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The Evolving EU Government System

As part of the EU in Focus series Professor Nicoló Conti presented a dialogue about the structure of the European Union. Conti begins by clarifying  that the EU is a governing body unlike anything else the world has ever seen, and trying to understand it through the lens of other governing bodies is not only unfeasible, but limits an understanding of what the EU is and how it works. Several factors make the EU unique, important among them is the fact that the EU makes decisions based on collective agreement rather than decision making by a leader. Throughout the dialogue Conti highlighted the roles of four main EU bodies; giving a crash course in how policy is made in the EU. The European Council, Council of the European Union, European Union Parliament, and European Commission are arguably the most important bodies operating in the EU. Read more

The EU in Focus: Why Should the European Union Matter to Americans?


Although I am not an American, the question “Why should the European Union matter to Americans?” has triggered my interest and curiosity. I am a student at NYU Abu Dhabi, majoring in political science and interested in international and regional organizations. Studying at NYU Florence for a semester has been a wonderful learning experience, especially when learning about the European Union through my courses and the workshops of The EU in Focus series, which includes Professor Weiler’s talk. Read more

EU in Focus: Reports, Interviews, Fact Sheets

Monday October 6 Professor Giorgia Giovannetti will present the last Dialogue in the EU in Focus series entitled The EU Economy in a Global Perspective (@ 6pm @ Villa Sassetti).

NYU Florence student Joshua St. Clair has written two very informative reports on the first two Dialogues –  A Question of Command on Nicolo Conti’s EU Institutions and Decision-Making Processes Dialogue and A Pocket History: Beethoven, Borders, and British Sitcoms on Davide Lombardo’s History of the EU Dialogue.

Jenny Yang and Alexander Lim, also NYU Florence students, produced fact sheets for both Dialogues, outlining the main facts that students need to know.

NYU Florence student Assia Dzhaparidze carried out an interview with Professor Lombardo to further explore his views on EU history.

Finally, read Professors Conti and Lombardo’s reactions to the Scottish Independence vote – There was More than the Independence of Scotland on the Line in the Scottish Referendum and The Victory of the Scottish ‘No’ Vote.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Dialogue on Monday !


A Few Words on Last Night’s Dialogue: The History of the EU

Last night NYU Florence Professor Davide Lombardo provided NYU Florence students an overview of the history of the European Union and challenged the progressive view of EU history as a linear process that has led to ever deeper unity and stability on the continent since World War II, emphasizing the shifting nature of borders and the conflicts and ruptures (the war in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s served as a prime example), that have characterized recent European history.

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The Power of The European Union

September 10th Professor Nicolò Conti gave the first talk in La Pietra Dialogues’ annual EU in Focus series: EU Institutions and Decision-Making Processes. Conti, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University Unitelma Sapienza of Rome and Professor of Comparative Politics at NYU Florence, focused much of the discussion on the structure of the European Union and how each body within the institution affects interactions among its member states and within the larger international community. Read more