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Policy Dialogues

"Transformations In The Middle East And North Africa – The EU’s Response" debate

"Transformations In The Middle East And North Africa – The EU’s Response" debate, June 2016 © European Parliament Research Service

A core feature of the Schuman Centre’s mission is to engage with the world of practice though high level policy dialogue and executive training. The model that has been developed over the years brings together academics and practitioners in mutually beneficial engagement in different formats - workshops, seminars, and restricted roundtables. The distinctive role that the European University Institute plays is to provide a European-level forum that is not regarded as belonging to any one member state.


The Florence School of Regulation (FSR) for instance interacts continuously with numerous European Commission Directorate Generals, the European Parliament, agencies, national authorities and the private sector. Two examples of the many events in 2017 where when the FSR brought academics and practitioners together are the seminar on ‘EU Power System Operation and Solidarity: the Issues and the Practice’ that took place in June and the ‘Carbon Market Workshop’ that was organised in September. The School also launched a new policy initiative entitled Lights on Women, which acts as a platform to shine a light on women’s expertise, publications, projects, and professional achievements, making their contributions visible to the energy community. Back in 2016 the school held the fourth Vienna Forum on European Energy Law, a joint annual initiative between the Florence School of Regulation and the Energy Community Secretariat.

Global Governance

All activities in the Global Governance Programme have policy relevance, in particular the Executive Training Seminars. In May 2017, Professor Anna Triandafyllidou, Director of the Cultural Pluralism Area of the Global Governance Programme organised a high-level policy workshop on 'EU International Cultural Relations: a Strategic Approach'. The workshop was introduced by the keynote lecture of Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism in Italy, and included speakers from the academia and the world of practice such as MEP Silvia Costa. Highlights from this debate were also reported in the EUI Times with the article ‘Cultural Diplomacy and Foreign Policy.

 In June 2017, an important conference co-funded by NATO tackled the topic of ‘Terrorism & European Security Governance’, and gathered representatives of both academia and officials working at NATO, Europol and the European Commission. The focus was on the emerging security threats to the EU both from domestic and external forces and the changing nature of security in a highly connected world including the potential for cybercrime.


Highlights among the policy events of the Migration Policy Centre are the high-level public event on ’Labour Migration and Mobility in the Euro-Mediterranean Region’, organised in May 2017 at the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, and an event on ‘Future Governance of Migration in Europe’, co-organised with the Centre for European Policy Studies in June in Brussels.

Banking and Finance

The Florence School of Banking and Finance organised, among other policy dialogue events, a closed-doors executive seminar on ‘Financing Banking Resolution’ on 29-30 June 2017, involving selected high-profile policy makers from European institutions such as the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority, national central banks (among others those of Italy, Portugal and Ireland), academics and other experts. The seminar focused on the latest developments in crisis management and banking resolution regime.

On 13 June, the workshop ‘The Risk Management and Financial Regulation Nexus’ was held in the framework of the International Risk Management Conference promoted by the University of Florence and NYU Stern. The event was open by keynote speeches by Mario Nava (European Commission, DG FISMA) and David Yermack (NYU), followed by a roundtable discussion.

Patrick Honohan, former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, visited us on 27 November 2017 for a public lecture entitled ‘Central Banking in Europe Today: Over-Mighty or Under-Powered?’, supported by Fondazione CR Firenze.

Middle East

The Annual Conference of the Middle East Directions  programme on ‘Beyond Borders and States: New Actors in the Globalised Middle East’ took place on 3-5 July. The conference provided academic analysis and fieldwork-research findings on the main dynamics and actors that are transforming the region, as well as on the links between local dynamics and broader trans-national trends. Participants included policy makers, international experts, academics and mass media representatives. The roundtable ‘The day after IS military defeat’ was held in Brussels in December and organised in partnership with the European Policy Centre (EPC). Participants were representatives of EU institutions and foreign affairs services, think tanks and international organisations.

Media Pluralism and Freedom 

During the first week of December 2017, team members of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) were dispatched across Europe to report, discuss and debate the current and future state of media freedom and pluralism. While the coordinator, Elda Brogi, travelled to Lisbon to speak at the conference ‘Media Pluralism in Europe and Portugal’, and Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha spoke at ‘The Role and Functions on Contemporary Journalism’ conference in Poznan, CMPF Director, Pier Luigi Parcu, was joined by research associates Lisa Ginsborg and Iva Nenadic to stage a roundtable discussion at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by MEPs Barbara Spinelli and Curzio Maltese, on the future of media pluralism and the CMPF’s flagship project, the Media Pluralism Monitor.

Memorandum of Understanding with the European Parliament

The European University (EUI) Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Parliament (EP) in 2014, where it committed to two dialogues with the European Parliament each year. The Schuman Centre was asked to organise these so-called ‘EUI-EP Policy Roundtables’.

In December 2014 a first policy dialogue roundtable was organised on ‘The Institutional Significance of 2014 in the European Union’ with the participation of Brigid Laffan, Director of the Schuman Centre, Professor Thomas Christiansen and Professor Diego Garzia. The same year the European Citizen's Prize 2014 was also organised at the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence in collaboration with the Information Office of the European Parliament in Italy.

In May 2015 an EUI-EP Policy Roundtable took place on ‘Economic Governance in the EU’, with Pervenche Berès, European Parliament rapporteur on the review of the economic governance framework, Brigid Laffan and leading researchers in the area.

In December 2015 the focus was on ‘Higher Education in the EU: stocktaking and challenges’, seeking to share experiences between the world of academia and the world of policymakers regarding higher education in the EU. The keynote address was given by Joseph Weiler, President of the European University Institute, and the panels included experts from the Institute and the European Parliament.

On 14 June 2016 the EUI-EP Policy Roundtable discussion was on ‘Transformations In The Middle East And North Africa – The EU’s Response’ and focused on the current Syrian and Libyan conflicts, their impact on the neighbouring countries and the EU’s critical role in this scenario.

Another policy dialogue with the European Parliament took place on 21 June 2016 around ‘Media Pluralism In the EU: Risks, Opportunities, Best Practices’, with the participation of Mairad McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Professor Luigi Parcu, Director of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom of the Schuman Centre.

The following EUI-EP Policy Roundtable took place on 7 November 2016 and focussed on 'Evidence and Analysis in EU Policy-Making: Concepts, Practice and Governance' with the participation of Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Anthony Teasdale, Director-General, DG European Parliamentary Research Service, Wilhelm Lehman, EP Fellow at the Schuman Centre and Gaby Umbach, Visiting Fellow at the Global Governance Programme.

On 7 December 2016 the discussion was on 'The 1976 Electoral Act 40 Years On: History and significance for European democracy today', where MEP Jo Leinen, Co-Rapporteur on ‘The Reform of the Electoral Law of the European Union’, Committee on Constitutional Affairs, joined the debate from Brussels.

An 'EP-EUI History Roundtable' was organised on 'The Political Theory of and Economic Background to Economic and Monetary Union - 25 years after the signature of the Maastricht Treaty' was organised on 31 May 2017 with opening reamrks by Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso,Vice-President of the European Parliament. A policy brief by Wilhelm Lehmann and Gaby Umbach was published, summarising the main outcome of the roundtable. 

A well-attended EUI-EP Policy Roundtable took place on 7 November 2017 to consider the ‘Area of freedom, security and justice: untapped potential’. The event was organised to reflect on the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs (LIBE) request to the European Parliamentary Research Service to produce a 'Cost of Non-Europe Report on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice'. The discussion was recorded and is available online.

Page last updated on 08 January 2019