United or Divided We Stand? Perspectives on the EU’s Challenges

University of Kent in Brussels, 9-10 May 2016

Today’s Europe is confronted with simultaneous, complex and wide-ranging challenges. Direct challenges – such as the large-scale movement of refugees to the EU, high levels of youth unemployment and climate change – are multifaceted, and often multi-level, issues. More abstract challenges – such as the legitimacy of conditionality imposed in exchange for Eurozone bailouts and public disillusionment with leaders and institutions – are more difficult to isolate. In some cases, the EU’s Member States have found a common, united approach. In others, the (re)assertion of national interest has led to division and inaction. We now speak of both integration and disintegration when we reflect on the European project. We invite submissions of abstracts for papers on these contrasts in Europe – unity and division, integration and disintegration. How is the EU addressing or not addressing the challenges it faces? How could it address them differently?

This two-day research conference provides a friendly environment for postgraduate students in the various disciplines of European Studies to present their work, receive feedback and dialogue with each other. It offers an ideal introduction to the UACES community. Research students at all levels are welcome. Students in the earlier stages of their work can gain experience in presenting their research and meet other researchers. Students in more advanced stages of their work can refine their presentation skills, continue to build their contacts and gain experience as chairs and discussants. As the flagship event of the UACES Student Forum, the conference is a prime venue for networking with colleagues and presenting new research.

View photos from the event on Flickr and social media updates from the event on Storify



Up to 180 GBP of funding is available to help towards the cost of travel and accommodation for up to 45 papergivers. Full terms and conditions of funding can be viewed here.

Call for Papers

The Call for Panels and Papers is now closed.


Brussels School of International Studies

Espace Rolin

Boulevard Louis Schmidt 2a

1040 Brussels, Belgium



A draft programme is available here.


Brussels is the administrative capital of the EU and is quickly becoming a hot spot for weekend getaways and holidays. Apart from its famous chocolates and beers there are many attractions. It is a centre of European culture, officially nicknamed ‘the European Village’ and therefore a fitting environment to discuss contemporary European issues.


Brussels has a variety of hotels and hostels to choose from, for hotels, hostels and B&Bs visit:

Getting There


Brussels has two main airports: Brussels Airport and Brussels Charleroi Airport

Brussels Airport mainly serves long-haul international flights from outside of Europe. Participants can get the Airport Line, which is a 30-minute express service between Brussels Airport and the European quarter.

Brussels Charleroi Airport is 60 minutes from the centre of Brussels by shuttle bus - there are no direct train routes. The shuttle bus starts running at 3.30am and here is a bus every 30 minutes costing 5 Euros. Flights from Eastern, Central and Western Europe are most likely to land here.


The Etterbeek train station is located some 250 metres from the University of Kent in Brussels offices and provides regular connections with Schuman and both Brussels North and Brussels Midi stations (Eurostar connections).


The University of Kent in Brussels is a short walk (10 minutes) from the Petillon Metro Station.


To visit the University of Kent in Brussels take the 7 or 25 and alight at the Arsenal stop, the university is just across the road.


To travel to the University of Kent in Brussels by bus you should take the 34 bus from Porte du Namur/Trone and alight at the Arsenal stop.

Image Source: Flickr/Eoghan OLionnain/CC BY-SA 2.0