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Beyond Spitzenkandidaten? The Politicization of Leadership Selection in the European Union


Authors' workshop

This is the final workshop – funded by Birkbeck’s Jean Monnet Chair in Parliamentary Democracy & European Integration - of the international collaborative project that is directed by Matilde Ceron (EUI), Thomas Christiansen (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome) and Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos (Birkbeck).  Scholars from several European universities will present the final versions of their papers on various aspects of the politicisation of EU executive leadership selection.  The corresponding book will be published in early 2024 by Palgrave/Springer.

Starts: 24 April 2023, 13:30
Finishes: 25 April 2023, 13:30
Venue: Online

Book your place


This programme runs over 2 days - the link provided with your confirmation email will work for both days online sessions:

Monday 24 April 2023 13:30 to 17:15 & Tuesday 25 April 2023 09:30 to 13:30


Provisional Programme

Day 1: 24 April 2023


1.30 p.m. Welcome and introduction to the Project Matilde Ceron, Thomas Christiansen and Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos 


1.45 p.m. Panel 1 - Conceptualizing the Spitzenkandidaten process


·   Models of EU democracy and leadership (s)election Ben Crum

·   The Spitzenkandidaten process and the theory of parliamentary federation: the European Union in comparative perspective Sergio Fabbrini

·   The Spitzenkandidaten process, establishing an ambiguous constitutional convention? Ylenia Citino and Nicola Lupo

·   The The politics and the law of the electoral reform Olivier Costa and Cristina Fasone


3.30 p.m. Panel 2 - Intra-institutional perspectives


·   Intra-party selection of the Spitzenkandidaten Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

·   Assessments of the new model Presidency: perceptions within the European Commission of the Spitzenkandidaten process and the Juncker experiment that it enabled Sara Connolly and Hussein Kassim

·   The European Council’s electoral function – A key to understanding the selection of EU institution leaders Wolfgang Wessels and Birgit Bujard

·   The Spitzenkandidaten process in the context of the EP campaign: the role of party competition Daniela Braun and Ann-Kathrin Reinl 


5.15 p.m. End of day 1


Day 2: 25 April 2023


09.30 a.m. Panel 3 - Inter-institutional perspectives


·   Interinstitutional conflict in the context of leadership appointment Eva Heidbreder and Daniel Schade

·   The European Parliament and the European Commission Presidents’ relationship in historical perspective Maria Elena Cavallaro and Benedetto Zaccaria

·   The European Parliament’s Role in EU Leadership Selection: A Successful Agenda-setter? Richard Corbett

·   The impact of the Spitzenkandidaten process on EU policy-making Edoardo Bressanelli, Matilde Ceron, Thomas Christiansen


Conclusion and further steps Matilde Ceron, Thomas Christiansen and Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos 




24 - 25 Apr 2023 Online