SNES Spring Conference 2021

The Swedish Network for European Studies (SNES) conference is organized by Karlstad University and takes place on zoom 15-16 June 2021.

COVID-19 crisis: The EU, at the crossroad towards multilateral or national politics

The current crisis urgently calls for renewed visions for the EU and, indeed, the post-COVID-19 world. Critical voices of the EU are growing. A lot of anger and dissatisfaction are coming forth, and too few nuanced and fact-based answers emerge in the debate within and among EU member states.

The COVID-19 crisis is not the first - and certainly will not be the last - crisis facing the EU. Even so, each European or global crisis since the European Community first came into existence has brought forward the perspectives of individual nation states. The question then is: has the corona pandemic brought back the nation state?

Alternatively, is another option possible? The COVID-19 crisis has shown the dramatic discrepancy between the scale of the contemporary transnational challenges in areas such as public health, climate change, security, financial stability and the weakness of global governance. This gap was visible before the pandemic, but became more evident during 2020. This unprecedented crisis could provide an opportunity for a large mobilisation of social and political actors, experts, states, and regional organisations within as well as among European states.

Is the EU able to strengthen the multilateral system as well as its internal political, social and economic cohesion?

The EU is not an arrogant normative model. On the contrary. As the most sophisticated regional multilateral entity, the EU is existentially linked to the future of a reinforced multilevel multilateralism that is in the making. Therefore, many state and non-state actors in Europe and around the world expect the EU to play a driving role by reviving and strengthening the multilateral solutions to global crises by drawing on its internal and external practices and policies.

The organizers welcome papers on the topic of the EU’s response to the corona pandemic as well as any other topic related to European politics.

Paper proposal submission

Extended deadline: 21 May 2021.

To submit a paper proposal, please submit the following in the order listed below in a single Word or PDF file.

  • Applicant’s name, job title, affiliation and contact information.
  • Paper title and abstract of no more than 250 words.

Please email complete applications to the conference organisers ( Questions or clarifications prior to abstract submission should be directed to the same address.

Successful applicants will be informed by Monday 24 May 2021.


Registration deadline: 31 May 2021.
Registration to the conference

Preliminary Program

15 June:

09:00 – 12:30; Keynote speeches and panel discussion

Keynote speakers:

Professor Mark Rhinard, Professor of International Relations at Stockholm University: Are Crises ‘Maturing’ the European Union?

Cecilia Malmström, former Swedish commissioner to the EU and guest professor at Gothenburg Business School: Back to normal? The EU after the pandemic

After the keynotes a dedicated discussion panel will comment on the conference theme and the two keynotes. (participants TBC)

14:00 – 16:00; Paper workshops

16 June:

09:00 – 12:00; Paper workshops

14:00 Closure event of the conference


The conference takes place on Zoom, with the help and support of Karlstad University

Conference conveners: Magnus Lindh, Malin Stegmann McCallion.

Senast uppdaterad: 2021-05-14