The aim of the summer school is to look in depth and develop into the increasingly visible issue of the challenges to decisions and policies at EU level on the grounds of lack of legitimacy and insufficient accountability. Elections throughout the EU demonstrate that Eurosceptic parties draw a lot from the perceived illegitimate intromission of the EU bodies into national political systems. This is also the case at European Parliament elections, including the more recent one of May 2019. Many citizens perceive the European level as too bureaucratic and distant from the citizens’ concerns, while some view European policies as arbitrary and undemocratic. Such perceptions played a crucial role in the outcome of the Brexit referendum and continue to influence national views on Europe. The perception of illegitimacy in the EU decisions seems to become the main problem to the further development of the EU and the proposal for the coming European Convention aims, in part, to mend this. The lectures will try to analyze the reasons, the impact and provide possible solutions to the problem of legitimacy.
The summer school will allow students to better understand the reasoning behind the popular reluctance to EU policies and help shape a response to such reasoning. The various guest speakers will analyse the concepts of legitimacy, accountability and democracy and provide useful tools for further analysis. The summer school will be coordinated and introduced by the Chair holder but will include a number of other guest lecturers.
Due to the current restriction imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, the summer school will take place exclusively online.
The working language of the summer school will be English. The participants that have attended 80% of the program will receive a certificate of attendance.
The summer school will be held in the form of round tables and working group sessions.
Friday 7 May 2021
14.00 Welcome and introduction to the objectives of the summer school, Ioannis Papageorgiou Associate Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
14.30 Panel 1: “EU legitimacy – the role of institutional actors. How can EU institutions increase legitimacy?” (You can follow here the video of the first panel)
14.30 The transnational lists for the European elections – a way to build European parties? Hermann Schmitt, Professor, Research Fellow, Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung.
15.10 The Conference on the Future of Europe – building a European democracy? Sandro Gozi, MEP, Renew Europe Group.
15.50 Paving the way towards a European democratic Federation. Dusan Sidjanski, Emeritus professor, Dusan Sidjanski Centre of Excellence in European Studies, GSI, University of Geneva, Co-Chairman of European Cultural Centre.
17.00 Working groups (In separate breakout rooms)
17.00 – 18.00
Working group session 1:
WG 1.1: Building a European public space – the role of the Conference on the future of Europe. Coordination George Emmanouil, General Secretary, Ministry of Interior (Macedonia-Thrace).
WG 1.2: Building a European public space – the role of the European political parties. Coordination Eftychia Teperoglou, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
18.00 – 19.00
Working group session 2:
WG 2.1: Building a European public space – can we make the European democracy more parliamentary? Coordination Ioannis Papageorgiou.
WG 2.2: Building a European public space – the role of multi-level governance and of sub-national actors in reinforcing European legitimacy. Coordination George Andreou, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Saturday 8 May 2021
10.00 Panel 2: EU legitimacy – the role of citizens. Increasing legitimacy of decisions and accountability of actors through citizens’ involvement (you can follow here, the video from the second panel)
10.00 Direct legislative initiatives – the role of the European Citizens’ Initiative. Monica Frassoni, former MEP, president of the European Center for Electoral Support.
10.40 Digital tools for citizen engagement. Katrin Nyman Metcalf, Professor of Law, Tallinn University of Technology
11.20 The role of interest groups – intermediation and policy influence at European level. Filippa Chatzistavrou, Assistant Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
14.00 Working groups (In separate breakout rooms)
Working group session 3.
WG 3.1: Can social media be a tool to build a European digital space? Dealing with trust and social media: how has our perceptions of democracy and legitimacy been influenced by social media? Coordination Katrin Nyman Metcalf.
WG 3.2: How to reinforce social and public interest groups policy influence thus improving EU legitimacy? Coordination Filippa Chatzistavrou.
Working group session 4.
WG 4.1: Preparing direct legislative initiatives. Coordination Monica Frassoni.
WG 4.2: European digital citizenship after Covid-19. The implications for European citizenship. Coordination Katrin Nyman Metcalf.
Sunday 9 May 2021
10.00 Panel 3: EU legitimacy – the role of policies. How can EU policies increase legitimacy? (you can follow here
the video from the third panel)
10.00 Towards a common European foreign and security policy – European solidarity in times of geopolitical upheavals. Alexandros Yannis, Deputy Head of Strategic Policy Planning, European External Action Service (EEAS), European Union.
10.40 The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility as a paragon of European solidarity for the post-Covid era. Ioannis Papadopoulos, Associate Professor, Department of International and European Studies, University of Macedonia.
11.20 Increased EU solidarity for convergence, economic and social cohesion: achievements and challenges. George Kolyvas, Economist, former official and advisor, European Commission.
14.00 Working groups (In separate breakout rooms)
Working group session 5.
WG 5.1: The EU response to the pandemic crisis: a legitimacy perspective. Coordination George Andreou.
WG 5.2: Differentiated integration and support for the EU: the effects of EU policies on public perceptions. Ioannis Vergioglou, PhD candidate, Swiss Federal Institute of technology, ETH Zurich
15.00. Conclusions. Closing of the Summer School.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Department of Political Sciences,
54124 Thessaloniki Greece