MI PhD researchers Petya Alexandrova and Leticia Elias presented their work at the UACES (University Association of Contemporary European Studies) Student Forum 13th Annual Research Conference: “Crisis or Renewal in Europe(an Studies)?”, on June 18 and 19. The Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Brussels School of International Studies of the University of Kent hosted 14 panels welcoming more than 40 PhD students from different countries, all developing projects on diverse topics related to Europe.
“EU Institutions: Agenda and Influence” was the panel where Petya Alexandrova presented insights on issue competition in the European Council, identifying two dimensions of conflict. EU leaders’ choice for a topic is first determined by the issue’s position on the high vs. low politics continuum and to a much lesser extent by the level of integration on that topic. In the panel “European Policy Processes and Decision-Making”, Leticia Elias introduced her project on the dynamics of EU organized crime policy, a domain scarcely studied in political science and that lacks a common EU definition. Her preliminary findings showed that the European Council has focused its political consideration markedly on the act (crime) than on the actor (criminal), being drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism the leading issues on the agenda on organized crime.