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Beyond Spitzenkandidaten? The Politicization of Leadership Selection in the European Union. Authors' workshop

Venue: Online

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This is the final workshop – funded by Birkbeck’s Jean Monnet Chair in Parliamentary Democracy & European Integration - of the international collaborative project that is directed by Matilde Ceron (EUI), Thomas Christiansen (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome) and Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos (Birkbeck).  Scholars from several European universities will present the final versions of their papers on various aspects of the politicisation of EU executive leadership selection.  The corresponding book will be published in early 2024 by Palgrave/Springer.

This programme runs over 2 days - the link provided with your confirmation email will work for both days online sessions:

Monday 24 April 2023 13:30 to 17:15 & Tuesday 25 April 2023 09:30 to 13:30



Day 1

13:30     Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Matilde Ceron, Thomas Christiansen and Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

Session 1

Chair: Thomas Christiansen

13:45     Intra-party Selection of the Spitzenkandidaten

Author(s): Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

Discussant: Edoardo Bressanelli

14:15     The Spitzenkandidaten Process and the Theory of Parliamentary Federation: The European Union in Comparative Perspective

Author(s): Sergio Fabbrini (online)

Discussant: Wolfgang Wessels (online)

14:45     Relations between European Parliament and European Commission Presidents – A Historical Perspective

Author(s): Maria Elena Cavallaro and Benedetto Zaccaria (online)

Discussant: Richard Corbett

15:15     Coffee break


Session 2

Chair: Matilde Ceron

15:30     The Spitzenkandidaten Process during the European Electoral Campaigns: The Role of Party Competition

Author(s): Daniela Braun and Ann-Kathrin Reinl (online)

Discussant: Daniel Schade

16:00     Models of EU Democracy and Leadership (S)Election

Author(s): Ben Crum (online)

Discussant: Olivier Costa (online)

16:30     The European Council’s Elective Function

Author(s): Wolfgang Wessels and Birgit Bujard

Discussant: Simona Leila Talani (TBC)

17:00     End of Day 1 of the Workshop


18:30     Third Annual Jean Monnet Lecture

In Defence of the Spitzenkandidaten System

Keynote speaker: Enrico Letta, President of the Jacques Delors Institute

Venue: Room B33, Birkbeck College (main building, Malet Street, entrance from Torrington Square – map (Google) here and (in PDF) here)


Day 2

Session 3

Chair: Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

09:00     The European Parliament’s Role in EU Leadership Selection: A Successful Agenda-setter?

Author(s): Richard Corbett

Discussant: Eva Heidbreder

09:30     The impact of the Spitzenkandidaten Process on EU Policy-making

Author(s): Edoardo Bressanelli, Matilde Ceron and Thomas Christiansen

Discussant: Hussein Kassim

10:00     The Spitzenkandidaten Process: Establishing an Ambiguous Constitutional Convention?

Author(s): Ylenia Citino and Nicola Lupo

Discussant: Benedetto Zaccaria (online)

10:30     Coffee break


Session 4

Chair: Edoardo Bressanelli

10:45     The Politics and Law of the Electoral Reform in the EU

Author(s): Olivier Costa and Cristina Fasone

Discussant: Nicola Lupo

11:15     Assessing the European Commission’s Experience of the Spitzenkandidaten Process

Author(s): Sara Connolly and Hussein Kassim

Discussant: Maria Elena Cavallaro

11:45     Interinstitutional Conflict in the Context of EU Leadership Appointments

Author(s): Eva Heidbreder and Daniel Schade

Discussant: Ann-Kathrin Reinl (online)

12:15     Concluding remarks

Matilde Ceron, Thomas Christiansen and Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

12:45     End of the Workshop


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