Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

Research Centre

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

The European Commission awarded the University of Edinburgh a prestigious Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for 2010-2013. This award was in recognition of the leading role played by Edinburgh academics in the study of the European Union. The application was submitted in conjunction with the Jean Monnet Chair and the Europa Institute Steering Group. The University received the only centre awarded in the UK, and was one of only ten awarded in the EU, for this period.

The Director of the Centre was Dr Chad Damro. As part of the Jean Monnet Network, the Centre supported and expanded research and teaching activities at the University of Edinburgh, including the organisation of conferences, workshops, visiting speakers, visiting scholars and outreach events.

JMCE Activities


In the 2010/2011 academic year, funds were deployed to support the organisation of a workshop on France and the European Union; a conference on EU environmental policy; a PhD conference on the political economy of European Integration; and two major visiting speakers: Martin Rhodes (University of Denver) and Waltraud Schelkle (London School of Economics).


Workshop: Sub-national Island Jurisdictions in the European Union and Beyond

An international workshop was convened at the University of Edinburgh on 8-10 September 2011 to discuss the role of independence parties and movements in sub-national island jurisdictions in an age of European integration and globalisation. The workshop was funded by the Jean Monnet Chair and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. It brought together political activists and leading academics to discuss the strategies, modalities and dynamics of independence movements in the 21st century. The programme included 15 speakers, including academics from Australia, North America and Europe, an independence party official from Sardinia (Italy) and a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Highlands and Islands. The workshop considered the opportunities and challenges to independence in contemporary times, and compared and contrasted these with different expressions of sub-national jurisdictional autonomy. The papers first presented at this workshop, which were revised for a Special Issue of the journal Comparative and Commonwealth Politics, investigated the role and impact of (nascent) nationalism in the context of domestic politics, as well as a broader political and economic federalism and supranational integration such as European integration.

Seminar: The Eurocrisis

Sponsored by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in association with the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh and the European Movement in Scotland

Wednesday 9 November 2011 · 17.30-19.00
Faculty Room North, David Hume Tower
George Square · The University of Edinburgh

The aim of the seminar was to consider how and why the Eurozone has arrived at the situation in which it now finds itself, to assess what is at stake and, looking ahead, to consider what economic and political consequences might follow different possible courses of action that Eurozone leaders might take.


John Purvis CBE
Conservative MEP (1979-1984) and (1999-2009)
Vice Chair, European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (2001-2009)

Dr Jacques Cailloux
Chief European Economist
Royal Bank of Scotland

Professor Jacques Mélitz
Professor of Economics
Heriot Watt University

Dr David Howarth
Jean Monnet Chair
The University of Edinburgh

International Workshop: The Nagoya Protocol in Perspective

On 2-3 December 2011, Edinburgh Law School hosted an international workshop on a new international environmental agreement adopted in October 2010 – the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing. The workshop sought to analyse the implications of the Nagoya Protocol for different areas of international law, and explore the implementation challenges arising from the Protocol in different regions (the EU and its Member States, Africa, the Americas and Oceania) and from the viewpoint of different groups of stakeholders. To this end, the workshop gathered academics, legal officers of relevant UN bodies, negotiators of the Protocol and stakeholders involved in its implementation.

The workshop was organised thanks to generous contributions from Edinburgh Law School, the AHRC/Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, the Europa Institute (Jean Monnet Centre for Excellence) and the Scottish Centre for International Law at the University of Edinburgh.

During the first session, Valerie Normand (Secretariat, Convention on Biological Diversity) introduced the innovative elements of the Protocol and its linkages with other international instruments. Annalisa Savaresi (University of Copenhagen) discussed the human rights implications of the Protocol for local communities, users of genetic resources and environmental NGOs, while Alphonse Kambu (UN Environment Programme) discussed its relevance for the human rights of indigenous peoples. Charlotte Salpin (UN Division on Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea) looked into the interface between the Protocol and the law of the sea, while Philippe Cullet (School of Oriental and African Studies) focused on the interactions between the Protocol and international instruments related to food and agriculture. Riccardo Pavoni (University of Siena) illustrated the relevance of the Protocol from the standpoint of different WTO Agreements. Abbe Brown (University of Edinburgh) offered a perspective on ongoing negotiations under the World Intellectual Property Organization and Marie Wilkie (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development) discussed relevant instruments under the World Health Organization.

Regional perspectives on the implementation challenges arising from the Protocol were offered by academics, practitioners and former negotiators of the Protocol: Harry Jonas (Natural Justice), Jorge Cabrera (University of Costa Rica), Vassilis Koutsiouris (European Commission), Alejandro Lago (University of Juan Carlos, Madrid) and Geoff Burton (United Nations University). Further perspectives on implementation were offered by: Stefan Jungcurt (Council of Canadian Academies) on specialized ABS regimes, Claudio Chiarolla (IDDRI) on the role of private international law, Tomme Young on international cooperation, Maria Julia Oliva (Union for Ethical BioTrade) on the Protocol's implications for corporate social responsibility and Selim Louafi (CIRAD-Agricultural Research for Development) on challenges for the research community.

The workshop led to the publication of a collection, edited by Elisa Morgera, Matthias Buck and Elsa Tsioumani: The Nagoya Protocol in Perspective: Implications for International Law and Implementation Challenges (Brill/Nijhoff, 2012).

Workshop: The Principle of Market Access in EU Law

This workshop, held on 9 December 2011, brought together leading academic experts on EU internal market law. Further information on the workshop is available from Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

Seminar: The Politics of FDI in the EU

On 20 February 2012, a seminar was given by University of Edinburgh graduate Courtney Fingar of the Financial Times on the subject of: The Politics of Foreign and Direct Investment in the European Union.

Annual Mitchell Lecture

On 5 March 2012, the Europa Institute's annual Mitchell Lecture was delivered by Prof Alec Stone Sweet, Leitner Professor of Law, Politics and International Studies at Yale University. The lecture was titled: A Cosmopolitan Legal Order: Constitutional Pluralism and Rights Adjudication in Europe. The event was very well attended by academics, students and interested members of the public.

International Workshop: Critical Methods in Security Studies in the European Union

McEwan Hall Reception Room · University of Edinburgh
14-15 May 2012 · Organiser: Andrew Neal

While critical research in security studies has led to a rich literature engaged with the proliferation of security problems, methodological research has lagged behind. In this workshop, we presented and developed chapters for an edited volume on critical and collaborative methodologies in security studies. The workshop was advertised widely to enable authors to engage with a broad variety of audience perspectives. By proposing collaboration as a methodology, the International Collaboration on Critical Methods (ICCM) project supported involving researchers at a variety of stages of their careers in a non-hierarchical way. Moreover, it integrated, rather than simply connected, research done in different countries, building future research capacity.

The workshop was the culmination of many years of EU-funded research collaboration on security issues in Europe. The ESRC-funded ICCM project was a follow-on from Critical Approaches to Security in Europe, funded as part of a COST Action A24 – The Evolving Social Construction of Threats (2004-2008), on which many of the PGRs and other early career academics involved worked together. The project also charted a direct descent from two major EU-funded projects. Most of the project leaders worked together on the Framework 5 project ELISE: European Liberty and Security (2002-2005) and the Framework 6 project CHALLENGE: The Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security (2005-2008).

The output from the workshop was an agenda-setting edited book on critical and collaborative methodologies in security studies, Critical Security Methods: New Frameworks for Analysis (Routledge, 2014). The chapters reflect the diversity of their subject matter, but converge around three common arguments. First, methods are not simply tools of reflection but part of the social and political world. They are implicated in the rendering of (security) problematisations into objects of knowledge and in this sense they are constitutive and political. Second, while our contributors emerge from a generation of security scholarship grounded in critical theoretical innovation, the proliferation of security as a problem and practice means that we urgently need innovation in more empirically-oriented methods in order to understand its implications. Third, we share unease towards the claims of scientificity usually embedded in methodologies. Instead, we consider that knowledge claims are always limited, situated and implicated, and therefore we require a critical sensibility towards the politics of method.

Conference: Scotland Debates European Union Economic Governance

Supported by the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom, the Edinburgh Europa Institute and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, this major two-day conference was held 31 May-1 June 2012 and involved over 30 speakers, including some of the world's leading academic and practitioner experts on some of the main areas of economic governance, including fiscal policy, the role of the European Central Bank, competition policy, the 'smart' regulation agenda, financial regulation and social policy.

Speakers included: Bill Jamieson, (Formerly of the Scotsman), Gabriel Gloeckler (ECB), Owen Kelly (Scottish Financial Enterprise), Lieve Fransen (DG Employment, European Commission), Philippe Pochet (European Trade Union Institute), Prof Claudio Radaelli (University of Exeter), Dr Waltraud Schelkle, (London School of Economics), Prof Amy Verdun (University of Victoria). Further information on the workshop is available from Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

Workshop: Market-Based Banking

This workshop, held on 2 June 2012 and organised by Dr David Howarth and Dr Iain Hardie (University of Edinburgh), brought together discussants from around the world to discuss modern-day banking.

Conference: Immigrant Integration and Multi-Level Systems

This conference, held in June 2012, addressed the proposed strategic partnership between the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the European Commission and European networks of cities and regions in designing a common integration policy that is developed bottom-up by the regions and local authorities. It also considered the implications of the CoR’s proposed ‘multi-level governance approach’ to immigrant integration, seeking to tease out the challenges and opportunities arising from this kind of approach (not least, issues of immigrant integration policy divergence across different regions of a state, tensions arising from immigrant integration into a stateless nation/linguistic or national minority group and the economic dimension of sub-state integration of immigrants).

Finally, it considered the broader impact of European integration on the politics of immigration in multi-level states, including the effects of the EU’s free movement framework, the impact of enlargement on migration, and inter-regional links and coordinating mechanisms fostered at the EU level for developing common policies and best practice on integration at the sub-state regional level

Clearly, the debate on the role of regions in immigration has only just begun, and this conference sought not only to set the terms of the scholarly debate for future research on these matters, but has been hoped that this discussion, and the resulting publication, will help to inform the Committee of the Regions’ proposal for a MLG approach to immigrant integration in Europe.

This project brought together the few scholars in the world that work at the nexus of immigration and multi-level politics, together with policy makers from the regional immigration sector. The conference was held over two days, with the goal of tackling the topical issue of immigration in the European Union from a widely neglected multi-level perspective – which had recently been put forward by the CoR as the most effective way of addressing integration. Following the conference, involving approximately 15-20 academics, party officials, and policy practitioners, the main planned outcome of the project was an edited book, titled: The Politics of Immigration in Multi-Level States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Furthermore, the project aimed to create a sustainable network of individuals across Europe and beyond to engage in discussions and collaboration on immigration dynamics in multi-level states.

Conference: Territorial Politics in Western and Eastern Europe – The EU Dimension

This conference, taking place 14-15 June 2012, brought together 25 early career and well-established scholars from multi-disciplinary fields and provided a unique venue for sharing valuable research findings on how Europeanisation affects territorial politics and how democratisation occurs in multi-level Europe. The main rationale of the workshop was to develop a common theoretical framework for understanding and comparing territorial politics in Western and Eastern Europe in a multidisciplinary context. This ambitious objective guided the participants from Western and Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan.

Although the participants were mainly academics, there were also representatives from non-academic research centres and NGOs. Moreover, the debate attracted the attention of the Consulate General of Ukraine, which acknowledged the added value of the workshop to discussions around ongoing constitutional reform in Ukraine. Staff members from the Institute of Governance and the Edinburgh Europa Institute, and the University of Edinburgh more widely, actively participated in the workshop as presenters and discussants. Further information on the workshop is available from Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

Workshop: Principal-Agent and the European Union

On 7 September 2012, the Edinburgh Europa Institute and Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, with support from a University of Edinburgh Innovation Initiative Grant, hosted a one-day workshop on principal-agent theory and the European Union. The discussion focused on the contribution principal-agent theory makes towards better understanding the European Union and its numerous policy areas. The diversity of papers presented attested to the value of that contribution and, simultaneously, how and in what areas future research should invest. The event brought together PhD students from several EU and non-EU countries, as well as academic contributors: Manfred Elsig, Bart Kerremans, Tom Delreux and Chad Damro.

Workshop: Seeking a Way Out of the Economic Crisis – What is the Role of Competition Law?

From autumn 2008, a broad ranging crisis has swept through a growing number of economic sectors. Starting in the banking and financial sectors, the crisis has affected numerous industries and has triggered sometimes 'convulsive' reactions by public authorities, economic operators and many stakeholders. But what role has competition law played in this scenario? On 13 September 2012, a number of members and guests of the Competition Law Scholars' Forum (CLaSF) gathered in Old College at the University of Edinburgh to discuss some of these issues. CLaSF is one of the leading research groups in the area of competition law, bringing together academics, legal practitioners and economists from the United Kingdom and Ireland, Continental Europe, as well as further afield, such as the USA and Australia.

With the support of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and the Edinburgh Europa Institute, its twentieth workshop explored a number of aspects and complex questions arising from the impact of the economic crisis in Europe and from the function of competition law as a way out of the current difficulties in which a number of industries find themselves. Colleagues from UK and European Universities, as well as independent economists and members of the legal profession, joined the members of the Forum in exploring the implications of these questions. The workshop was opened by a keynote address given by Prof Luis Morais (University of Lisbon) and included 25 participants.

International Conference: Managing Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union

This international conference was a joint initiative among the Copenhagen Business School and the Edinburgh Europa Institute. The organisers were Michael Bergman (University of Copenhagen) Svend Hougaard Jensen (Copenhagen Business School), Drew Scott (University of Edinburgh) and Andrew Hughes Hallett (Harvard University).


Torben Andersen (University of Aarhus)
Collective Risk Sharing: The Social Safety Net and Employment

Thorvaldur Gylfason (University of Iceland)
Iceland: Rising from the Ashes

Sixten Korkman (Aalto University) and Antti Suvanto (Bank of Finland)
Finland and Sweden in Cross-Country Comparison: What Are the Lessons?

Hilde Bjørnland (BI Norwegian Business School)
Global Shocks, Monetary Policy, and the Exchange Rate Regime: Norway and Sweden

Michael Bergman (University of Copenhagen), Svend Hougaard Jensen (Copenhagen Business School)
Reforming the Fiscal Policy Framework in the Euro Area: Lessons from Structural Reforms in Denmark and Sweden

Fabian Zuleeg (European Policy Centre)
Towards a European Fiscal Union?

Michael Berlemann (Helmut Schmidt University), Frances Ruane (ESRI), Hans-Joerg Bloechligier (OECD)

Presentation: EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy

On 8 March 2013, a special presentation was given by Willem Noe (DG Enlargement, European Commission). He also gave a Transatlantic Seminar while he in Edinburgh, titled: EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, as well as contributing to classroom activities.

Seminar: EU Law Perspective

On 15 March 2013, Jacquelyn MacLennan, Partner, White & Case, Brussels, gave a special presentation and contributed to classroom activities.

Annual Mitchell Lecture

On 15 March 2013, Prof Joanne Scott (University College London), delivered the Europa Institute's Annual Mitchell Lecture. The lecture was titled: Extraterritoriality and Territorial Extension in EU Law (Is the EU Becoming Like the US?) and was well received by the diverse audience of academics, students and members of the public.

Conference: The Radical Left and Crisis in the EU: From Marginality to the Mainstream?

The conference, held in May 2013, analysed the radical left’s response to the crisis in Europe in two principal ways. First, it examined and clarified the nature of radical left intellectual opposition to the EU (What are the arguments put forward by this opposition? What is the role of Euroscepticism and populism therein?). Second, it examined and clarified the nature of radical left political opposition to the EU (What are the social and electoral sources of support for radical left parties and movements? How and to what extent do they challenge the EU mainstream? How do they interact with competitors, such as radical right, Green and social democratic parties?).

The main thematic areas of the conference were: the radical left and Euroscepticism, the radical left and populism, radical left links at EU level, radical left in government, the radical left and the new anti-capitalist movements (eg Occupy!,The Indignados, and the radical left: sources of electoral support. This conference was the first stage in setting up an Edinburgh-based research network focused on radical left/populist parties and led towards an edited book, Europe’s Radical Left: From Marginality to the Mainstream? (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016). The event was open to EU-focused students/staff and the wider public.

This conference was convened by Luke March (University of Edinburgh). Speakers included: Cornelia Hildebrandt (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation), Dieter Ohr (Freie Universität Berlin), Cesar Guzman-Concha (Freie Universität Berlin), Michael Holmes (Liverpool Hope University), Myrto Tsakatika (University of Glasgow), Dan Keith and Francis McGowan (University of Sussex), Giorgos Charalambous (University of Cyprus), Fabien Escalona (Sciences Po Grenoble), Mathieu Vieira (Université Libre de Bruxelles), David Bell (University of Leeds), Vladimir Handl (Charles University in Prague), André Freire (Lisbon University Institute), Marco Lisi (New University of Lisbon), Costas Eleftheriou (University of Athens), Michalis Spourdalakis (University of Athens), Athanassios Tsakiris (University of Athens), Stavros Mavroudeas (University of Macedonia) and Loudovikos Kotonopoulos (Nikos Poulantzas Institute, Transform! Network).

PhD Workshop: The Evolving Role of Sustainable Development in EU Environmental Law and Policy

On 7 June 2013, a PhD workshop, organised and chaired by Dr Elisa Morgera, took place on the evolving role of sustainable development in EU environmental law and policy. Prof Maria Lee (University College London) and Dr Apolline Roger (University of Edinburgh) were the invited speakers at the event, which brought together around 20 students among the PhD community from Edinburgh Law School and the School of Social and Political Science, as well as students on the LLM Programme in Global Environment and Climate Change Law.

Maria Lee delivered a presentation on the governance of sustainable development in the EU, while Apolline Roger presented a case study exploring the sustainable development dimensions of the EU legal framework on chemicals. The ensuring discussion touched upon issues related to the Europe 2020 strategy, sustainable development in the EU's external relations and the role of the EU in international debates on the green economy.

PhD Symposium: Regime Interactions in International Law

Today, the decentralised character of international law, together with the notion of functional specialisation of its institutions, has resulted in the multiplication of specialised regimes governing almost all vital fields. This happens, for example, in trade, human rights, environmental, humanitarian and criminal. Regime Interactions take place both horizontally, between regimes, with distinct but overlapping objectives, as well as vertically, between global and regional regimes, such as that of the European Union.

The purpose of this PhD symposium, held in June 2013, was to make a further contribution to understanding the role of this phenomenon in international legal system. Each of the six panels was run in an interactive discursive manner, in which the papers were presented by PhD students and early career researchers, and the ideas were then discussed by senior academic staff, both from within Edinburgh Law School and beyond. The event covered a great variety of subjects and brought together prominent scholars for a fruitful discussion. As the keynote speaker, Prof Christian Tams, remarked in his concluding speech for the event, the topic of regime interactions seems to have entered the stage of a mature debate, and it is currently acquiring interest from scholars in a number of related disciplines. The symposium therefore helped to explore a range of issues that are pertinent not only from legal, but also political, economic and social perspectives.