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:

Natalia Vasnier

Director

Hi, I’m Natalia and I am a third year History Undergraduate student. I am interested in European migration issues, gender equality, political economy and EU foreign policy. My experience at KTT has strengthened my interest in public policy and policy making in general. I believe that there is a need for a social and political cohesion to unite European countries once again to tackle Europe’s future challenges. 

After class I enjoy roaming around London in search of the best organic coffee shop.

Email: policycentre@kingsthinktank.org

Catherine Burke

Editor

Hi, I’m Catherine and I am a second year History and International Relations student. I am interested in international law, human rights, immigration, decolonization, and refugee rights and in particular, how these issues are addressed in Europe. 

Michaela Rubasova

Liaison Officer

Hi! My name is Misha, and I am a final year International Relations student. My research interests lie in contemporary challenges to European security and defence, as well as in threats to the global realm in general, the foreign policy analysis of the individual European states and the future of the European Union in the international sphere. I am also interested in the topics of intelligence, diplomacy, and different types of political regimes.

Our Working Group:

Marius Buga

Hi! My name is Marius and I am a 3rd year student of International Relations. I am interested in investigating how European countries pursue their interests in the global arena, EU integration and its interaction with non-member states in Eastern Europe. I hope to see Europe grow into a more inclusive, tolerant and united continent.

Chloe Delaitre Bonet

Hi! My name is Chloé and I’m a half-Spanish, half-French third year BA International Relations student. I am especially interested in the research areas of European identity questions, and its link to Euroscepticism and populism, as well as European foreign policy- particularly Europe’s diplomatic power.