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Newsletter - Jean Monnet Chair in Parliamentary Democracy and European Integration

This is the second edition of our termly newsletter.


The second term of this academic year marked the start of our series of public events. The first event was a Saturday School for Politics & Government A-level teachers and their pupils and took place on 9 and 30 January 2021 with 35 registering to attend. Dr Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos gave both talks. The video recording of both events will be made available through our web site later in spring 2021.

Our second event was the inaugural Jean Monnet lecture. It was delivered on 23 February 2021 by Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman. It was entitled EU accountability: An Ombudsman Perspective and attracted 90 attendees. The text can be found on the European Ombudsman’s web site, while the video recording of the entire event is available both on our web site and Birkbeck’s YouTube channel.

Our third event was the high-level roundtable on Reform inside EMU and the limits of parliamentary government: the case of Greece. It took place on 25 February 2021 and attracted 67 attendees. The speakers were Mr Declan Costello (Deputy Director General, DG ECFIN, European Commission), Ms Georgette Lalis (European Commission (ret.), former deputy head of the Athens office of the European Commission’s Task Force for Greece), Dr George Chouliarakis (Senior Fellow, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard University and former Alternate Finance Minister in the second Tsipras government (2015- 2019)) and Professor Kevin Featherstone (Eleftherios Venizelos Chair, London School of Economics & Political Science). The event was chaired by Dr D. G. Dimitrakopoulos. The video recording will be made available through our web site later in spring 2021.

We are in the process of planning the Jean Monnet events of the coming academic year. These will include the annual Jean Monnet lecture as well as workshops involving practitioners and academics on a range of issues including post-legislative scrutiny, the protection of the rule of law in the EU etc. will be announced via our web site, social media and the next edition of our newsletter (please see below).


Teaching continued apace both at the postgraduate and the undergraduate level. The latter entailed an entirely new Jean Monnet option entitled The EU Polity that has attracted 24 students this year. It is taught in an innovative way involving longer weekly sessions. These last longer than usual because, in addition to the standard lecture (which this year is delivered in a video recorded format) and traditional student-led seminar, they also entail an in-class activity whereby students read a key text such as the Ventotene Manifesto, the Schuman Declaration or major speeches and then discuss it in class with their tutor.


Dr D. G. Dimitrakopoulos has continued his work on the EU’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also finished writing a chapter on the EU’s main internal policies that will be published in the sixth edition of the undergraduate textbook edited by Daniel Kenealy et al., The European Union: How does it work? (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). During his sabbatical (summer term of the current academic year) he will resume work on the European Parliament’s oversight of executive rule-making in the EU.

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The next edition of our newsletter will be published in June 2021.

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