History: United in Diversity? – Historical Narratives of Europe
Ms. Mechthild Herzog
Narratives of European integration are as diverse as the hopes and expectations of the politicians and thinkers who have been shaping the European project over the last decades and, indeed, centuries. They are based on different definitions of ‘Europe’ and on what the countries and peoples living in it have in common. In addition, numerous concepts exist of how these countries and peoples should come together, and of how that ‘together’ should be organised in terms of institutions, policy areas, and actors with decision-making power.
This course offers an overview of how European integration has been told and interpreted since the 1700s. It will provide insights into the main intellectual movements of the European integration process. In order to distinguish different approaches, we will analyse scholars within their disciplinary traditions, national frameworks and contemporary contexts. The course furthermore critically assesses master and counter narratives in European integration history. Common myths and metaphors will be challenged, such as the role of the ‘founding fathers’, and the ‘Christmas tree’ narrative.
By providing an overview of different ways of thinking ‘Europe’, the course wants to offer a toolbox helping to understand both past and current developments on the continent, and Europe’s role in the world. Students will see that at any given point, the occurrence of a number of events can be interpreted in very different ways, and can therefore lead to substantially different prognoses for the short- and medium-term future. The course raises awareness of the very different approaches scholars have chosen to tell effectively the same stories in remarkably different ways.
Linguistics: Multilingualism at work in Europe
Assoc.-Prof. Julia De Bres
Can you imagine using four or more languages in the course of your working day? Exhausting as it may sound to some monolinguals, this is what many residents of Luxembourg and other European countries encounter in the workplace every day. This course will introduce you to the mechanics of multilingualism in the workplace and how workers feel about the linguistic gymnastics they accomplish on a daily basis. The course is structured around three pillars of research on multilingualism within the field of sociolinguistics: language practices, language policies and language ideologies. We will start by examining how people communicate in multiple languages at work, through practices of code-switching, receptive multilingualism, and language accommodation. Then we will look at how workplaces attempt to direct the language practices of their employees through the use of various forms of language management, ranging from English only to highly multilingual policies. Next, we will consider how workers feel about language diversity at work, and how they attempt to advance their own interests in linguistically contested environments. The course will reveal what it is like to work multilingually in Europe, with all the benefits and challenges this entails.
Geography: The European Union through the prism of geography. Border – Cooperation – Convergence
Dr Estelle Evrard
Type “European Union” into the image section of your Internet search engine. You will mostly come across maps depicting a territorially-bounded space composed of 28 heterogeneous entities. Sometimes, additional entities – representing candidate countries – stand out next to the large blue shape. Such maps represent a 70-year-old political project driven by the idea to associate several countries’ resources under a common umbrella organization to enforce peace and to contain each partner’s influence in the continent.
The class takes such a map as an entry point to discuss specificities and ambivalences of the EU political project from a geographical perspective. Conversely, the output of this first reflection is used to critically reflect upon geography’s contribution to EU studies.
To do so, this class discusses three concepts crucial for both geography and EU studies: border, cooperation and convergence. First, ‘border’ helps reflecting on the EU integration in time and space. Drawing upon the example of the reintroduction of border controls in the EU, the class will also emphasize its limits. Second, the class will focus on two normative ambitions aiming at organizing spatial dynamics ‘inside the EU’: ‘cooperation’ and ‘convergence’. Territorial cooperation intends to foster interactions between communities through infrastructures (e.g. bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö) and programmes (e.g. cross-border cooperation); convergence supports the economic development of regions that seem to be lagging behind (e.g. training programmes to population affected by industrial reconversion). Using empirical data gathered in several cross-border and European research projects, this course will illustrate how geography investigates these political ambitions.
All in all, the class provides the students with several theoretical and empirical paths, helping them to go beyond the simplistic territorially-bounded 28 member states map.
Politics: The European Union: Institutions and Politics
Prof. Robert Harmsen
These two lectures provide a broad survey of the current state of European (dis-)integration. The first lecture introduces students to the institutional system of the European Union. The main institutions of the EU – the Council, Commission, Parliament, and Court of Justice – are briefly described in turn, before proceeding to an overall assessment of the system’s performance and criticisms of the ‘democratic deficit’. European experience is contrasted with that of other global regions. The second session then looks at the rise of ‘Euroscepticism’. The distinctive UK variant and the implications of ‘Brexit’ are first examined, before turning to a wider examination of the growth of Euroscepticism and populism across the continent. Particular attention is paid to the framing of Euroscepticism in recent national election campaigns (notably those in France and the Netherlands). The session will conclude with a discussion of the future of the European integration project and ongoing debates concerning its reform.
Law: Multi-level protection of fundamental rights in Europe
Dr Susana Muñoz
The protection of fundamental rights in Europe lies at a crossroads of different legal orders. Several systems of protection coexist at national, supranational and international level and are intertwined with one another. There are generally three distinct legal spheres: states, the European Union and the Council of Europe. Each system draws on diverse sources of law and specific mechanisms for the protection of human rights.
This course will start by looking at the background and development of the human rights framework in Europe. It will analyse the substantive provisions and scope of application of various legal instruments, namely the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the European Social Charter, as well as their interactions and links with national constitutions. One particular focus will be a comparison of existing case law-based approaches adopted by the national courts, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights and/or the European Committee of Social Rights. The issue of the European Union’s accession to the ECHR will also be addressed. Lastly, the recent European Commission proposal for an Interinstitutional Proclamation on the European Pillar of Social Rights will be examined.
Law: Cooperation and Hierarchy between judges in the European Union Judicial System
Dr Janine Silga
The high level of judicial ‘integration’ between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the national courts of the EU Member States constitutes one of the most distinctive features of EU law. By making national courts the ‘ordinary judges’ of EU law, the CJEU clearly intended to foster and to highlight the deep level of integration existing between national courts and itself. While originally based on cooperation, such integration is complex and reveals an underlying hierarchy – if not rivalry – between the European and national judges.
The objective of this lecture is to provide a general overview of the EU judicial system by focusing on the relations between the CJEU and national courts. I will first present the evolution of the CJEU’s case-law that has defined the specificities of the EU as an autonomous legal order. This will allow us to discuss on the constitutional and ‘political’ role of the CJEU as a ‘driving force’ of European integration.
I will then show how judicial integration works in practice by exploring the different types of legal actions that exist in EU law. I will examine particularly the preliminary reference procedure more in depth, as it is the main instrument for judicial ‘dialogue’ between the CJEU and national courts. This procedure enables national judges to question the CJEU on the interpretation or validity of EU law. This will also provide an opportunity for a further discussion on the nature of the relations between the CJEU and national courts.
Last, I will introduce the legal principles that form the basis of the EU judicial system, and I will especially focus on effective judicial protection as its guiding principle.
Economics: Luxembourg’s financial centre: a success story because of, or in spite of Europe?
Dr Sabine Dörry
Today, Luxembourg hosts one of the most important financial centres in Europe, and many expect it to be among the greatest beneficiaries from the impact of BREXIT on London’s standing as a financial centre. Historically, the rise of Luxembourg’s financial centre has been linked tightly to two disparate processes since the 1950s: first, to Europe’s historical economic integration process, and second, to the rise of a less regulated, international finance market, i.e., the Eurodollar market that helped the finance industry to elude from restricting national regulation.
Until recently, the small Grand Duchy Luxembourg was able to successfully exploit the combination of its territorial sovereignty on the one hand and its strong embeddedness in the heart of the EU on the other hand, which allowed it to attract holding firms and private finance business sweetened with tax deals. This has harmed many fellow European member states, which are increasingly reluctant to tolerate this approach. Yet, the complexities of the interconnected world of finance are not easy to disentangle.
This course introduces students to the political economy of Luxembourg’s financial centre. The first part of the course aims to familiarise students with the historical co-evolution of Luxembourg’s financial centre and Europe’s economic – and later political – integration. The second part analyses the economic intricacies that define the interaction between Europe’s financial centres, thus shedding some light on what defines the ‘European network’ of financial centres, as well as on the looming BREXIT and the tight relationship between the financial centres in Luxembourg and London. From a conceptual angle, this course will familiarise students with one of the furthest-reaching dynamics affecting the organisation of contemporary economy since the 1980s – financialisation and the rise of financial capitalism – from which financial centres, and therefore Luxembourg, gained immensely.