Canterbury Christ Church Academic Attends Major EU Conference

Dr Amelia Hadfield was invited to speak at the annual Jean Monnet Conference in Brussels, on 14-15 November. Entitled The political implications of European economic integration – towards a political integration, the two-day conference examined the economic, political, societal and cultural aspects of the economic reforms designed to overhaul the EMU and the consequences for a deepened political union. Opened by President Commission Barroso, with a keynote speech by John McCormick, the Jean Monnet professors and associated colleagues were introduced to the key themes of reform, reconstruction and a sustainable recovery across all parts of the Union, in the wake of the profound economic difficulties that have wracked the Eurozone and the wider European market since 2010. Dr Hadfield spoke at the end of day one, wrapping up the perspectives of Session 2 on Political Aspects. Responding to the themes of the session, and many of perspectives and comments made earlier in the day, Dr Hadfield examined the methods, modes and institutionalization of flexible integration. Ranging across orthodox, moderate and radical forms, flexible integration offers methods of moderating policy development and implementation, from multispeed and core Europe, to variable integration, to à la carte Europe. Dr Hadfield analyzed each of these three options in the context of the fiscal and macroeconomic reforms embodied in the Six-pack, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, and the Fiscal Compact. Assessing the political merits and economic risks entailed in each of the three types of flexible integration, Dr Hadfield concluded that a strategic and limited form of orthodox flexible integration could enable the EU to push forward in a unifying fashion to achieve its short, medium and long-term goals of reform, and that Jean Monnet educators in particular now play a critical role in informing a new generation of Europeans as to form and content of a new, post-crisis Europe. The conference proceedings will be made publicly available by DG Education.

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