Expert Forum: Future Institutional Framework – Liberal White Book Europe 2030

Expert Forum – Liberal White Book Europe 2030 

Date: 3 July 2020

Time: 9:30-15:30

Zoom Meeting

The 2019 European Parliament elections made the political landscape in the EU more fragmented. The start of the legislative term was overshadowed by quarrels between EPP, S&D and Renew Europe. But after a shaky start, with only nine votes above the threshold in the vote on the future Commission President, the College of Commissioners ultimately obtained a solid majority in the European Parliament and took office on 1st December 2019. 

The new Commission has put the Future of the Institutional Framework on its political agenda and the EU’s institutions have started preparations for the “Conference on the Future of Europe”. Amongst other issues, three major institutional reforms have been listed in the political guidelines of the new European Commission: 

  • Firstly, the question of how the President of the Commission will be proposed and elected in the future. 
  • Secondly, Ursula von der Leyen has announced a special relationship between the Commission and Parliament. This is expected to include an indirect right of initiative for the European Parliament and would make the voice of MEPs more audible. 
  • And, thirdly, the Commission President has spoken out in favour of introducing transnational lists for the next European Parliament elections. 

With the next European Parliament elections only due in 2024, the time has come to think about the Future Institutional Framework and to develop and discuss liberal ideas for its reform with a view to the year 2030. 

This Expert Forum brings together scholars, researchers and liberal policymakers from all over Europe for an open debate about the EU’s Future Institutional Framework.  


09h25 Participants connect to the online Expert Forum  

09h30 Welcome Presentation of the Liberal White Book Europe 2030 project 

Daniel Kaddik, Executive DirectorEuropean Liberal Forum 

09h40 Introduction to this Expert Forum 

Valentin Kreilinger, Policy and Research CoordinatorEuropean Liberal Forum 

09h45 Rethinking the Institutional Framework 

Simon HixPro-Director for Research and Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics  

10h30 Break 

ModeratorDiane FromageAssistant Professor of European Law, Maastricht University 

10h35 A more democratic European Union  

Short input statements: 

  • Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute, Brussels 
  • Göran von Sydow, Director, Swedish Institute of European Policy Studies, Stockholm  
  • Wolfgang Wessels, Jean Monnet Chair for European Politics and Director of the Centre for Turkey and European Union Studies, University of Cologne  

followed by a discussion among all participants. 

Discussion topics: How can the EU become more democratic? What role can the Conference on the Future of Europe play for thisWhat needs to be changed in time for the 2024 European Parliament elections? 

11h35 Break 

11h40 Governing differentiation in a multi-speed EU 

Short input statements: 

  • John Erik Fossum, Professor of Political Science, ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo 
  • Frank SchimmelfennigProfessor of European Politics, ETH Zurich 
  • Marlene Wind, Professor in European Politics and Law, University of Copenhagen 

followed by a discussion among all participants. 

Discussion topics: What is the current state of the multi-speed EU? How can the EU evolve into a more flexible, but also more coherent entityIs the gap between the Eurozone and the EU27 narrowing or widening? 

12h40 Break 

Moderator: EvaMaria Poptcheva, Advisor in the Cabinet of the Secretary-General of the European Parliament   

12h45 National parliaments and subsidiarity control 

Short input statements: 

  • Katrin Auel, Head of Research Group, European Governance and Public Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna 
  • Nicola LupoProfessor of Public Law at the Faculty of Political Science, LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome  
  • Thomas Winzen, Lecturer in Government, Department of Government, University of Essex

followed by a discussion among all participants. 

Discussion topics: How do national parliaments currently control the subsidiarity principle? Is there room for improvement? What other tasks do/should national parliaments fulfil?  

13h45 Break 

13h50 Are the 2020s another treaty change decade?    

Short input statements: 

  • Ben CrumProfessor of Political ScienceVrije Universiteit Amsterdam 
  • Adrienne Héritier, Emeritus Professor, European University Institute  
  • Andreas Maurer, Professor of Political Science and European Integration Studies, University of Innsbruck 

followed by a discussion among all participants. 

Discussion topics: What are the lessons learnt from the previous reform processes? Where did they fail, where did they succeed? How can we avoid the mistakes?  

14h50 Final talk & Conclusions  

Renaud DehoussePresident, European University Institute 

15h3End of Expert Forum   


Please note that this event is by invitation only.

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