Schmidt Presents at Conference on the Future of Democracy in the EU


Vivien SchmidtProfessor of International Relations and Political Science at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, attended and presented a paper at a conference held at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium on February 16, 2018.

The conference, entitled “The Future of Constitutional Democracy in Europe – A Legal Assessment,” was organized by European Legal Studies Department and brings together world-leading academics and practitioners to reflect critically yet constructively on the current state of constitutional democracy in the European Union and its future.

At the conference, Schmidt presented a paper entitled Is There a Deficit of Throughput Legitimacy in the EU?. Schmidt’s presentation was part of a session on “Transparency and Participation” chaired by Inge Govaere, Director of the European Legal Studies Department at the College of Europe and Professor at Ghent University.

During the conference,  comparisons were drawn with the United States and EU Member States in order to understand both the commonalities and the differences in the challenges faced, which include populism, a lack of trust in political and legal institutions, de-parliamentarization and a degradation of the rule of law.

Current developments were also at the heart of the discussions, with presenters seeking to tie current issues into the more perennial, theoretical debates about the balance between democracy and constitutionalism, and their place beyond the confines of the nation state. A central underlying question running throughout the conference was what the role of law is and should be in the future of the European Union.

Schmidt is a Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at Boston University. Her research focuses on European political economy, institutions, democracy, and political theory. She has published ten books, over 100 scholarly journal articles or chapters in books, and numerous policy briefs and comments, most recently on the Eurozone crisis.  Her current work focuses on democratic legitimacy in Europe, with a special focus on the challenges resulting from the Eurozone crisis, and on methodological theory, in particular on the importance of ideas and discourse in political analysis (discursive institutionalism).