Skidmore workshop to focus on influences of European Union: International scholars to discuss political, economic and global security concerns

Posted by Julia Leef

Visiting scholars of international renown will discuss the European Union's political, security and economic concerns and their connection to the world in light of such events as the death of longtime dictator of Libya, Muammar Gadhafi, and resistance against government austerity measures in Greece, at a free, public workshop, from Oct. 27 to 28 at the College.

The scholars leading the discussions are Kathleen McNamara, associate professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, Karsten Geier, a veteran of the German Foreign Ministry and the European Union delegation and Richard Gowan of New York University and the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The Departments of Management and Business, Foreign Languages and Literatures and Government, as well as the International Affairs Program, the Jean Monnet Chair and the European Commission will sponsor the workshop, titled, "The Workshop on the State of the European Union: 2011."

One of the sponsors, the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Studies, funded by the European Commission, honors the memory of Jean Monnet, founder and first president of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community.

All conference scholars will participate in the opening panel, "The State of the EU: Political and Economic Perspectives," from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 in Gannett Auditorium.

Further discussions will take place concerning the Eurozone debt crisis, the European Union and the U.N. and the European Union in global security before and after the Arab Spring the following day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Payne Room of the Tang Museum. The workshop will close with a roundtable discussion with the guest speakers and student participants, beginning at 3:15 p.m.

"Whatever happens there [in the EU] affects all of us. American banks are heavily exposed to European debt and the economics are so intertwined. From an American perspective, the more we know, the better," said Roy H. Ginsberg, professor of government and one of the moderators of Thursday's panel discussion.

Ginsberg cites the economic situation in Greece as one of the more pressing issues underscoring the importance of the European Union.

"The EU consists of many of the world's richest countries - it is a major player," Ginsberg said. "The Europeans' influence on global security and international diplomacy can be crucial, especially to nations entering the Arab fall after the dramatic developments during the Arab spring."

For more information, contact Dom Green '12, a student coordinator of the workshop, at

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