EUCNetwork Conference - European Dilemmas: Internal and External Issues Facing the EU

The 2011 EUCN conference, hosted at the University of Waikato, denoted the fifth edition of the annual conference, and judging but the turnout and calibre of participants it will not be the last. This year’s conference took a broad scope and participants were asked to submit papers on the various crises which have enveloped Europe over the last 12 months. Additionally, in line with the EUCN’s ethos, the conference had a multi-disciplinary feel to it with scholars from fields as diverse as environmental science, economics, anthropology, political science, law and sociology among others. This year’s conference was well represented internationally with participants from 12 countries (Australia, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom). 

EUCN 2011 Conference - European Dilemmas: Internal and External Issues Facing the EU

7-8th December 2011, University of Waikato

The 2011 EUCN conference, hosted at the University of Waikato, denoted the fifth edition of the annual conference, and judging but the turnout and calibre of participants it will not be the last. This year’s conference took a broad scope and participants were asked to submit papers on the various crises which have enveloped Europe over the last 12 months. Additionally, in line with the EUCN’s ethos, the conference had a multi-disciplinary feel to it with scholars from fields as diverse as environmental science, economics, anthropology, political science, law and sociology among others. This year’s conference was well represented internationally with participants from 12 countries (Australia, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom). Papers were presented by an array of participants from esteemed and established academics to up-and-coming post-graduate students which provided for a vibrant and deliberative environment.  Complementing the scholastic-side of the conference was the diplomatic roundtable event in which the Polish Ambassador to New Zealand Beata Stoczyńska, the Deputy British High Commissioner to New Zealand Patrick Reilly and the Chargé d'Affaires of the EU Delegation to New Zealand George Cunningham debated on the implementation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in its first year of service. A riveting and inclusive debate ensued with the panellists first giving a 15 minute talk on the EEAS from their role’s perspective and then fielding questions from the floor. Lastly, at the conference dinner held on the evening of Wednesday the 7th of December, the EUCN was fortunate enough to have Peter Kennedy, the former Ambassador of New Zealand to the EU give a key notes address. Peter spoke of his time in Brussels but also with great insight into the integration of the EU and the current predicament in this uncertain and precarious environment. All in all, the 2011 edition of the conference proved to be a smashing success which was not only high on academic quality but also topical and relevant to the current international setting.