European solidarity in action: the future of the European Union

Webinar · 21.12.2021 14:30 - 16:00

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the European Union, its member states and neighbouring countries is the latest stress test on Europe’s solidarity. After initial failures to respond to the COVID-19, the EU bounced back and is currently playing a key role in the management of, and the recovery from, the pandemic. Its future is shaped by actions the member states are willing to take individually and collectively in the months and years to come. What are the key political trends shaping the debate on EU solidarity and the future of Europe, across Europe? How is EU solidarity perceived in Italy, Finland, and Brussels?

This event marks the publication of the book European Solidarity in Action and the Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals (2021), edited by Michael Kaeding, Johannes Pollak and Paul Schmidt.

The webinar is organised in cooperation with the European Parliament and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA). It is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.

You can register for the webinar here.


Opening Words

Michael Kaeding

Jean Monnet Professor, University of Duisburg-Essen, and former TEPSA Chairman

Dr Michael Kaeding has been a professor of European Integration and European Union Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany since 2012. He holds an ad personam Jean Monnet Chair. He is an Honorary Board Member of TEPSA and former Chairman from 2016–2019. Currently, he is also Vice-Dean for Research and Young Academics in the Faculty for Social Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Visiting Fellow at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht, member of the Flying Faculty of the College of Europe and the German-Turkish University in Istanbul, member of the Executive Board of European Integration Working Group (Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration) and member of the Scientific Directorate of the Institute of European Politics (IEP) in Berlin. He is a Fulbright alumnus and a former Carl Schurz Visiting Professor at the University of Madison, Wisconsin (USA).


Katarina Barley

Vice-President, European Parliament

Katarina Barley is a German politician and lawyer who has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2019, serving as one of its Vice-Presidents. She served as Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection in the fourth Cabinet of Angela Merkel. Prior to that, she has served as Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and as the acting Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Barley served as a member of the Bundestag from 2013 until 2019 and was Secretary-General of her party from 2015 to 2017. She holds law degrees from France and Germany and a doctorate in European law, and formerly worked as a corporate lawyer with the law firm Wessing & Berenberg-Gossler in Hamburg, as a judge, and as a governmental legal adviser.

Henna Virkkunen

Member of European Parliament

Henna Virkkunen is a Finnish politician serving as Member of the European Parliament since 2014. Previously, Virkkunen has been Minister for Education and Science (2008-2011), Minister for Public Administration and Local Government (2011-2014), and Minister for Transport and Local Government (2014). She is a member of the National Coalition Party, and part of the European People’s Party. In the European Parliament, Virkkunen is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Transport and Tourism. Virkkunen holds a Licentiate of Philosophy degree and a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Jyväskylä.

Eleonora Poli

Associate Researcher, Istituto Affari Internazionali

Dr Eleonora Poli is Associate Researcher at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), where she is working on democracy, institutions, and economic governance in the EU and in the Western Balkans. Eleonora hold s a PhD in International Political Economy from the Department of International Politics at City University London. She has worked as consultant for a number of prominent international organizations and public institutions, such IDS Thomson Reuters, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and OSIFE. Dr Poli is the author of "Antitrust Institutions and Policies in the Globalising Economy", as well as several book chapters, opinion pieces, articles, and analyses on the EU political trends and economic policies.

Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA, and member of the board of TEPSA

Dr Juha Jokela is the Programme Director of the European Union research programme at FIIA. His current research interests include political implications of Brexit and differentiated integration in EU’s external relations. Dr Jokela’s previous projects and publications include EU’s sanctions policy, political and security developments in the Arctic, EU’s role in the G20, Europeanization of foreign policy, and Finland’s EU policy. Previously he has worked at the EUISS as a Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Advisor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Research Fellow and Director of the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. Dr Jokela holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK).


Jarmo Oikarinen

Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Finland

Jarmo Oikarinen is the Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Finland since 2016. He studied at the University of Tampere, University College Dublin, and Rutgers University. Following the completion of his PhD in 1999, he worked as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Tampere including projects for the Academy of Finland. Since 2004 he has been an official of the European Parliament in various positions, primarily within the Directorate General for External Relations of the Union.