UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 | KU Leuven

Crossroads Europe |

UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018

KU Leuven, belgium

On 12-13 July 2018, forty postgraduate and early career researchers across a range of disciplines gathered at KU Leuven to present and receive feedback on their work on contemporary Europe and the European Union.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘An Actor on Multiple Stages: the EU as a Local, Regional and Global Power’, introduced by Kolja Raube (KU Leuven) in his keynote lecture.

Five research sessions took place over the next two days, with presentations by delegates from a range of countries and disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. They examined the different stages on which the EU is present, and how these are reflected in the challenges it is facing: e.g. Brexit, Russia’s awakening, the future of the eurozone.

The final plenary session, chaired by UACES Graduate Forum Committee member Kamila Feddek, featured Nisida Gjoksi European Commission and academic and Katja Biedenkopf (KU Leuven). Their fascinating discourses were focused on the power of the European Union and its challenges in specific areas.

Katja Biedenkopf discussed EU external governance and diplomacy in the fields of environmental protection and climate change, global environmental and climate governance, while Nisida Gjoksi delivered a presentation on the EU’s enlargement policy and the role that the European Commission plays in this area, and also, on the policy towards the Western Balkans and the specificity of this enlargement wave. Nisida Gjoski emphasised the EU’s significant power towards this region which somehow contrast the view that the EU is losing power and Katja Biedenkopf focused on the historical evolution of EU climate leadership and presented four scenarios for its future based on her recent published research.

Nisida Gjoski - EU enlargement - CEE - Western Balkans

Nisida Gjoski

Both presenters initiated thought-provoking debate and they answered several questions related to constantly changing and complex role that the European Union currently plays on local, regional and global stage.

The conference was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Thank you to all the speakers, the Graduate Forum Committee and past committee member Thibaud Deruelle, our hosts Kolja Raube and Daan Fonck, and to the staff members at KU Leuven who chaired the research sessions.


Blog posts by delegates




Report by Kamila Feddek and Helena Cicmil

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