Welcome to the UCL European Institute, UCL's hub for research, collaboration and information on Europe and the European Union.

UCL European Institute



Hannah Arendt and the Ancients

One of the most original figures of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) still exerts a profound influence on political thinking today. Her work on revolution, action, totalitarianism, or “the banality of evil” continues to animate debates about democracy, about Israel and Palestine, about feminism and about the nature of political participation - she has even been the subject of a recent film. Miriam Leonard, Professor of Greek Literature and its Reception at UCL, discusses the inspiration that Arendt’s critique of contemporary politics found in antiquity.
12 October 2015
Miriam Leonard More...

Starts: Oct 12, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Do Not Fear Austerity: A Public Meeting with Yanis Varoufakis

Alessandro de Arcangelis, UCL PhD student in History, reports on a ‘public meeting’ with Yanis Varoufakis, and his advice to Jeremy Corbyn.
30 September 2015
Alessandro de Arcangelis More...

Starts: Oct 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM

A Syrian tragedy turning into a European tragedy

Gëzim Krasniqi, Fellow at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, traces the shifting routes chosen by refugees from Syria—and how the EU’s lack of a coordinated policy has been turning the Syrian tragedy into a European one. It has left the Balkan states with a refugee crisis impossible to master.
23 September 2015
Gëzim Krasniqi More...

Starts: Sep 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Policy Briefings

UCL European Institute

POLICY BRIEFING 1: Referendum (EU Act 2011)


The brief discusses the changes brought about by the EU Act 2011, in relation to Britain’s position in and attitude towards, the European Union. It considers in particular:
• The referendum provisions of the EUA;
• Referenda and UK constitutional law;
• The role of referenda in democratic deliberation


POLICY BRIEFING 2: European Convention on Human Rights


The brief considers key aspects of the debate on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and British membership thereof. It highlights in particular:
• The reasons for accepting the jurisdiction of the ECHR;
• The role of the UK in the development of the ECHR;
• The concerns regarding a transfer of sovereignty;
• Issues with the interpretation of the Convention by the Court;
• The problem of delays in the functioning of the ECHR system


POLICY BRIEFING 3: The Single Market


This policy briefing discusses key issues in the governance of the single market and the relevance of the Balance of Competences Review on the single market, released by the UK government in July 2013. It highlights:
• The constitutional issues that the single market raises;
• The new modes of governance of the single market
• The UK government’s Single Market Review


POLICY BRIEFING 4: European Economic and Monetary Union

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This briefing considers the governance of economic and monetary union (EMU). In particular, it explores:
• The current state of EU competences linked to EMU
• The use of instruments outside the EU framework
• The role of EU institutions
• The implications of banking union


POLICY BRIEFING 5: Refugee Protection, Migration and Human Rights


This policy briefing discusses key practical aspects of refugee protection, as well as questions of racism and xenophobia in Europe. In particular, it addresses:
• The lack of coordinated action on refugees in Europe
• EU asylum policy, in particular the Dublin regulation1
• The inadequacy of Europe’s responses to the Syrian crisis
• The need to consider human rights in discussing migration
• The impact of racism and xenophobia on migration debates


POLICY BRIEFING 6: The Margin of Appreciation

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This policy briefing discusses the margin of appreciation doctrine; a very prominent instrument which is used to allow states room for manoeuver in the manner in which they apply some of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. This policy briefing provides an overview of:
• The content and functions of the doctrine;
• Its origins in the European Court of Human Rights' case law;
• The likely future of the margin of appreciation doctrine



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In recent years, the European social model has faced unprecedented challenges, such as increasing austerity in public spending, severe welfare cuts, and rising youth unemployment. This policy briefing provides an overview of:
• The European social model following the financial crisis;
• The strengths of the European social model and EU social policy;
• The prospects for strengthening European social policy