Final Conference of the ValEUR project: How ‘European values’ unite and divide. Rule of law, identity and morality politics in the EU

Jana Vargovcikova's picture
November 21, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Public Policy, Political Science, European History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies

According to the ValEUR project, references to values may have three incentives. Firstly, it may be a call to identity, memory and communicative resources in a quest for legitimization (governing through values). Secondly, it may come from the necessity to deal with ethical issues calling for normative policy choices (governing values). Thirdly, values may cause legal and political conflicts and challenge established balances of powers and regulation (governed by values). A first book focused on the two first scenarios (governing through values and governing values). The purpose of this conference is to develop more specifically the third one (governed by values) and to emphasize the competitive and/or conflictual dimension of “European values”.

21 November, 2019 - 09:00 to 20:00

Cevipol/Institute for European Studie
Université libre de Bruxelles
Av. F. D. Roosevelt, 39, rooms Spaak and Kant
1050 Brussels

2 parallel programmes will be running as specified below, with a common policy panel starting at 18:00: 

Room KANT: How European Values unite and divide

· 8h30-9:00 Registration and coffee
· 9h00-9h15 Room Spaak. Welcome by Ramona Coman, François Foret,François Heinderyckx (ULB)

· 9h30-9h45 Room Kant: François Foret (ULB), “Values in European identity and morality politics: uses, agency and limits. A short introduction”


Chair/Discussant: Amandine Crespy (ULB)
· 9h45-10h15 Frédéric Gonthier, Tristan Guerra (IEP Grenoble), “Economic vs cultural liberalism: towards a clash of values in Europe?”

· 10h15-10h45 Andy Smith, (Sciences Po Bordeaux), “Values as conflictual linkages between the socio-economic, identity and politics”

10h45-11h Coffee break
· 11h-11h30 Philip Schlesinger (Glasgow University), ”The European creative economy and the politics of cultural values”

· 11h30-12h Céleste Bonnamy (ULB), “Market, cultural ethos and national identity. How the single market challenges copyright and what it says about European values”

· 12h-12h30 Alvaro Oleart (VU Amsterdam): “European values and neoliberalism: a strong EU policy partnership, but fragile in the public spheres”

12h30-14h Lunch break. Buffet on the premises of the conference


Chair/Discussant: François Heinderyckx (ULB)
· 14h-14h30 Jana Vargovcikova (ULB), “How to ‘moralize’ policies and politics by other means. Values and the governance by prizes”

· 14h30-15h François Foret, Fabio Bolzonar and Lucrecia Rubio Grundell (ULB), “European values in morality politics: a common pattern? The example of prostitution and surrogacy”

· 15h-15h30 Annabelle Littoz-Monnet (IHEID Genève), “Bioethical expertise across institutional, policy and political boundaries”

15h30-16h Coffee break
· 16h-16h30 Philip Gorski (Yale University), “Secularizing alone? Values in the shaping of European and American contemporary modernities”

· 16h30-17h Final discussion and conclusion


Panel organized with the support of the Erasmus+ program of the EU Jean Monnet Module - “Rule of law and mutual trust in global and European governance“

Chair: Ramona Coman (IEE, CEVIPOL, ULB)
Jean-Claude Scholsem, Professor of Law, Université de Liège; Member of the

Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

Dragos Calin, Judge, Appeal Court, Bucharest, co-president of the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association

Bogdan Pirlog, Prosecutor, Co-president of the Romanian Association Initiative for Justice

A representative from IDEA, TBC
Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute


Room SPAAK: Rule of law at risk? From ideational consensus to increased dissensus

8:30 - Registration and coffee
9:00-9:15 - Welcome by Ramona Coman, François Foret, François Heinderyckx (ULB)

9:30-10:45 - From liberal consensus to increased dissensus. Contestation and politicisation of European values.

Chair and discussant: Andrew Bradley (IEE, ULB)

Ramona Coman (Cevipol, IEE, ULB)
Welcome and introduction
Framing the puzzle: The transnational circulation of antiliberal values. Networks, narratives and mechanisms of diffusion

Monica Claes (Maastricht University)
Article 2 TEU and 'our European values': how common are they really?

Barbora Cernusakova (Amnesty International)
What are the key structural issues behind dismissals of presidents of courts, removals of members of the Judiciary Council, or forced retirements of the Supreme Court judges?

10:45-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 - From liberal constitutionalism to ‘illiberal’ capitalism and legalism

Chair and discussant: Laure Neumayer (Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Tamas Csillag (New York University Abu Dhabi, Central European University)
Private Property and Illiberal Regimes. Case Studies of Hungary’s Managed Illiberal Democratic Capitalism)

Cornel Ban (Copenhagen Business School) and Dorothee Bole (EUI)
Dependent finance in East Central Europe: Between Repression and Close Embrace

Aron Buzogány and Mihai Varga (FU Berlin)
Defining the winning formula. Illiberalism, ideas and idiosyncrasies in Central and Eastern Europe’s new conservativism

12:30 -14:00 - Lunch

14:00-15:30 - Diffusion and circulation of ‘illiberal’ ideas within the EU
Chair and discussant: Benedek Jávor (former MEP, current member of the Dialogue for Hungary party)

Julia Rone (Cambridge, ULB): Hungary as the “good example”: how Bulgarian politicians have discussed Fidesz’s government policies, 2010-2019

Valentin Behr (Cevipol, IEE, ULB): Challenging European values. The promotion of antiliberal values as a European counter- model in Poland

Ionut-Valentin Chiruta (Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu) Backing up illiberal swerves by populist meaning-making: Profiling populism in Romania’s PSD- ALDE alliance rhetoric from 2016-2019

Camille Dobler (Jagiellonian University) and Elodie Thevenin (Jagiellonian University): Polish MEPs and Ideas of an „Unia Antyeuropejska”. Empirical Study of Legitimation Discourse on Polish Legal Reforms in the European Parliament

15:30-15:45 - Coffee break

15:45 - 17:30 - Diffusion and circulation of ‘illiberal’ ideas beyond the EU

Chair and discussant: Luca Tomini (Cevipol, ULB)

Gergana Noutcheva (Maastricht University)
Whose Norms? Competing Political Models and Patterns of Diffusion in the European Neighbourhood

Ana Andguladze (Cevipol, ULB)
Civil Society in Georgia as actors of resistance: Promotion of European Values in a challenged democracy

Jan Beyer (Cevipol, IEE, ULB)
European values in conflict. Rule of law as a battlefield between State and citizens in South- East Europe

Julie Vander Meulen and Maria-Isabel Soldevila (Cevipol, IEE, ULB)
Democratic Values and their Promotion by the EU: The European Commission’s Communication Strategy in the Context of Illiberalism

18:00-Policy panel - How to safeguard European values? Law meets Politics

Panel organized with the support of the Erasmus+ program of the EU Jean Monnet Module - Rule of law and mutual trust in global and European governance
Chair: Ramona Coman (IEE, Cevipol, ULB)

Jean-Claude Scholsem, Professor of Law, Université de Liège; Member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

Dragos Calin, Judge, Appeal Court, Bucharest, co-president of the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association

Bogdan Pirlog, Prosecutor, Co-president of the Romanian Association Initiative for Justice Heather Grabbe, Director of the Open Society European Policy Institute

Contact Info: 

Ana Noppen, Cevipol, Université libre de Bruxelles. 

Contact Email: