TEPSA pre-presidency conference in Dublin

Several EXACT fellows attended the biannual TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference on 22 and 23 November 2012 hosted and organised by the Irish Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) in collaboration with TEPSA, the Trans European Policy Studies Association.

A roundtable discussion on the future of Europe kicked off two days of intellectually stimulating discussions. It was opened by Dáithi O´Ceallaigh, Director General of IIEA and Jean-Paul Jacqué, Secretary General of TEPSA. Chaired by Graham Avery, honorary member of the TEPSA Board, the discussion involved Wolfgang Wessels, chairman of TEPSA and Jean Monnet Professor at the University of Cologne, Katrin Böttger, deputy director of IEP Berlin as well as Jaap de Zwaan, Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The debate was lively and addressed numerous EU policy areas.

On the conference’s second day, four sessions involved representatives from different backgrounds such as politics, diplomacy, academia and the private sector. Brendan Halligan, Chairman of the IIEA reminded the audience about Ireland´s accession to the EU in 1973. Since then, Ireland had had the honour to hold the Council Presidency six times. Halligan and Wolfgang Wessels were more than assured that the upcoming seventh Irish Council presidency would once more be a successful and very productive one. A prominent representation of Irish ministers and other speakers presented the programme and priorities of the Irish Council presidency. The four sessions addressed fundamental issues such as the Eurozone crisis and its political and institutional challenges, the role of information technology and green energy in spurring much-needed economic growth. and the European Union´s role in the world. The contribution of Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, was only one of the highlights for the EXACT fellows at this event.

The overall impression of the TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference was extremely positive and enriching. Up-to-date information on a number of EU policy areas and fresh ideas to tackle the challenges ahead offered many chances for academic and policy exchange. Framed by the famous halls and walls of Dublin castle, the TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference made the stay in Dublin for the EXACT fellows very memorable. 

EXACT - Marie Curie ITN on EU External Action
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Wulf Reiners
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