CCBS Director, Ruth Taillon travelled to Strasbourg to participate in a two-day seminar on the topic, “The Identity Crisis of Europe Euroscepticism in border regions”. The seminar was the first in a new Jean Monnet project being delivered by the University of Strasbourg, of which the “Castle Talks on Cross-Border Cooperation” are part. The Castle Talks bring together academics and cross-border practitioners with student working groups from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and Faculty of Law (University of Strasbourg), Heidelberg University and the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). The European Study Center based at Cháteau Pourtalès (the Castle) in Strasbourg is a long-standing study abroad program run by the CEPA Foundation in partnership with the University of Strasbourg and a number of North American academic institutions.
The seminar opened with a keynote address by Ulrich Bohner, from the House of Europe Strasbourg Alsace (MESA), an association dedicated to informing the citizens of Strasbourg – and its surroundings – about the policies, decisions and actions of the various EU and CoE organisations and promoting European values such as democracy, peace and dialogue between citizens and political institutions. The proceedings then moved to Strasbourg Town Hall for the launch of the new Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence – a partnership between the University of Strasbourg (France) and Hochschule Kehl (Germany).
Over the two days, there were panel discussions on “Euroscepticism in Border Regions: a deeply rooted phenomenon?” and “Frustration, disillusion and disengagement with the European idea at EU borders”. These discussions were interspersed with presentations from the student groups, each followed with feedback by a discussant. Ruth Taillon was one of the speakers during the final session of the seminar – a roundtable on the topic, “No to Europe? The rise of Euroscepticism in European border regions” and also acted as discussant for the three CEPA working groups.
The Castle Talks were followed by a meeting of the Transfrontier Euro Institute Network (TEIN) of which CCBS is a founding member. At the TEIN meeting we welcomed new member, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Delegation of Perpignan and finalised a new TEIN Charter which will be officially launched in 2019.