Europe: State of Play

Europe: State of Play

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:45pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HR
Dr Hartmut Mayer (Director, European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford)
ESC Core Seminar Series

The ESC will open the academic year with its first seminar, on the current state of play in Europe. Just a few days before an important EU summit on Brexit, and a few weeks before a new commission will take place in Brussels, leading experts will reflect on Brexit, the prospects for the new commission, the consequences of this year's European Parliamentary elections, and on Europe's role within the international trade regime in times of US, Chinese, and trans-atlantic trade wars.

The panel will include the following speakers: Kalypso Nicolaidis (St Antony's College, Oxford), Ignacio Garcia-Bercero (EU Visiting Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford), Brooks Newmark (Visiting Academic, St Antony's College, Oxford) and Frederik Ponjaert (Free University of Brussels). For Professor Nicolaidis' biography, please click HERE.

Mr Brooks Newmark's biography is below:

Brooks is currently a Visiting Academic in the Department of Politics & International Relations at Oxford University, writing a book on Bashar Assad, and recently Chaired a Report on Homelessness in the UK with Crisis and the Centre for Social Justice (published in 2017). Brooks has lectured and written on a range of subjects including the Conflict in Syria, Brexit, Homelessness and Private Equity. Brooks was the Member of Parliament for Braintree (2005-15)  Brooks served in the Coalition Government as Minister for Civil Society, with responsibility for charities, the voluntary sector and youth (2014) having previously served on the Treasury Select Committee (2012 -14 and 2006-7) and as a Government Whip and Lord Commissioner HM Treasury (2010 - 12). In Opposition Brooks also served as a Whip (2007-10). Brooks was Co-Chairman and Founder of Women2Win (to encourage more women into politics and public service); and  Founder of the Million Jobs Campaign (to tackle youth unemployment). Brooks has served on the  Board of the Harvard Alumni Association (Harvard University) and has served on the Advisory Board of London  Business School's Private Equity Institute. Prior to entering politics Brooks was a Senior Partner at Apollo Management LP, a leading International Private Equity firm. Brooks was educated at Harvard College (AB History), Harvard Business School (MBA Finance) and Oxford University (MSc Education). Brooks founded the charity A Partner In Education ( in 2010 and has built a primary school for 300 children, a secondary school for 100 children and a teacher training centre in Rwanda.

Mr Garcia-Bercero's biography is below:

Ignacio Garcia Bercero has a law degree from Universidad Complutense Madrid (Honours) and a Master of Law from University College London (Distinction).Since 1997 he has worked for the European Commision. As a young civil servant he participated between May 1987 and March 1993 in the Uruguay Round negotiations, which resulted in the establishment of the World Trade Organization. He was also lead negotiator in GATT and in OECD for trade and the environment. After participating in the United Nations Conference On Environment and Development, he joined as a counsellor the EU Delegation to the United Nations in New York, where he was responsible for a broad range of economic, development, environment and human rights files. In September 1997 he returned to the trade department of the European Commision in Brussels to work on the preparation of a new Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Amongst other files, he was responsible for leading negotiations on trade and competition. In September of 2001 he became head of the unit responsible for WTO dispute settlement. In that capacity he was responsible for the management of a large number of disputes with third countries and for the negotiations to improve the WTO dispute settlement understanding. In June 2005, Mr Garcia Bercero became Director responsible for bilateral trade relations with South Asia, South East Asia, Mediterranean and Middle East countries, Russia and the Eastern Neighbourhood. Throughout his career as Director, he has been responsible for a large number of geographical and thematic files, including Trade and Sustainable Development and since January 2018 Trade policy input to Brexit discussions. He was Chief negotiator for the EU-Korea FTA and for the negotiations of a free trade agreement with India. Since January 2012 he has been responsible for transatlantic trade relations and chief negotiator for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Mr Garcia Bercero has published numerous articles on trade related matters in different academic publications. During his fellowship (at St Antony's College) he intends to focus his research on how to reform the World Trade Organisation, including both its rule making and dispute settlement functions

Mr Ponjaert's biography is below:

Frederik Ponjaert is Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute for European Studies at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Associate Lecturer in Comparative Regionalism at SciencesPo (IEP-Paris). His research is on comparative regionalism, with an emphasis on European and Asian realities. He equally works on EU external action and inter-regional partnerships, again with a specific focus on Euro-Asian dynamics. More recently, both of these research strands have focussed on the developing EU-japan Relationship in light of the recently signed Economic Partnership and Strategic Partnership Agreements. His teaching covers topics such as “comparative regionalism”, “EU external action” and “EU-East Asian Relations” as well as “Japanese Foreign Policy” and is given alternatively in English, French, Dutch or Japanese.  At the ULB, as both his teaching and research span both European and Asian realities, he is a member of both the Institut d’Études Européennes (IEE) and the East Asian Studies Center (EASt). He is also the scientific coordinator of the GEM Ph.D. School which trains early stage researchers working on “Globalisation, the European Union and Multilateralism”. He is also co-editor of two Routledge book series, the GEM series on ‘Globalisation, Europe and Multilateralism’ and the CES series on “Contemporary Asian Societies”. Recent publications include among other: ‘Japan in East Asia: the Dynamics of Regional Cooperation from a European Perspective’ (Studia Diplomatica, 2007); ‘The EU and its Far-Abroad: Interregional Relations with Other Continents’, in The European Union and Global Governance (Routledge, 2009); ‘Public Research Projects in Europe and East Asia: Cooperation or Competition? A Comparative Analysis of the ITER and Galileo Experiences’ (East Asia, 2010); ‘The Political and Institutional Significance of an EU–Japan Trade and Partnership Agreement’ in The European Union and Japan: A New Chapter in Civilian Power Cooperation? (Routledge, 2015); ‘The EU, China and the WTO: Squaring the Irresistible Force Paradox of the MES Issue’ in ‘Deepening the EU-China Partnership Bridging Institutional and Ideational Differences in an Unstable World, 1st Edition’ (Routledge, 2017); and Developing EU–Japan Relations in a Changing Regional Context A Focus on Security, Law and Policies (Routledge, 2017). 

Hartmut Mayer (Director, ESC, St Antony's College, Oxford) will chair this seminar. For Dr Mayer's biography, please click HERE.

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