European Union is our destiny. Populism is the worst enemy this vision (1) & Why we need to rethink federalism around the idea of sovereignty (2)

3rd November 2020.  Emma Bonino & Sophie Heine.

European Union is our destiny. Populism is the worst enemy this vision (1)
European federalism at a cross road: Why we need to rethink federalism around the idea of sovereignty (2)

On the 3rd of November Emma Bonino, member of the Italian Senate and former European Commissione and author and consultant Sophie Heine, will give a double seminar  at 11.00 am on key issues facing the European Union (populism, sovereignism, the limits of federaslim, etc). The seminars will be given online due to current restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This doublel seminar is the first of four events that address the recent challenges that the European Union is tackling from a resurgent wave of national political sentiments and agendas,  the migrant crisis, the Covid pandemics, etc.  The lecture series entitled European Union: A Political Journey has been organised by College undergraduate L Ferrero (Political Science, Yr 2) who also acts as the Volta representative for Acersat, the office of the University of Pavia that acts in support of a number of student's cultural and events. All College students are warmly invited to attend the events of this seminar series.

The poster of the series can be downloaded here.

The link to access the seminar by Emma Bonino and Sophie Heine via zoom is:

The College will post a link on this page to the seminar webcast for students unable to attend the seminars live at 11.00 am on November 3rd.


E Bonino


The idea of a United States of Europe means a different Europe from the IMPERFECT one we already have, still paralysed by the criss-crossing vetoes by the member states that are slowing down the progress of deeper integration. Building on the existing one, we want to go forward making the EU stronger, more democratic, and able to face the challenges that can only be overcome if we stay together. Populism – usually going hand in hand with nationalism – aims to delegitimize the building of a new Europe, forgetting for example that today Europe has the most advanced level of social and health care and attention to the environment.

Emma Bonino is a member of the Italian Senate and was elected to Senate as a member of a cross political movement known as More Europe. She served as the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2013 and 2014, was deputy chair of the Italian Senate from 2008 and 2013 and was Minister for International Trade and European Affairs. First elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976, she served either in the Italian or in the European Parliament continuously since then, except between 1994 and 1999 when she took the role of European Commissioner. In the years 1994 to 1999 she confronted the dissolution of former Yugoslavia and the humanitarian crisis that results from the conflict. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at the International Crisis Group (ICR), a co-chair of the council of Foreign Relations (ECFR ) and an active Member of the Radical Party.


Sophie Heine

At a time when the European Union is increasingly criticised and exposed to fragmentation, pro Europeans need to build a coherent and convincing alternative project. defending the statu quo is no longer sufficient to resist anti European forces. European federalism should be deeply rethought and refurbished. In that respect, European sovereignty can constitute a concept, as long as it is combined with democratic and liberal principles.

Sophie Heine holds a bachelor degree in Politics, a master in European Studies, a master in international Relations and a PhD from the Institute for European Studies (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) that she accomplished with a scholarship from the Belgian Fund For Scientific Research- FNRS. She then did a post-doctoral research at Balliol College (Oxford University) partly funded by the Wiener-Anspach Foundation, before teaching for a year modules on European politics and International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London. In 2014, she became involved in the movement Stand Up for Europe by contributing to launching the movement and running for the European elections. She then became a Senior Research Fellow for the Egmont institute in Brussels and worked part time for Stand Up for Europe as its secretary General. Since 2016, she has been back as a research associate at Oxford University (Department for Politics and International relations), a freelance author and consultant as well as a dance teacher and choreographer. Sophie Heine has published numerous articles and several books on a variety of topic (Populism and Euroscepticism, Progressive ideologies, Left-wing movements and parties, liberalism and individual freedom, gender-related injustices, European federalism and sovereignty). Her most recent book, "For a sovereign Europe", has been published last November by Peter Lang (Oxford).
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