Lecture "The Future of European Integration" by Professor Dr. Jacques Pelkmans was held on 27 September, 2018
On 27 September 2018, Professor Dr. Jacques Pelkmans (Centre for European Policy Studies
and College of Europe, Belgium) gave a lecture "The Future of European Integration". The lecture,
which was co-organised by the Rokko Forum of Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University, was
held in the conference room of Third Building at Rokkodai campus of Kobe University.
Prof. Pelkmans first analysed the current EU by looking at its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Then he explained the rise of populist parties across Europe by underlining the major political threats such as immigration and labour disparities as well as financial instability. He highlighted the data which shows the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and emphasised the indispensability of the Single Market and advantages of the single currency, Euro. Next he moved on to Brexit and explained how Brexit unfolded and how economic models predict losses for the UK and the EU-27 due to Brexit. Finally, the speaker outlined five scenarios for the future of the EU-27 and concluded that the recent turbulent years actually prompted more attention to the EU. This means that the EU is now better regarded and voters began to know the EU better than before. The speaker emphasized that this re-focus on the EU and on its advantages is being accompanied by forceful improvements of the EMU.
The lecture, which was attended by 12 participants, stimulated a very active Q&A session. Participants raised questions about the anti-immigrant sentiments in Italy and Central Europe and about the corporate tax rates in the EU. Prof. Pelkmans replied to these questions in detail. This was a very valuable opportunity for Kobe University students and researchers to discuss the current EU with one of the most prominent scholars specialised in the EU.