University of Malta

2008 - 2009
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Annual Publication

MESA Seminar Series 2009

The New Social Policy Agenda and the Lisbon Treaty


The European Documentation and Research Centre (EDRC) in conjunction with theMalta European Studies Association (MESA) and the support of the European Commission organised the following seminars in this year’s New Social Policy Agenda and the Lisbon Treaty series:

26 March 2009 - "The Future of Citizenship in the European Union"

This first seminar in this year's series was given by Prof. Jo Shaw, Salvesen Chair of European Institutions at the University of Edinburgh, Co-Director of the Edinburgh Europa Institute and Dean of Research, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This seminar examines in more depth the future trajectory of citizenship in the European Union, this paper uses as a case study recent citizenship debates in the United Kingdom. The discussion is placed in the context of the evolving concept of citizenship in the European Union and its Member States and for the purposes of the detailed analysis, deploys a composite concept of 'European Citizenship', which combines both EU citizenship in the narrow sense, and national citizenship.

26 June 2009 - "Gender and the Renewed Social Agenda of the EU"

The second seminar was given by Dr Susanne Burri, Senior Lecturer, Utrecht University.  This seminar examines in more depth the European Commission Communication in July 2008 to the European Parliament and the Council on the Renewed Social Agenda addressing three interrelated goals: creating opportunities, providing access and demonstrating solidarity (COM 2008, 412). This social agenda is meant to reinforce the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. Recently, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on this issue (P6_TA-PROV(2009)0370). According to Article 3(2) of the EC-Treaty, the Community shall aim to eliminate in all its activities inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women. How is this objective concretized in the renewed social agenda? What are the main future objectives of the EU in the social field? Which instruments will be developed and which gaps will probably remain? The paper offers an analysis of these issues in the light of the existing EU legislation in the fields of equal opportunities and equal treatment, and the reconciliation of work, private and family life.

Monday 6 July 2009 - "Purely internal situations and reverse discrimination in a Citizens' Europe: Time to "reverse" reverse discrimination"

This seminar was given by Dr Alina Tryfonidou, Lecturer, School of Law, University of Leicester. This seminar examines in more depth the plausibility of reverse discrimination in a Citizens’ Europe.  Reverse discrimination is the less favourable treatment that is suffered by persons who are in a purely internal situation and, as a result of that, cannot enjoy EC protection in their own Member State.  This form of differential treatment has traditionally been considered to fall outside the scope of application of EC law since it does not impede the achievement of the Community’s economic aims.  However, at a time when the status of Union citizenship has developed into “the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States” and contribution to the economic aims of the Treaty is no longer the sole prerequisite for enjoyment of rights under EC law, it appears questionable whether reverse discrimination can continue to be ignored.  It will be argued that unjustified instances of reverse discrimination should now be re-proposed as violations of the Community principle of equality and thus the Union itself should provide its own solutions to this problem. 

14 July 2009 - "Recent European Court of Justice Cases on Collective Employment Law Rights or How to help Doom a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty without really trying"

The fourth seminar was given by Dr Gavin Barrett, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University College, Dublin.  This seminar examined in more depth the defeat in Ireland of the only referendum held in Europe on the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. A crucial element of the ‘no’ vote in Ireland – just as had been the case in two previous referendums concerning the Constitutional Treaty held in the Netherlands and in France – was the failure to convince the least financially well-off sector of the electorate that membership of the European Union is of benefit to it.  This thus appears to be a recurrent phenomenon in such referendums. During the Irish referendum, a great deal was made of determinations by the European Court of Justice in cases such as Viking, Laval and Rüffert, which were used to help secure the defeat of the ratification process. In this paper, these decisions are examined, as is the more recent decision of the Court in Commission v. Luxembourg (which is already being cited by anti-Treaty of Lisbon campaigners in anticipation of the second Irish referendum which is expected to determine the fate of the Lisbon Treaty in October 2009) in order to shed light on the question of whether the European Union – and more particularly the European Court of Justice – really is hostile to workers’ rights.

Civil Society Project CONFERENCE 2009

On the 15 May 2009, the EDRC held a National Conference on “Malta in the European Union: 2004 - 2009" at the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort, St. Julian’s.  Over 100 persons attended. They were addressed by a number of eminent speakers including the President of Malta, Dr George Abela, the Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Joseph Muscat, the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Mr Michael Bonello, the Principal Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr Godwin Grima, the first Parliamentary Ombudsman, Mr Joseph Sammut, the President of the Church in Malta and Europe Commission, Mgr Dr Joseph Farrugia, and the Executive Director of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, Ms Sina Bugeja. The Conference was also addressed by Mr João Vale de Almeida, Head of Cabinet of José Manuel Barroso, President of the Commission.  

Marking the fifth anniversary of Malta’s Membership of the EU, this Conference presented the vision of our political, economic and social leaders for the coming years, and also the recommendations of the twenty expert contributors to the Report which was presented at the Conference. The Civil Society Project has involved civil society in the process of analysing our first years of membership, and has itself contributed to the role of CSOs in Malta. The Conference was aimed at the general public, and looked at the global picture of politics, economics, social change and values in a fast-changing Malta. It also looked to the future, using as a starting point the findings of the EDRC’s 2009 Civil Society Project Report.  The Conference Proceedings are now available on CD.

To view programme click here [PDF]
To view list of Contributors and titles of papers click here [PDF] 


Synopsis - Public Lecture by Prof. Michelle Pace

Can the European Union Feel? When Political Psychology Encounters Foreign Policy – public lecture by Professor Michelle Pace at the European Documentation Centre (hosted by the Institute for European Studies, University of Malta)

Joint Policy Study on migration
EuroMeSCo Joint Policy Study 4: Migrants and Refugees. Impact and Policies.  Case Studies of Jorda, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece

Article by Prof. Roderick Pace
EuroMeSCo Policy Brief 65: The Trust Fund for Africa: A Preliminary Assessment

Jean Monnet Occasional Paper Series no. 14
Governance in the EU Member States – Evidence from Three Global Indicators by Professor Lino Briguglio

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Last Updated: 10 June 2015

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