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Law on Trial 2016: The European Union at the Crossroads

One week before the UK decided on its future in Europe, the European Union was on trial at the School of Law’s annual week-long programme of free-to-attend public lectures and panel discussions.

The annual showcase ran from Monday 13th to Friday 17th June 2016 and brought together academic staff, recognised internationally as authorities in their field.

Listen to Professor Michelle Everson's podcast on what was on store at Law on Trial 2016.

About Law on Trial 2016: The European Union at the Crossroads

The European Union is reeling and talk of ‘Brexit’ grips the UK. Beyond this island, however, the Union is being questioned as never before.

Financial crisis, sovereign debt crisis, the migration crisis, and ‘Grexit’ have all challenged the gentle and seemingly unyielding process of European integration. Is the dream over? Is the notion of an ‘ever closer Union’ between the peoples of Europe an outdated idea?

Law on Trial 2016 investigated these issues.

  • What are the reasons for and the consequences of the various crises which Europe is now struggling to master?
  • Will we see ‘more Europe’ as core European states within the Eurozone intensify their co-operation and integration in order to sustain the Euro?
  • Are migration pressures and concerns about sovereignty encouraging a central power within the Union, giving rise to an increasingly fractured series of European unions?

Before the vote, commentators agreed on one thing: whatever the result on 23rd June, the European Union of 2020 would be very different from the Europe imagined in the 2000s.

Event descriptions and media:

Monday 13th June 2016. Europe at the Crossroads: Change as Crisis?

  • In association with B Birkbeck.
  • Speaker: Professor Michelle Everson
  • Michelle Everson has been teaching European law at Birkbeck School of Law since 2001. Prior to that she worked and taught in Germany and Italy and has advised various European Institutions since the 1990s. In this talk, she will seek to explain why, after historical periods of seamless change, the European Union now finds itself in crisis. She will argue that crisis within the EU is a feature of a wider global crisis of political, economic and cultural confidence.
  • Youtube video of the lecture
  • Photo gallery
  • Professor Michelle Everson comments on 'Europe at the Crossroads'. Parts 1 2 3 4 5

Tuesday 14th June 2016. Brexit: Should the UK leave the EU?

Wednesday 15th June 2016. Europe's Migration Crisis.

Thursday 16th June 2016. Can the EU Regulate a Financial Crisis?

Friday 17th June 2016. The EU at the Crossroads: Can Europe Build Itself a Future?

  • Chair: Rui Correia Goncalves. Speakers: Christian JoergesProfessor Erik Oddvar Eriksen; Professor John RyanManuela Zechner.
  • What is the future for the EU?
  • What is the future for Europe? Using a mix of cultural, philosophical and political approaches, this evening will seek to answer the question of quo vadis Europa. Can the European project be saved? Which are the cultural ties upon which the EU can build? Can we identify new forms of post-statal political organisation, in order to secure civility in the disorganised world beyond state sovereignty.
  • Will the central forces of crisis undermine the European project in its entirety? Are there particular steps that can be taken to overcome current concerns, for example the ongoing problem of democratic deficit? What roles can law and legal theory play in guiding the European Union into the future?
  • The event started with a screening of Manuela Zechnar's film at 5.30PM ‘Remembering Europe: a journey into the future of crisis’
  • YouTube video of the event
  • Listen to the podcast

Past Law on Trial Events

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