European Affairs

The EU is often referred to as the flagship project of economic liberalism and democratic values. Its policies and mechanisms serve as examples of liberal democracy and intergovernmentalism in action. Nevertheless, the EU has failed to live up to its potential as a global leader and infighting within its ranks has significantly impaired its ability to take a more influential role in world affairs. Previously, this Policy Centre has studied EU external relations, but we firmly believe that the EU must first overcome its internal challenges before being able to meaningfully transform its global reach. We are therefore turning inward this year to examine and evaluate the Schengen regime and the very concept of Freedom in Europe. 

The Schengen area is both an integral part of the European Union and an external construct that incorporates several non-EU states. Therefore it allows an examination of both the internal workings of the bloc and its relation to other European countries. Schengen is a tangible topic that involves complicated legal regulations and diverse influences on nationhood. During the second term, therefore, this PC will turn towards the far more obviously value-driven topic of Freedom in Europe. The concrete aspects of Freedom in Europe are complex and have been a source of contention within the bloc. Different understandings of freedom and the extent of Brussel’s reach in enforcing its manifold implications are threatening the bloc’s integrity. The Policy Centre for European Affairs, through its examination of Schengen and Freedom in Europe, hopes to shed more light on the value system and concept of cooperation that makes the EU so remarkable. 

The EU has been a beacon of hope in a world that is increasingly dark with totalitarianism. Yet this beacon has been fading as the EU member states quarrel amongst each other and the union is increasingly being challenged in its values and principles. We, as the European Affairs Policy Centre, hope that our work can help to reignite the spark of cooperation and effective intergovernmentalism so that the EU may once again appear as the trail-blazer for fair and equitable multinational governance, outshining the rising darkness of illiberalism and dictatorship.

We encourage discussion and debate on these topics and any other aspects of European politics. King’s Think Tank and the Policy Centre for European Affairs welcome external contributions to our policy papers and blog posts, so please do not hesitate to contact jonas.decker@kcl.ac.uk. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Jonas Decker

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.