Legitimacy Lost, but then Regained? EU Governance during the Eurozone Crisis, the Migration Crisis, and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Image: Professor Vivien Schmidt

Legitimacy Lost, but then Regained? EU Governance during the Eurozone Crisis, the Migration Crisis, and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, 27 October 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:15pm
Add to Calendar
Venue: 
Online Webinar
Speaker(s): 
Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
Chair: 
Dr Hartmut Mayer (Director, European Studies Centre, St Antony's, Oxford)
Discussant: 
Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis (St Antony's College, Oxford)
Series: 
ESC Annual Lecture

The ESC Annual Lecture (online this year): Legitimacy Lost, but then Regained?  EU Governance during the Eurozone Crisis, the Migration Crisis, and the Covid-19 Pandemic


Unlike in ‘Paradise Lost’, the EU committed no original sin of commission, but it did commit a number of sins of omission over the past decade that cast doubt on its legitimacy.  When the Eurozone crisis hit, instead of common solutions promoting prosperity for all, the European Union ended up ‘governing by rules and ruling by numbers’ in the Eurozone, resulting in excessive economic hardship in some countries and rising populist Euroscepticism everywhere. When the migration crisis hit, instead of fully addressing the humanitarian concerns, the EU stuck to the Schengen area rules that didn’t work, as some member-states barricaded their borders, and populism flourished. In both crises, the legitimacy of the EU’s governing activities—procedural, performative, and political—were in question, as the poor quality of EU governance undermined policy performance while generating increasingly toxic politics.   In the Covid-19 crisis, these policies were reversed, as the EU sought common solutions while suspending the rules for economic and migration policy.  So does this mean that the response to Covid-19 represents ‘Paradise Regained’?  Professor Schmidt will provide preliminary answers to this question as she discusses the nature, scope, and dilemmas of legitimacy for the EU in the midst its many crises. 


Vivien A. Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Professor of International Relations and Political Science in the Pardee School at Boston University, where she also served as Founding Director of its Center for the Study of Europe. Her work focuses on European political economy, institutions, and democracy as well as on political theory ( with a focus on the role of ideas and discourse in political analysis).   In addition to her latest book Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone (Oxford 2020),  recent publications include Resilient Liberalism in Europe’s Political Economy (co-edited, Cambridge 2013), and Democracy in Europe (Oxford 2006; La Découverte 2010 Fr. trans.)—named in 2015 by the European Parliament as one of the ‘100 Books on Europe to Remember.’  Her latest honors and awards include decoration as Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor, the European Union Studies Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for her new project on the ‘rhetoric of discontent,’ a transatlantic investigation of the populist revolt.

Dr Hartmut Mayer (Director of the ESC) is Chair, Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis (St Antony's College, Oxford) is Discussant, and Eli Gateva (Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford) is Commentator.


This event is taking place online using Zoom. The link to REGISTER is available HERE.

Please email: esc-webinar@sant.ox.ac.uk for any further details.


PLEASE NOTE that we have chosen to use Zoom for this event because we believe that it provides the best experience in the unusual circumstances that the world is in, due to Covid-19. As a College we are both bound by and committed to our Data Protection responsibilities. Please find our data protection statement and policies at https://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/about-st-antonys/how-we-use-your-data .Please read the Zoom privacy policy at https://zoom.us/privacy , in particular the sections that mention “You” or “user” or “participant”. Information that they collect from participants is detailed under the section “Data that our system collects from you”.Zoom provides some features that we will NOT be using because they are not necessary:
- Zoom provides the ability to record meetings. We will NOT record our events on Zoom.
- Zoom provides an attention tracking feature. We will NOT enable the attention tracking feature of the application during our events on Zoom.
- Zoom provides the ability to transfer files between meeting participants. We will NOT use this feature during our events on Zoom.
The information that we collect about you will be processed under our privacy policies located at https://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/about-st-antonys/how-we-use-your-data . Please only email: esc-webinar@sant.ox.ac.uk to REGISTER TO ATTEND this online event if you AGREE to the above outlined policies. If you have any further enquiries then please do email the ESC for further information and we will be happy to help. Thank you for your understanding.