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- The war has created a new crossroads in Europe

What will happen with the EU after the invasion of Ukraine? Key experts from academia and political practice gather 1st and 2nd of June at UiA to discuss Europe's future in the areas of cooperation, security policy, law and economics.

EU and Ukraine flag

Europe's future is the topic of the conference "Interdisciplinary Trans-Nordic Conference on European Differentiated Integration" at UiA June 1.-2. (photo: Colourbox)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to a new political situation that affects the future of European and Nordic co-operation. Countries need to rethink security policy and economics, and how they should relate to each other. What is happening to the EU as an organization and cooperation arena in this picture?

At the Interdisciplinary Trans-Nordic Conference on European Differentiated Integration 1st - 2nd of June, key practitioners and researchers from the Nordic region, but also other parts of Europe, gather to discuss current developments. The concept of differentiated integration is a common concept in the literature and at the conference - a concept for describing the EU's increasingly multifaceted organization. This indicates that countries in Europe are connected to the EU to varying degrees, which increases the complexity of cooperation. Norway is a good example of this, a member of the EEA, works closely with the EU but is outside the union.

The Ukraine war as a backdrop

The conference will discuss how the complexity of the EU will have consequences for a number of different issues related to the economy, security policy and the EU's future. A special focus will be on Russia's invasion war against Ukraine and the EU's eastern neighbors, which in light of the current political situation are in a precarious situation, as well as the consequences of the war for the Nordic countries. This will be discussed in separate panel discussions and be an important backdrop for the conference's keynote address by Alexander Stubb, former Prime Minister of Finland and current chair and professor at the European University Institute. The keynote speech will be open to anyone at zoom.

The event is an important part of the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence initiative, which was awarded the Department of Political Science and Management from the EU in 2020. At that time, Brexit was the largest event in recent political history and formed the basis for the EU Commission's application. But researchers at the institution have always remained vigilant with regards to the developments in Eastern Europe.

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

In 2020, UiA was awarded the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. The coordinator of the centre here in front, Anne Pintsch.

The excellence in this field is mainly through Associate Professor Anne Pintsch, coordinator of the Jean Monnet Center, and Marina Rabynovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, born and raised in Ukraine. Both have long researched the EU's complex relationship with its eastern neighbors. Both the Nordic countries and the EU's eastern neighbors are also uniquely exposed to new geopolitical challenges as they share a border with a resurrected Russia, according to Anne Pintsch:

– Today, the war in Ukraine has created a new crossroads in Europe. This serious political situation makes it even more important to unite actors from political practice and research. We want to raise difficult questions in open conversations and contribute to opinion development and more knowledge. At the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at UiA we are proud of the access we have to the expertise in EU research, and feel we have an important role as social scientists in a time marked by war in Europe. We contribute with knowledge and analyzes about the present and can add new perspectives to the political conversation, says Anne Pintsch.

Keynote by Alexander Stubb will take place 15:00 the 1st of June. Join the keynote on Zoom.

Questions regarding the conference? Please send an email to frans.af.malmborg@uia.no

Selected participants

Alexander Stubb, former Prime Minister of Finland and current Head and Professor at the European University Institute

Cristian Bădescu, Romania's Ambassador to Norway

Iwona Woicka-Żuławska, Polish Ambassador to Norway

Eszter Sándorfi, Ambassador of Hungary to Norway

Anders Ahnlid, Chief of Mission to the Swedish Trade Council and former Swedish Ambassador to the EU

Kristján Andri Stefánsson, Icelandic envoy to the EU

Wolfgang Behrendt, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Norway

Iain Begg, Professor London School of Economics and former editor of the scientific journal Journal of Common Market Studies

Gunnar Hökmark, chairman of the Stockholm Free World Forum, former deputy chair of the EPP group in the European Parliament

See also the conference homepage.