HomeHow "European values" unite and divide. Rule of law, identity and morality politics in the European Union

*  *  *

Published on Monday, November 18, 2019 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

The conference addresses the role, effects and meanings of values at the crossroads of politics, culture, market and law. It documents the circulation and shaping of values between the different spheres of the European multi-level governance (local, national, supranational, transnational). It investigates the EU as a container of values politics as well as its interactions with external entities (Council of Europe, UN, rest of the world). A secondary purpose is to map the research using values as an exploratory framework of wider transformations of politics, policies and polities in Europe. Leaders of scientific projects having developed such agendas in recent years figure among the contributors.

Announcement

Presentation

Les activités de notre projet ValEUR "Governing values, governing through values, governed by values? The European Union as a risk polity" approchent de leur terme. Un colloque final le 21/11 offrira une synthèse et un prolongement des travaux menés dans ce cadre sous l'intitulé "How ‘European values’ unite and divide. Rule of law, identity and morality politics in the EU."

Ce colloque est en accès libre sans inscription.

Deux panels se dérouleront en simultané "Rule of law" et "Identity and morality politics" et la journée se conclura par un Policy panel commun.

Toutes les informations et le programme sont en ligne ici.

Argument

According to the ValEUR project, references to values may have three incentives. Firstly, it may be a call to identity, memory and communicative resources in a quest for legitimization (governing through values). Secondly, it may come from the necessity to deal with ethical issues calling for normative policy choices (governing values). Thirdly, values may cause legal and political conflicts and challenge established balances of powers and regulation (governed by values). A first book  focused on the two first scenarios (governing through values and governing values). The purpose of this conference is to develop more specifically the third one (governed by values) and to emphasize the competitive and/or conflictual dimension of “European values”.

The research investigates the labeling of political arguments as “values”; the incentives to use such a repertoire of action; the content and meaning of these values, how and why they are used. A leading hypothesis is that values are an answer to the generalization of “risk politics”, to face uncertainties about deliverables of public action, implementation of fundamental rights, and quest for legitimization, identity and memory questions. However, values have increasingly created uncertainties on their own due to oppositions on their content. The EU is no exception as these trends exist at national level in the member states as well. But controversies are raging all the more at the supranational level regarding the absence of strong European identity and political tradition to frame and contain dissensus. The EU appears as the maximization of these political evolutions, a paradigmatic “risk polity”.

Governed by values? Resistances and divisions

The “democratic deficit” is more and more understood as a “value deficit” threatening the sustainability of European integration and preventing from gaining support from the citizens. Values were originally thought as a solution but have more and more become the problem. The EU is relatively united to advocate its values and subsequent norms to be exported abroad, significantly less on the ground when the time comes for implementation in external action. The block is even much more divided about the definition, contend and role of values in domestic politics. Competition and conflicts take place at elite level for the ownership of “European values” as a symbolic resource to be used in a top-down logic to justify the European polity and policies. Meanwhile, in a bottom-up perspective, some values have created cultural and social backlash, fueled resistances to some European policies or clashed with counter-values and may even create divisions threatening the very existence of the European political community.

The US as model and significant other for European values politics

The European configuration of values politics is better understood through comparative lenses. The US offers a stimulating touchstone of the specificity (or not) of the European case. American politics frequently provide role models, ready-made repertoire of discourses and strategies to political entrepreneurs mobilizing values to gain influence and/or recognition in the EU. Besides, analytical patterns to make sense of value-loaded conflicts come more often than not from American scholarship, be it “culture wars”, “multiple modernities”, “morality politics”, “neoconservatism”, etc. The US is freely used as a case for empirical comparison, as a source of literature and of different framings of values politics.

The conference addresses the role, effects and meanings of values at the crossroads of politics, culture, market and law. It documents the circulation and shaping of values between the different spheres of the European multi-level governance (local, national, supranational, transnational). It investigates the EU as a container of values politics as well as its interactions with external entities (Council of Europe, UN, rest of the world). A secondary purpose is to map the research using values as an exploratory framework of wider transformations of politics, policies and polities in Europe. Leaders of scientific projects having developed such agendas in recent years figure among the contributors.

Programm

Room Kant

How European values unite and divide: identity and morality politics in the EU

  • 8h30-9:00 Registration and coffee· 9h00-9h15 Room Spaak. Welcome by Ramona Coman, François Foret, François Heinderyckx (ULB)
  • 9h30-9h45 Room Kant: François Foret (ULB), “Values in European identity and morality politics: uses, agency and limits. A short introduction”

9:45-12h30 “European values”: identity politics through or against market?

Chair/Discussant: Amandine Crespy (ULB)

  • 9h45-10h15 Frédéric Gonthier, Tristan Guerra (IEP Grenoble), “Economic vs cultural liberalism: towards a clash of values in Europe?”
  • 10h15-10h45 Andy Smith (Sciences Po Bordeaux), “Values as conflictual linkages between the socio-economic, identity and politics”

10h45-11h Coffee break

  • 11h-11h30 Philip Schlesinger (Glasgow University), ”The European creative economy and the politics of cultural values”
  • 11h30-12h Céleste Bonnamy (ULB), “Market, cultural ethos and national identity. How the single market challenges copyright and what it says about European values”
  • 12h-12h30 Alvaro Oleart (VU Amsterdam): “European values and neoliberalism: a strong EU policy partnership, but fragile in the public spheres”

12h30-14h Lunch break. Buffet on the premises of the conference

14h-18h “European values” and the shifting boundaries of morality politics

Chair/Discussant: François Heinderyckx (ULB)

  • 14h-14h30 Jana Vargovcikova (ULB), “How to ‘moralize’ policies and politics by other means. Values and the governance by prizes”
  • 14h30-15h François Foret, Fabio Bolzonar and Lucrecia Rubio Grundell (ULB), “European values in morality politics: a common pattern? The example of prostitution and surrogacy”
  • 15h-15h30 Annabelle Littoz-Monnet (IHEID Genève), “Bioethical expertise across institutional, policy and political boundaries”

15h30-16h Coffee break

  • 16h-16h30 Philip Gorski (Yale University), “Secularizing alone? Values in the shaping of European and American contemporary modernities”

16h30-17h Final discussion and conclusion

17h Policy panel - How to safeguard european values? law meets politics

Panel organized with the support of the Erasmus+ program of the EU Jean Monnet Module - “Rule of law and mutual trust in global and European governance“

Chair: Ramona Coman (IEE, CEVIPOL, ULB)

  • Jean-Claude Scholsem, Professor of Law, Université de Liège; Member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe
  • Dragos Calin, Judge, Appeal Court, Bucharest, co-president of the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association
  • Bogdan Pirlog, Prosecutor, Co-president of the Romanian Association Initiative for Justice
  • A representative from IDEA, TBC
  • Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute.

Room Spaak

The rule of law at risk? From ideational consensus to increased dissensus

8:30 - Registration and coffee

  • 9:00-9:15 - Welcome by Ramona Coman, François Foret, François Heinderyckx (ULB)

9:30-10:45 - From liberal consensus to increased dissensus. Contestation and politicisation of European values

Chair and discussant: Andrew Bradley (IEE, ULB)

  • Ramona Coman (Cevipol, IEE, ULB) Welcome and introduction Framing the puzzle: The transnational circulation of antiliberal values. Networks, narratives and mechanisms of diffusion
  • Monica Claes (Maastricht University) Article 2 TEU and 'our European values': how common are they really?
  • Barbora Cernusakova (Amnesty International) What are the key structural issues behind dismissals of presidents of courts, removals of members of the Judiciary Council, or forced retirements of the Supreme Court judges?

10:45-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 - From liberal constitutionalism to ‘illiberal’ capitalism and legalism

Chair and discussant: Laure Neumayer (Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Tamas Csillag (New York University Abu Dhabi, Central European University) Private Property and Illiberal Regimes. Case Studies of Hungary’s Managed Illiberal Democratic Capitalism
  • Cornel Ban (Copenhagen Business School) and Dorothee Bole (EUI) Dependent finance in East Central Europe: Between Repression and Close Embrace
  • Aron Buzogány and Mihai Varga (FU Berlin) Defining the winning formula. Illiberalism, ideas and idiosyncrasies in Central and Eastern Europe’s new conservativism

12:30 -14:00 - Lunch

14:00-15:30 - Diffusion and circulation of ‘illiberal’ ideas within the EU

Chair and discussant: Benedek Jávor (former MEP, current member of the Dialogue for Hungary party)

  • Julia Rone (Cambridge, ULB)Hungary as the “good example”: how Bulgarian politicians have discussed Fidesz’s government policies, 2010-2019
  • Valentin Behr (Cevipol, IEE, ULB)Challenging European values. The promotion of antiliberal values as a European counter-model in Poland
  • Ionut-Valentin Chiruta (Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu) Backing up illiberal swerves by populist meaning-making: Profiling populism in Romania’s PSD- ALDE alliance rhetoric from 2016-2019
  • Camille Dobler (Jagiellonian University) and Elodie Thevenin (Jagiellonian University)Polish MEPs and Ideas of an „Unia Antyeuropejska”. Empirical Study of Legitimation Discourse on Polish Legal Reforms in the European Parliament

15:30-15:45 - Coffee break

15:45 - 17:30 - Diffusion and circulation of ‘illiberal’ ideas beyond the EU

Chair and discussant: Luca Tomini (Cevipol, ULB)

  • Gergana Noutcheva (Maastricht University)Whose Norms? Competing Political Models and Patterns of Diffusion in the European Neighbourhood
  • Ana Andguladze (Cevipol, ULB)Civil Society in Georgia as actors of resistance: Promotion of European Values in a challenged democracy
  • Jan Beyer (Cevipol, IEE, ULB)European values in conflict. Rule of law as a battlefield between State and citizens in South- East Europe
  • Julie Vander Meulen and Maria-Isabel Soldevila (Cevipol, IEE, ULB)Democratic Values and their Promotion by the EU: The European Commission’s Communication Strategy in the Context of Illiberalism

18:00-Policy panel - How to safeguard European values? Law meets Politics

Panel organized with the support of the Erasmus+ program of the EU Jean Monnet Module - Rule of law and mutual trust in global and European governanceChair: Ramona Coman (IEE, Cevipol, ULB)

  • Jean-Claude Scholsem, Professor of Law, Université de Liège; Member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe
  • Dragos Calin, Judge, Appeal Court, Bucharest, co-president of the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association
  • Bogdan Pirlog, Prosecutor, Co-president of the Romanian Association Initiative for Justice Heather Grabbe, Director of the Open Society European Policy Institute

Places

  • salles Spaak et Kant - Université libre de Bruxelles 39, avenue Franklin Roosevelt
    Brussels, Belgium (1050)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019

Keywords

  • Union européenne, valeurs, État de droit, anti-libéralisme, capitalisme, biopolitique

Contact(s)

  • Ana Noppen
    courriel : Ana [dot] Noppen [at] ulb [dot] be

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Jana Vargovčíková
    courriel : jana [dot] varg [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« How "European values" unite and divide. Rule of law, identity and morality politics in the European Union », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, November 18, 2019, https://calenda.org/712631

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal