Signed by twelve countries in Maastricht on 7 February 1992, the Treaty on European Union reshaped Europe’s socioeconomic landscape on a continental scale. This seminal agreement laid the foundations for the continuation of historically unprecedented peace and was built on the idea that fostering economic and monetary cooperation would translate into welfare and shared prosperity among the citizens of Europe. In this context, the Maastricht Treaty should be regarded as a revolutionary instrument; one to end the European divide by integrating countries in order to secure stability and balance in social, economic and monetary spheres. European unification, while maintaining diversity, took place through cross-border consensus on shared values and unique market and economic freedoms.
Three decades later and 15 member states larger, present-day circumstances mandate the revision of the 1992 European social contract. Unprecedented existential uncertainties coupled with economic downturn have led to the urgent need to evaluate whether the existing institutional design still fits its purpose. The latter is most apparent in the recent example of nation-centred coronavirus pandemic solutions which were placed ahead of, currently suspended, aspirations towards European convergence. Numerous challenges must be overcome to ensure that national tensions do not overwhelm supranational prospects. From the rise of divisive populism, unequal living standards and benefits utilisation, unbalanced growth and stratification of the European social fabric; the current challenges demonstrate that activating the escape clause is not an optimal way of addressing a crisis. Therefore, the reconstruction of the European backbone based on solidarity, inclusivity and synergic cross-border collaboration is a necessary precondition for safeguarding the sustainability of this most admirable European social project.
Due to long-term disagreements being overlooked, the Maastricht Treaty currently represents an ambitious scheme that remains largely unfulfilled. This has rendered the EU unable to cope with ongoing calamities. However, regardless of its challenges, shortcomings and imperfect design, the Maastricht Treaty is an unrivalled multilateral blueprint for global governance. Hence, the reform of the Maastricht Treaty can help preserve a European way of life and chart a unique pathway of how countries can create a global sustainable framework of governance.
For this reason, Maastricht University and Studio Europa Maastricht are organising an interdisciplinary academic conference to discuss the Maastricht Treaty through a European socioeconomic perspective. The conference will be held 27-29 September, directly following the EMU public symposium marking the 30th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, also being held in Maastricht, 26-27 September.
The aim of the conference is to facilitate critical, but constructive, academic dialogue on the Maastricht Treaty’s legacy. In line with the spirit of unity in diversity, forward-looking scholars from all backgrounds are welcome; the only requirement is a willingness to work with others to reach a consensus on making Europe a better place through the commemoration of this paramount milestone of European collaboration.
Particularly welcome are contributions from the fields of economics, history, legal studies and political science focused in the following areas:
- Institutional evolution and the future of the European integration
- Social market economy and socioeconomic justice
- Policies for economic convergence, risk sharing and solidarity
- Democratic legitimacy and the rule of law
- Fiscal federalism, democratic backsliding and the rise of populism
- European inequality and social divide
- Labour migration and economic union
- The digital age and energy transition
- The global impact of the euro
- Common foreign security policy and geopolitical challenges
- European health union and coronavirus pandemics
Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration and holder of the EuropaChair of Maastricht University
Professor of Macroeconomics and International Monetary Economics,
Application process coordinator
Postdoctoral Researcher at Studio Europa Maastricht, Maastricht University
This call is open to all, however, the selection process will be competitive due to limited places. Abstracts may be submitted until 1 June 2022. Applicants should send their abstract (maximum of 300 words) to Ivan Rubinić (email@example.com).
Candidates will be notified regarding the status of their application by the end of June 2022.
Participation in the conference is free of charge.
For all further inquiries, please contact the application process coordinator.