Niet ge- definieerd

Research theme 1

Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law

Sixty years after its inception, the European Union is still grappling with the key issues of national sovereignty and democratic legitimacy. Who calls the shots and at what level of government? The EU has spawned several supranational institutions including a parliament and a court, but how should these interact with their national counterparts? And where do regional and local authorities come in? What kind of reforms are needed to safeguard democracy and ensure that citizens get more involved in the European project instead of falling prey to euroscepticism? These are only a few of the questions that will need to be analysed and researched.

Equally high on the research agenda will be the internal and external threats facing the European project. How do we foster European integration and strengthen the rule of law? Do we need new forms of collaboration to tackle urgent global issues such as climate change, migration, cyber security and terrorism? And how do we reduce tensions on Europe’s periphery and make neighbouring regions more stable and secure?

UM and Europe
Niet ge- definieerd

Research theme 2

Identity, Heritage and the Citizens’ Perspective

When six European nations embarked on the integration process in the wake of World War II, there was no blueprint. Of course, the founding fathers had a vision and shared ideals, but the real driving forces over time have eluded both scientists and the public. This calls for some thorough research, also on a fundamental level, into the role of ideas in shaping modern European history.

Meanwhile, European integration has left citizens afraid of losing their identity and cultural heritage. The influx of immigrants has fuelled these fears. Our research will focus on what happens to history and heritage in multicultural societies. It will examine the role of politicians, governmental bodies and cultural institutions. Seeking to boost social and cultural participation, these actors have embraced new technologies, even though the legal and ethical frameworks are still under construction.

The Euregion can serve as a research laboratory. After all, the former mining region has had to cope with similar challenges and may help us understand the impact of major changes in society and what it means to be a European citizen.

Photo: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

UM and Europe
Niet ge- definieerd

Research theme 3

Prosperity, Welfare and Inequality

There are still considerable differences in living standards, life expectancy and health within the EU despite continued efforts to create a level playing field. One explanation is that Brussels may have tried too hard, making member states reluctant to implement policies. Of course, the 2008 financial crisis didn’t really help. It led to a knee-jerk reaction: more centralised control.

Further research will help us understand what caused the failure of EU strategies designed to limit social and health inequalities, and provide recommendations for future policies, including proposals to improve shock resilience. Our research will look at three major challenges facing the EU:

  1. The ageing population will put pressure on social security and pension systems across Europe and raises issues relating to health, migration and lifelong learning.
  2. Technological innovations like robotics and automation are set to impact people’s daily lives and the labour market. So will Global Value Chains: production chains with tasks spread over different countries.
  3. Sustainable development is an area in which the EU is well placed to take on a leading role.

Photo: © Mixabest / CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Knowledge, Technology and Digitalisation
Niet ge- definieerd

Research theme 4

Knowledge, Technology and Digitalisation

Supported by the European Commission, the business-enterprise sector is playing a major role in generating new knowledge and technologies. Research on the economic effects of these corporate investments is in high demand. The findings may help businesses exploit their innovation potential. This, in turn, will benefit the EU and its citizens. Innovations in automation and digitalisation are expected to boost the EU’s long-term competitiveness, help build a greener society and improve the overall quality of life of EU citizens.

The use of social media may help boost citizen engagement and participation in politics. It can produce knowledge in areas such as medicine, science and politics. However, the use of these tools is not without critics. More research is needed into how knowledge is created and shared by digital platforms. The same applies to the increased use of data by European companies and organisations. How do they handle, analyse and interpret these rich datasets? Can they be used more efficiently for decision-making? And what are the ethical, legal and social implications?

All this research will benefit from a high-quality research infrastructure, offering new opportunities for sharing and connecting data and resources across the continent.

  • Research theme 1

    Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law

    Dit is er niet
  • Research theme 2

    Identity, Heritage and the Citizens’ Perspective

    Dit is er niet
  • Research theme 3

    Prosperity, Welfare and Inequality

    Dit is er niet
  • Research theme 4

    Knowledge, Technology and Digitalisation

    Dit is er niet