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Report on the EU in Focus Workshops
Laura Valenza, NYU Florence student Read More ...
 
 
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As the European Union prepares to elect a new parliament in May 2014 critical questions about Europe’s future are being rased: What is the status of European democracy? Why have anti-European parties gained traction? What is the future of the EU? A series of introductory workshops will introduce students to the EU and they will deepen their knowledge with a trip to Brussels to visit the European Institutions.

NYU Florence student Laura Valenza, member of the EU in Focus student discussion group, presents a series of reports on the workshops. See her report in LPD On-the-World-On-Line.

 

Landuyt focused on the development of the EU since World War II and the key factors aiding in the creation of the union, including economics, the prevention of war, and reconstruction. She emphasized that despite the problems the EU has faced over the decades, it ultimately is a positive creation. On the subject of economics and specifically the European Coal and Steel Community, Landuyt explained that “everyone was glad to cooperate because it was something useful for all.” But union via economics also allowed each nation to remain sovereign—a point that she emphasized as essential to Europeans.
 
After World War II, each country was “something you could never reconstruct,” said Landuyt; the war had ravaged Europe, and national identity felt like a relic of the past. After the devastation of war, hope was needed. A union seemed to be a way to strengthen war-torn countries and allow them the opportunity to rebuild and re-create.
 
“Create” is the operative word. As Landuyt concluded, “Europe is an invention.” While there is the desire to preserve individual cultures, to bring back the glory of times past, the European Union is also an experiment in collectively preserving individuality— an idea that resonated beyond the historical context into the present day. Observing the EU’s journey to unify different states and deal with the problems of cultural differences may prove to be a useful model for a globalizing soci
 
 
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Program
 

What is the European Union? 

February 11, 6:00 p.m. - History of the EU - Ariane Landuyt, formerly of University of Siena

February 13, 6:00 p.m. - Institutional Framework and Decision Making - Nicolò Conti, Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome and New York University Florence

February 19, 5:30 p.m. - Economy of the EU - Pompeo Della Posta, University of Pisa

February 26, 6:00 p.m. - Why Should the European Union Be of Interest to Americans? -J.H.H. Weiler, President of the European University Institute and Professor, NYU School of Law (NYU community only)

March 15-18 Student Trip to Brussels to visit the European Institutions

April 29 (11:00am - 4:00 p.m.) - EU Parliamentary Elections 2014: European (Dis)Integration? International Conference

Experts in European politics will discuss the main issues being debated in the lead up to the May European elections and will analyze current political dynamics.

 
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