Time flies by: already ten years since ESSCA hosted the Annual Conference of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES)!

The 49th conference took place between 1 and 4 September 2019 at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

As each year, the members of the EU-Asia Institute made a variety of contributions.

Small States and the Governance of the Economic and Monetary Union

Sebastian Heidebrecht chaired a panel of presentations that examined the strategies and roles of small states in the Eurozone. It also discussed their power under the so-called German hegemony and whether they could block or shape some future reforms and policies or if they were totally dependent of the bigger countries of the European Union.

Promoting International Environmental Norms: The Sustainable Development and Green Economy Discourse in Romania

This presentation by Simona Davidescu dealt with two interrelated environmental norms: Sustainable Development and Green Economy. It examined recent work and studies on this subject. Simona also detailed the role of policy entrepreneurs in such societal changes, including the adoption and application of the Paris Agreement.

Romania’s Environmental Policy in Times of Crisis

In her second conference paper, Simona Davidescu analyzed the case of Romania, a relative newcomer to the EU and its policy in terms of renewable energies. It aimed to demonstrate that the policy failures in Romania were more linked to the slackness of past politicians rather than caused by the recent economic crisis.

International Legal Framework, Diplomacy and ISS Security Issues

Antonella Forganni revisited an air leak incident that occurred on the 30th of August 2018 in the Russian module of the International Space Station, which could have put in danger the life of the 6 astronauts on board who had to fix the technical problem. The presentation discussed how the authorities managed the problem based on the legal framework provided by the ISS agreement and other related implementing instruments for this kind of procedures. Most importantly, it addressed the diplomatic incidents that could arise from such hazardous situations and how fragile the collaboration in space is.

Trust and Mistrust in the Transatlantic Alliance in the Context of Trump’s “America First” Agenda

Teaming up with Kristian Nielsen (Copenhagen), Anna Dimitrova spoke about the evolution of trust in the relations between the EU and the US since the second World War. It examined how Trump’s “America First” agenda and his wariness in alliances such as NATO led to serious mistrust. The aims of this presentation were to highlight the worsening of trust asymmetry between the EU and the US and attempts to solve this trust crisis.

The Long Road towards an Energy Union: National Sovereignty meets European Environmental Conscience – The development of European Sustainabilism

This presentation was given by Thomas Hoerber, based on a paper co-authored with Gabriel Weber and Ignazio Cabras. It analysed how the convergence of the European Union to an Energy Union accelerated in the past years, since the growing European environmental conscience stopped the national prerogatives of the energy sector to overrule European matters, due to an energy policy shaped by environmental concerns. The presentation described how a new ideology called Sustainabilism could arise from this new European environmental conscience, may contribute to the progress of the European integration process.

As each year, the UACES conference revealed itself as a forum of lively exchange in a warm and constructive atmosphere.

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