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In 2020 ACES will organise seven conferences which were selected after a call for proposals, as well as the Annual Conference which is organised as the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. More information about each conference will follow soon.

ACES Annual Conference: Differentiated Integration: Promise, Pitfalls and Alternative Pathways for the European Union.

  • Conveners: Jonathan Zeitlin, Christina Eckes and Maria Weimer 
  • Date: 1 - 2 October

Differentiated integration, understood as rules and policies that apply to some but not all member states, has become increasingly central to academic and political debate on the future of the EU. Established divisions between groups of member states, such as the Eurozone and the Schengen Area, show no signs of disappearing, while new ones such as Banking Union and Permanent Structured Cooperation in defence have recently been introduced.

This conference will examine the development of differentiated integration within the EU from an empirical and a normative perspective, focusing on both its promises and its pitfalls. Speakers will cover both internal and external dimensions of differentiation across a range of policy fields, linking academic research to current political debates about the future of European integration. The conference will also consider alternative pathways to accommodating national diversity within the EU such as experimentalist governance and flexible implementation of European rules and policies.

Legal and policy implications of the increased informalisation of the EU’s external action in the field of migration and asylum

  • Convenors: Narin Idriz, Eva Kassoti,  Maarten den Heijer, Bas Schotel, Darshan Vigneswaran, Pola Cebulak. Organised in collaboration with the Asser Institute.
  • Date: 8 April 

This conference seeks to explore the legal and policy challenges and practical implications of the increasing ‘informalisation’ of the external dimension of EU migration and asylum policy. More particularly, the conference aims to query the constitutional implications of this shift to informality as well as the attendant legitimacy and rule of law concerns that this shift gives rise to.

Does the shift towards informality signal an overall shift towards the ‘de-constitutionalisation’ of the field and what would this mean for the EU both internally and externally? How has the shift towards informality impacted migration and refugee governance beyond EU borders?

Governing European values inside data flows

  • Convenor: Kristina Irion, in cooperation with the University of Lucerne
  • Date: 15 May 

This conference will assemble a multidisciplinary group of leading academics and policy-makers who can contribute to the discussion of adequate governance design under conditions of transnational data flows.

Identifying strategies and approaches that can protect human rights and societal values inside global data flows would strike a balance between the rule of law and innovation policy that crucially undergirds a robust information civilization. The disintermediation of human rights in transnational settings is well documented in the case of online data privacy which has led to the shoring up of the Union’s data protection law. The theme will not be limited to data privacy and will resonate with other European values, such as cultural diversity, information security and personal autonomy. Questions that will be discussed are: How do transnational data flows undermine public ordering in Europe? What can we learn from personal data protection in transnational settings? What are the implications for human rights and European values? Can unilateralism cope with transnational data flows? How can Europe pursue its “third way” inside transnational data flows? What is the role of international public law? What other models beyond command-and-control can be operationalised?

How resilient are women’s rights in times of democratic backsliding? Comparing the gendered implications of de-democratization in Europe and Latin America

  • Convenor: Conny Roggeband
  • Date: 18 September 

This conference offers a descriptive and comparative analysis of the gendered impacts of democratic backsliding in “third wave” democracies as well as identifying the key factors explaining them, the conference aims to deepen our understanding of the relation between (de)democratization and gender equality and the resilience and fragility of gender equality institutions and rights in newer democracies.

By convening a conference and working group of academics and policy makers the conference aims to develop new theoretical insights in understanding the relation between democratic rollback and the backsliding of gender equality. The adoption of a gender perspective in the study of de-democratisation does not simply require to “add women and stir” (Bunch, 2017), but rather to develop theoretical and analytical tools to investigate the role of gender in both descriptive and substantive terms as well as the gendered impacts of current processes of de-democratisation.

Spaces of Transnational Solidarity in the Cold War Era: Europe and the Global South, 1945-1989 

  • Convenors: Sudha Rajagopalan, Ingo Venzke, Tal Zalmanovich, Dina Fainberg
  • Date: 1-2 October

This conference focuses on post-World War II solidarity cultures and the webs of support, belonging and bonding spun across Europe and the Global South. In these postwar decades in Europe and beyond, cries for solidarity emanated from workers, students, peace and anti-nuclear activists, anti-colonial and anti-racist groups, as well as feminists and gay-rights activists. Yet, the processes, places and people that forged these solidarities are often overshadowed by an exclusive emphasis on states, institutions, and conflict. Spotlighting Cold War solidarities, rather than contestations, this conference showcases the significance of social groups and individual actors in building affective communities driven by visions of social justice and public good. The transformative potential of solidarity to ignite a process of politicisation and forge communities beyond national, racial and spatial divides, offers an exciting perspective on the Cold War era.

Digital and Intelligent Europe: EU Citizens, Justice  and the Challenges of New Technologies

Convenors: Erlis Themeli, Emma van Gelder, Anna van Duin 

Date: 15 October 

This conference will  focus on the question if and how digital and intelligent technologies can contribute to enhancing access to justice for EU citizens and consumers. It aims at bringing together legal scholars and social scientists with an interest in (automated) decision-making processes and dispute resolution mechanisms in contemporary Europe. As such, it aims to spark an interdisciplinary debate within the research community on how technological developments can facilitate access to justice, a cornerstone of the rule of law.

Talking law in the EU: clear language, rule of law and legitimacy in the European legal space.

  • Convenors: Candida Leone, Corina Andone, Iris van Domselaar
  • Date: Fall 

That citizens should be able to make sense of the law is a crucial element in allowing the rule of law to fulfil its legitimatory role, and possibly to prevent it from exacerbating the sense of disempowerment which seems to be fuelling populism in and beyond the EU. Clear (legal) language is often mentioned as a precondition, or an instrument, to bridge this gap in an increasingly dense legal space. Projects under the banner of clear language have been launched or re-launched in European as well as national fora.

The organising panel reunites a legal with a linguistic perspective on language in EU law. It also proposes a number of contributions from these two perspectives which will help explain the essential factors affecting the working and effectiveness of EU legal language, and find appropriate ways to address them.

The Making of Post-War Europe: The Case of Jewish Literature

  • Convenors: Guido Snel, Ton Nijhuis, David Wertheim, Irene Zwiep
  • Date: Fall 

This conference aims to investigate the — not quite synchronous — pan-European postwar fascination for Jewish literature and the role it played in articulations of and promoting a shared political and cultural agenda. It aims to do so with papers that relate the widespread interest for Jewish writers and their work to patterns of cultural and political regeneration in postwar Europe.