The Commission even sees it as an opportunity “to build the world we want to live in”, from tackling migration, climate change and investing in digital innovation, to fighting discrimination and raising minimum ;

An ambitious agenda which was welcomed by many observers. Its critics, however, noted how the Conference on the Future of Europe, meant to place people at the heart of EU policymaking, hardly features in the speech. President von der Leyen has also been criticized for only paying lip service to the protection of the rule of law in the EU. None of the Member States experiencing backsliding were mentioned, even if during the pandemic the situation in these countries has worsened. While President von der Leyen appeared reluctant to admit to the extent of the problem, opposition from Hungary and Poland to a mechanism blocking funds for those countries violating the rule of law, is putting at risk efforts to strengthen conditionalities surrounding the new EU budget and pandemic recovery ;

This RECONNECT Virtual Roundtable will discuss the Commission President’s speech, with a view to gleaning what lies ahead. With the difficult times the EU and the world are traversing it was highly anticipated, but did it live up to expectations and to the moment’s challenges? Will the proposed plans help strengthen the state of democracy and the rule of law in the EU? And do they help bridge the gap between the EU and its citizens by matching their concerns? 
Prof. Petra Bárd, expert in EU Constitutional Law, Prof. Carolina Plescia, who specializes in voting behavior of EU citizens and Prof. Steven Van Hecke, expert on EU politics, will discuss these issues and take questions from the online ;


Prof. Petra Bárd, Associate Professor at ELTE School of Law and Visiting Professor at the Central European University.
Prof. Carolina Plescia, Assistant Professor at University of Vienna
Prof. Steven Van Hecke, Associate Professor European and Comparative Politics, KU Leuven 


Alex Andrione-Moylan (PhD Fellow, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies) 

Moderator: Alex Andrione-Moylan (KU Leuven) 

Participation is free and the webinar can be joined from anywhere in the world.



9 Oct 2020 @ 02:00 pm

9 Oct 2020 @ 03:30 pm

Duration: 1 hours, 30 minutes


Organised by

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven

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