Posted on 30 October 2017
“Uncertainty is the only certainty,” says Prof. Helen Drake, Chair of the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies about the future of European Studies after Brexit. She adds that despite this uncertainty, UACES will continue to do its best to serve its members.
On 12-13 October 2017, Helen Drake and other academics spoke at the ‘Europe in the Archives, Europe in the Future ’conference, organized by UACES and the European University institute. The two day event, which examined the last 50 years of European Studies and UK-EU relations, was hosted by the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.
Quincy Cloet, PhD student at Aberystwyth University, was awarded the chance to take a first look at the UACES archives that were recently deposited at the HAEU, and presented his findings about the history and evolution of UACES during the conference. One of his conclusions was that a major change in UACES as an organization in recent years is that they now feel more European than British.
The second speaker at the conference, Professor Piers Ludlow, spoke about using archives for historical research on the European Union. He added that a new frontier for research on the EU could be hearing from average Europeans about their experiences being European, rather than only from policy makers within the EU.
Finally at the end of the first day, HAEU archivist Mary Carr gave attendees of the conference a chance to take a look at the UACES archives and the historical documents on UK-EU relations available in the Archives, to mark the 50th anniversary of the organization as a UK hub for the study of Europe. This also included a tour of the archival vaults at Villa Salviati.
On the second day of the conference, Brexit and EU-UK relations took center stage. Several experts debated the shifts in the relationship between the UK and the EU as well the future of European Studies post-Brexit.
If you are interested in the recordings of all the sessions, they will be available soon. You can follow UACES's Twitter and Facebook accounts to be notified when they're ready.