Conference: Europe in Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities

Young Researchers Conference 2011
22 and 23 September 2011, Monash University, Caulfield

A conference organized by the Monash European and EU Centre, with the support of the Delegation of the EU to Australia, the Contemporary European Studies Association of Australia and the Monash Postgraduate Association.The European Union, along with the rest of the international community, has entered a period of intense problems and crises.

Developments surrounding the Arab Spring, particularly in Libya and Syria are bringing hard security problems to the doorstep of Europe. In addition, the ongoing consequences of the Global Financial Crisis and the Euro-zone crisis have cast doubt on the viability of the EU socio-economic model.

The catastrophe of the tsunami on Japan’s eastern coast and the ensuing problems with the Fukushima nuclear plant have led to a revision of the energy policies of many countries, including EU powerhouse, Germany. This re-evaluation has important ramifications for the EU’s leadership on climate change issues and its attempts to forge international consensus.

The Monash European and EU Centre’s Young Researchers Conference Europe in Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities explored dramatic events affecting Europe, and the challenges and opportunities that they presented from both a contemporary and an historical perspective. It examined these from both external and internal perspectives, providing a wide range of views and insights.

This multi-disciplinary conference aimed to incorporate as many fields as possible in exploring the overall theme.

The main emphases of the conference were:

  • Political: the EU Constitutional crisis; NATO intervention in Libya; the Arab Spring; the Roma in Europe;
  • Economic: Global Financial Crisis; Euro-zone crisis; market reforms in Eastern Europe; trade and the developing world;
  • Environmental: climate change; energy; fishing; marine environment.

The conference brought together postgraduate students and early career researchers from across Australia, New Zealand, the wider Asia-Pacific, and Europe to present their research in a collegial environment, and foster the professional and academic development of the next generation of researchers on Europe in political studies, economics, anthropology and law.

Funding opportunities

Limited funding was available for travel and accommodation expenses for selected participants.

The two best papers had the chance of being published in a special section of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies.

Guest speakers

H.E.Ambassador David Daly from the Delegation of the European Union to Australia and to New Zealand addressed the conference, and presented prizes to the student winners of the Bill Kent Essay Competition 2011, and to the European Studies students with the best academic results of 2010 in first and second year.

H.E. Ambassador Patrick Renault, Embassy of Belgium in Canberra gave a keynote speech onThe European Union – Intergovernmental organization or integration?

Conference program

The conference program is available here

Organising committee

  • Mr Evan Thompson
  • Dr Eva Polonska
  • Prof Pascaline Winand (ex officio)

This conference and the Monash European and EU Centre was funded by a grant from the European Commission, and supported by the Monash Postgraduate Association and CESAA.