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Managing Societal Security in the European Union: policy-makers as securitizing actors

Friday, December 2 2016
10:00 to 15:30






The conference brings together academics and policy makers working in various fields of Societal Security. During one day, we will address some of the most critical policy issues in today’s EU policies. Specifically, we will discuss policy-relevant research and its implementation at the European Union level regarding:

  1. Privacy and data protection
  2. Health, epidemics and environment
  3. Terrorism and counter radicalization
  4. The EU’s role in reinforcing cultural diplomacy for sustaining peace and security.

The event aims to provide an overview on the complexity and interlinkages among various areas of societal security, societal resilience and policy-making, with a special emphasis on the actors involved. All together we will try to find the answers to these and other questions: 

  • What do the EU does to protect our data and privacy?
  • How do the EU tackle the global epidemic threats?
  • Are there preventive counter-terrorism policies developed by the EU actors and do they work?
  • How does cultural diplomacy contribute to maintenance of the current peace and security agenda?
Brussels (TBC)


49 / 50


Date: 2016-12-01
Each panel will consist of a 20 minute talk by each of the panellists, followed by a Q&A session.
 10:00 - 10:15Welcoming words by SOURCE representatives
 10:15 - 10:40Theoretical Perspectives on Societal Security
Prof. Dr. Jaap de Wilde, University of Groningen.
 10:40 - 11:35Panel 1. Data protection, surveillance and privacy
Dr. Rocco Belanova (Peace Reaseacrh Institute - PRIO) and Panelist 1 (tbc)
Among scholars and EU policy-makers we will discuss data protection and surveillance technologies as societal security-related mechanisms and establish the link between them and privacy. The speakers will address questions such as: What does the EU do to protect citizen’s data? How can the tensions between privacy and data protection be resolved? In what way does data protection policy impact societal security?
 11:30 - 11:45Coffee break
 11:45 - 12:40Panel 2. Environmental security and epidemics
Prof. Dr. Helmut Brand (Maastricht University) and Ms. Svetla Tsolova (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - ECDC)
The speakers will address the following questions: What do EU institutions and MS do to protect citizens from diseases and natural disasters? Does any back up plan exist in case of possible epidemics? Are the epidemic threats imaginary or real in the EU? Who provides epidemic risk assessment in the EU and by what means? How effective is the interplay between EU and national emergency policies?
 12:40 - 13:20Lunch
 13:20 - 14:15Panel 3. Terrorism and counter-radicalization
Dr. Corinne Torrekens (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Panelist 2 (tbc)
The panelists will discuss: What are the preventive counter-terrorism measures elaborated by the EU institutions? In which Member States are these measures effective and why? What could the EU do differently? What are the future prospects of the EU fight against terrorism?
 14:15 - 15:10Panel 4. Cultural diplomacy and societal security
Dist. Prof. Richard Higgot (Vesalius College, VUB) and Mr. Diego Marani (European External Action Service)
The speakers will discuss: What cultural diplomacy is and what its added value for the EU policy can be. What does it have to do with societal security? Are there good practices on cultural diplomacy existing in the EU Member States? Who are the “ambassadors” of peace and security?
 15:10 - 15:30Concluding remarks by SOURCE representatives
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Contact Details

Institute of European Studies at VUB, Brussels, SOURCE

Irina van der Vet (Irina.van.der.vet@vub.be), Léonie Maes (Leonie.Maes@vub.be), Hanna Yousef (yousef@arttic.eu)