ADGRC Seminar Series

The Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre Seminar Series is a cycle of seminars, launched in November 2017, which gives researchers the opportunity to present their recent work on different aspects of European Integration History. 

Each seminar features one researcher who presents his/her work and other attendees will provide feedback, particularly the discussant but also other researchers working in the same field. 

Most of the speakers are Grant Holders and researchers conducting their studies at the HAEU, but external researchers working on relevant topics for the ADGRC are also invited to get involved.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to recommend someone to present his/her work or if you are interested in being a discussant at one of our upcoming seminars.

Apart from the seminars already scheduled, upcoming events will deal with the following subjects: European political parties, ideas of Europe, Migration, European policies, European Union's external action, etc.

Seminars 2019-2020

The Commission's commitment for a federal Europe: the visions of Spinelli, Monnet and De Rougemont in the speeches of the Commission's presidents

Casas SolerSpeaker: Gerard Casas Soler, PhD candidate, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Discussant: Prof. Federico Romero

Research Abstract: European federalism is an open and often vague idea. Many politicians have used in public interventions to appeal to some kind of European unity. However, it may mean many things at the same time. The presentation will explore the link between the visions of Europe of different groups of European federalists and the idea of Europe that the Haute Autorité and European Commission tried to put forward at different stages of the history of European integration (1952-2004).

It will start by explaining the origins of the federal intellectual tradition as well as the evolution that led it to split between two strands: European federalism (with its own distention between German -Althusius- and Frenih -Proudhon-) and American federalism -Hamilton-n and then it will focus on the three federal approaches to European integration: Altiero Spinelli’s democratic/constitutional approach; Jean Monnet’s neofunctionalist approach and finally Denis de Rougemont’s integral federalism. Read more.

Christian Democracy and European Integration: The Italian DC and the German CDU during the Eighties

EvaChristinaMuller-PraefckeSpeaker: Eva Christina Muller-Praefcke, PhD Candidate in Political Studies (Contemporary History), Faculty of Political Sciences, Sociology and Communication, University of Rome La Sapienza

Research Abstract: Italian and German Christian Democrats have been driving forces of European integration. While there are relevant studies about their coordination and cooperation in the first decades following the end of World War II, no attention has been devoted to the Eighties. This seminar aims to investigate how internal and international factors have shaped the relation between the Italian DC and the German CDU, affecting the balances in the EPP. Read more.

The way to Dublin I: How Responsibility prevailed over Solidarity

Gaia LottSpeaker: Gaia Lott, Max Weber Fellow affiliated to the History and Civilization Department at the EUI

Research Abstract: On the 15th of June 1990, twelve European governments signed the Dublin Convention, the first binding agreement on asylum among EC Member States. On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Convention, the debate about the system that derived from it is still open.

This seminar aims to retrace the dynamics that brought to the signature of the convention. The purpose of the analysis is to understand what interests and values were at stake among the Twelve; the role of single states and EC institutions (specifically the Commission and Parliament); the points of contacts and frictions with the contemporary exchanges on asylum in the Schengen group, in the Council of Europe and in the UNHCR. Find out more.

Liberalizing Partners: A European history of Austerity in Africa

 S2019_11_05_Van Mourikpeaker: Sven van Mourik, Ph.D. candidate in Modern European History, New York University

Discussant: Prof. Federico Romero, EUI Department of History and Civilization

Research Abstract: In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, austerity has become ubiquitous across Europe, as governments from Greece to Germany prioritize budgetary discipline over social spending. Despite ongoing debates over its destructive impact, austerity’s intellectual trajectory remains largely hidden. This seminar asks what lessons we can draw from the Lomé IV Convention of the 1990s, when EU bureaucrats first embraced “structural adjustment” (a mix of austerity, privatization, and trade liberalization) as a development strategy for the Global South. Find out more.

The Greek Disability Movement in the 1970s: Radical Practices, Transformative Impact and European Prospects

ChalazaSpeaker: Vassiliki Chalaza, PhD Candidate, University of the Aegean

Discussant: Jacopo Cellini, PhD, Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre

Research Abstract: This seminar focuses on the Greek disability movement as a societal actor aiming at empowerment and participation in disability policy making through collective action both at the national and the European level. In doing so, Vassiliki Chalaza analyses the role of the Greek Blind movement in the legislative achievements regarding people with disabilities, and in the formation of blind identities and broader perceptions of disability in post- dictatorial Greece. Find out more.


Seminars 2018-2019

A Liberal Turn at the European Commission during the Delors Presidency (9 April 2019)

SEric Bussierepeaker: Prof. Eric Bussiere, Université Paris-Sorbonne

Discussant: Federico Romero, EUI Department of History and Civilization

Research Abstract: The presentation will discuss the hypothesis of a neoliberal turn of the European Commission during the Delors mandates (1985-1995). It will analyse the intellectual and political basis of the Delors project for Europe, its market oriented dimension but also its counterparts. The industrial policy is taken as a crucial example of this evolution. Finally the presentation will look at the political implications of this project during the negotiations of the Maastricht Treaty. The presentation is based upon recent research in the Historical Archives of the EU and especially the private archives of members of the Delors cabinet. Find out more.

The Tourism Policy of the European Communities and the Path to Integration (27 March 2019)

Elisa-TizzoniSpeaker: Elisa Tizzoni, Adjunct professor in Modern European History, University of Pisa

Discussant: Federico Romero, EUI Department of History and Civilization

Research Abstract: In 1992 Alan Milward claimed that tourism had fostered a « sense of community » among European citizens, and yet this multifaceted phenomenon gathered scarce attention by the historians of European integration. Thus, in this seminar Elisa Tizzoni will discuss the results of a research carried out in 2017 thanks to a Postgraduate Vibeke Sørensen Grant, with the aim to fill such a research gap by investigating the tourism policy implemented by the European Economic Community. Find out more.

Fighting Europe: Opposition to European Integration since the early Twentieth Century (14 February 2019)

Bernard BruneteauSpeaker: Prof. Bernard Bruneteau, University of Rennes I

Discussant: Prof.Stefano Bartolini (EUI), Prof. Eric Bussière (Université Paris-Sorbonne), Prof. Youssef Cassis (EUI)

Research Abstract: In this lecture, Bernard Bruneteau will present his new book, Combattre l’Europe. De Lénine à Marine Le Pen (Paris, CNRS, 2018), which shows how, from its very beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, the European idea has faced determined opposition coming from various ideological sides (internationalism, nationalism, globalism). This story helps us to understand how the European process has become, since the 1950s, a political and economic scapegoat. And how it remains so in 2019. Find out more.

Big Business and the European Union: Asserting the Role of the Private Sector in Regional Integration (23 January 2019)

BallorSpeaker: Grace Ballor, Max Weber Fellow 2018-2019

Discussant: Prof. Federico Romero, EUI Department of History and Civilization

Research Abstract: This seminar will examine the role of big business in the process of European integration. It will begin with a discussion of the convergent interests of big business and the European Commission during the crucial decades of the 1970s and 1980s when European firms, feeling the pressure of globalization, appealed to Brussels for support in their efforts to remain competitive. Find out more.

"Advertising Europe" – Films on European Integration between Information and Propaganda (29 October 2018)

SAnne Bruchpeakers: Phd Researcher Anne Bruch (Universitaet Hamburg and HAEU), Prof. Gabriele      Clemens (Universitaet Hamburg and HAEU) 

Discussants:  Anastasia Remes & Pelle van Dijk, PhD Researchers a the EUI Department of History and Civilization

Co-organised with the EUI Visual and Material History Working Group.


Gabriele ClemensResearch abstract: Since its very beginning, the European integration process has been accompanied by a large publicity campaign. Its aim was to inform the Europeans about the newly established communities and to achieve their identification with the “idea of Europe”, or to put it differently: to make propaganda for Europe.

In this context, audiovisual media played a crucial role, and accordingly more than 400 films were produced by European institutions, national governments, the European Movement and private companies in order to communicate Europe. Find out more


Seminars 2017-2018

Fabulous Artificers: The Building of Civil Europe 1951-1972 (5 April 2018)

StefpukallusSpeaker: Stefanie Pukallus - University of Sheffield

Discussant:  Prof. Simone Paoli, ISI Florence

Research abstract: This research monograph, which is due to be published in 2019, focuses on the first two decades of European integration. Based on a wide range of archival sources, it argues that that the early architects of European integration – the specific group of European Commission (and before that High Authority) officials that I refer to as Fabulous Artificers – had a vision of an integrated Civil Europe. Find out more

The OAlexandre Dabrigins of a common European Middle East Policy, late 1970s-early1980s: The Case of the Venice Declaration and its follow-up initiative (23 March 2018)

Speaker: Alexandre Dab, London School of Economics

Discussant: Prof. Federico Romero, EUI Deparment of History and Civilization

Research abstract: This paper seeks to explain how and why the European Union (EU) got involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Using French, British, and American archives, this paper offers a reassessment of the emergence of a common European Middle East policy, and argues that the current analysis does not do the Venice Declaration and its follow-up initiative justice. Find out more

Forging Europe: Vichy France and the Origins of the European Coal and Steel Community (12 February 2018)

BRUNET20photo-Cropped-154x200Speaker: Dr Luc André Brunet, The Open University

Discussant: Prof. Laura Lee Downs, EUI Department of History and Civilization

Research abstract:In the decade following the end of the Second World War, France was a driving forced behind European integration, most notably with the Schuman Declaration of May 1950. In this lecture, Luc-Andre Brunet explains continuities from the wartime Vichy regime in France to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner to today's European Union, and what this means for current debates about Europe. Find out more

Europe and the nuclear scare of the Eighties: The European debate on the nuclear issue and antinuclear movements (17 November 2017)

SanteseSpeaker: Angela Santese, Sørensen Grant Holder and Post Doctorate Fellow at the University of Bologna

Discussant: Giuliano Garavini, University of Padua/NYU Abu Dhabi

Research abstract: While recent historiography has focused on national anti-nuclear campaigns or on attempts made by national groups to establish contacts at the transnational level, no attention has been devoted to the European dimension of this season of protest. The research thus intends to focus on how the controversy on nuclear technology was transposed, discussed and dealt with at the European level. Find out more

Page last updated on 30 July 2020

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