UCL European Institute


Luuk van Middelaar on 'Europe after Brexit'

17 November 2016, 6:30 pm–12:00 am


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17 November 2016
Luuk van Middelaar, legal scholar and historian of Europe, discusses the role of freedom and social protection in Europe's future after the British referendum.

Thursday 17 November

Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre
Ground Floor, Roberts Building
UCL Main Building, WC1E 6BT

The British referendum has caused shockwaves not just in Westminster and in the UK, but in the rest of Europe too. Beyond the upcoming "divorce negotiations", unprecedented and difficult in themselves, the remaining 27 EU Member States face fundamental questions on their own: How to deal with the popular backlash against core achievements of EU integration, such as free movement and free trade? How to adapt the unique qualities of a Treaty- and rule-based organisation to an ever more unstable and unpredictable environment? And how the balance of power in the Union will evolve, now that the UK's exit and France's affaiblissement again raise the question of Germany's power? In his talk, titled 'Europe after Brexit: Freedom and Protection in a Crisis-Driven Union', renowned legal scholar and historian of Europe, Luuk van Middelaar, offers compelling answers to these questions. Drawing upon his experience as former chief speechwriter to EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Middelaar argues Europe needs to rebalance freedom and protection in its policies in order to regain the trust of its citizens, and must prepare itself to deal collectively with sudden and disruptive events to survive as political actor.


  • Luuk van Middelaar, Professor of EU Constitutional Law at Leiden University and author of 'The Passage to Europe'
  • Michael Shackleton, Special Professor in European Institutions at the University of Maastricht (Discussant)
  • Christine Reh, Reader in European Politics, UCL School of Public Policy (Chair)

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