European Affairs

In recent years, the European Union has faced an ever-increasing combination of internal and external pressures that challenge not only its structure, but its identity as well. The accelerating threat of climate change, the growing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the increasing ethnic differences and identity crises in the Balkans, Russia’s growing political clout, and many other developments worldwide call into question the merits of the EU’s characterization as a supranational organization. Additionally, these developments augment the necessity for the EU to define and strengthen what are often referred to as ‘European values’. Our policy center will research these issues over the course of this year.

In the first term, we will focus on re-evaluation of the EU’s resource allocation from its current approach of militarization of borders and securitization policy to the distribution of resources towards a more sustainable, developmental policy. Currently, the EU’s budget for securitization and surveillance is experiencing a dramatic increase in response to a ‘migration crisis’ fuelled by the Syrian refugee crisis and other developments across the Mediterranean. The European Commission has proposed to triple funding for migration and border management for the next long-term EU budget (covering 2021-2027). The EU’s immigration policies have been heavily criticized for prioritizing border controls over human rights and for cooperating with ‘third countries’ in externalizing border controls, regardless of these countries’ human rights records or respect for the principle of non-refoulement. Additionally, individual member states have experienced an increase in anti-globalization, nationalist policies; Germany’s ‘Duldung’ law, Italy’s Salvini, and Hungary’s border policies are several examples. We will explore the possibilities of more inclusive policies for the EU in order to not only fight Euroscepticism and right-wing nationalism, but also more effectively address the roots of issues that affect both individuals and society.

In the second term, we will shift the focus from the material structure of the European Union to how one defines European values, how identities shape European politics and how a post-Brexit European Union defines and unites itself. Important EU values have traditionally revolved around a commitment to upholding the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As select EU member states gain political power, resentment against what are perceived to be ‘hollow ideals’ has grown, with improper implementation of rules under the Dublin and Schengen Agreements and unequal trade standards as pertinent examples. It is necessary to re-evaluate the role of EU institutions, such as the European Courts of Justice and the European Commission, in order to ensure a more effective and fairer implementation of existing rules. These factors are all linked to the expansion of the EU and its success as a ‘supranational’ organization.

We welcome and encourage debate on these issues and more within the scope of European policy and politics. If you want to contribute to our work through participation in policy papers or events, please do not hesitate to contact us at policycentre@kingsthinktank.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Aanvi Tandon
Director, European Affairs Policy Centre

Our Policy Centre:

Jonas Decker

Director

My name is Jonas and I am a 3rd year International Relations student! My research interests include national identity formation, European foreign policy as well as futurology and post-Cold-War imaginations. I view the European Union as one of the greatest neoliberal experiments of the modern age and its success and possibility failure will, in my opinion, play a pivotal role in the future of international relations. I hope that the work of this PC can create awareness and deeper insights into the milestones that the EU is able to celebrate, the set-backs it may never forget as valuable lessons learned, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Email: policycentre@kingsthinktank.org

Mirjam Seiler

Editor

Hi! My name is Mirjam and I am a third year History and International Relations student. My main research interests are migration patterns and European immigration policies. I’m also deeply interested in the concepts of democracy and the nation-state. I hope the PC European Affairs will provide for an engaging platform to discuss and discover different topics from Schengen and the EU to Europe within the global context.

Ela Rautner

Researcher

Soon to be updated!

Joao Pereira

Liaison

Hello! I’m a master’s student in Robotics and just moved to London from The Netherlands where I did my Bachelor’s degree. I am interested in European integration and topics such as the relationship between European citizens and the EU, European identity and the advancing of European integration and its future.

Our Working Group:

Noemi Amelynck

My name is Noe and I’m a 3rd year European Politics student! My research interests include public policy, EU crises and EU integration/disintegration. I also believe I can bring an interesting perspective to EU politics as I grew up in different areas of the world.

Virginia Izzo

Hi, I am Virginia and I am a final year BA International Relations student! I am especially interested in EU foreign policy and geopolitical role, and how both are shaped by European identity, values and integration-level. As a europhile, I believe that greater European solidarity and consciousness are pivotal to make the EU a successful order-shaper in the future of international relations.

Claudia Quinn

I’m Claudia and I am in my second year of European Studies (German Pathway). My interests cover a large range of areas, including political economy, EU integration (or disintegration), and Europe’s position in the wider world.