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The UK decision to withdraw from the EU: parliament or government?

If the principle of parliamentary sovereignty is to continue to have real meaning in Britain, the decision to leave the EU must be taken by parliament, not the government.
Piet Eeckhout
17 October 2016

Starts: Oct 17, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Does Eastern Europe have lessons for Brexit Britain?

What, if anything, can the experience of (research on) Eastern Europe say to us as we head towards Brexit? Lessons may lie above all in getting to grips with the tempo and nature of political change, its (un)predictability and likely channels.
Sean Hanley
1 August 2016

Starts: Aug 1, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Hollande's response to the Nice massacre will please only the far right

On Thursday night, for the third time since January 2015, President François Hollande was faced with a mass murder on French soil. An ashen-faced Hollande, almost looking like a broken man, appeared on television on Friday at 4am and declared: “This is undoubtedly a terrorist attack; the whole of France is under the threat of an Islamic terrorist attack”.
Philippe Marlière
18 July 2016 More...

Starts: Jul 18, 2016 12:00:00 AM

UCL European Institute

2nd Annual Sakharov Debate: Dissent Today as the Art of the Impossible

6 December 2012

See below for videos from the second event in the Annual Sakharov Debate series, a yearly public event exploring current developments on Human Rights in Europe. Co-hosted by the European Parliament Office in London, it coincides each December with the "Sakharov Prize" being awarded by the European Parliament to people and organisations playing a crucial role in defence of human rights and freedom of speech.

This year, one year on from the death of Václav Havel, and in the light of a contemporary reinvention of dissident practice in the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, Charter 08 in China, and the neo-dissidence of Pussy Riot and others in Russia, we formulated topics for discussion that picked up on themes from Havel: dissent as the ‘art of the impossible’ and as a point of intersection between politics and aesthetics. Themes present in the work of the two Iranian activists, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film director Jafar Panahi, joint winners of the Sakharov Prize in 2012.


  • Tom Moriarty (Occupy)
  • Edward McMillan-Scott (Vice-President, European Parliament)
  • Alena Ledeneva (UCL)
  • HE Michael Žantovský (Czech Republic Ambassador)
  • Moderator: Tim Beasley-Murray (UCL)

2nd Annual Sakharov Debate - All speakers presentations from UCL European Institute on Vimeo.

2nd Annual Sakharov Debate - Panelists' Discussion from UCL European Institute on Vimeo.

2nd Annual Sakharov Debate: Closing Remarks from UCL European Institute on Vimeo.

2nd Annual Sakharov Debate - Questions and Answers from UCL European Institute on Vimeo.

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With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union.

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