[Salon] Improvising Politics on the European Stage with Luuk van Middelaar

  • 02/04/2019
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Full Circle House – Chaussée de Vleurgat 89, Ixelles 1050


  • Free: salon tickets included in annual membership fee
  • Reduced rate for students, interns, unwaged. Please provide proof of status at the check-in.

Registration is closed


Evening Salon / Tues 2 Apr / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The European Union needs to reinvent itself and according to historian Luuk van Middelaar the transformation is already well on its way - it’s just that we haven’t really noticed it yet. When and how did this reinvention happen? To most of us Market-Europe is busy regulating and enforcing rules about cucumber standards while remaining ill prepared to face adversity, danger, and - more generally - the unforeseen. Rising populism uncovers both the high expectations and increased mistrust many Europeans feel towards the EU. Can Europe really blossom crisis after crisis? In a revealing and candid portrayal of a Europe improvising its way through a 'politics of events', Luuk van Middelaar gives us the insider’s view of the EU’s political metamorphosis. Forced into action by a tidal wave of emergencies, it has come face to face with problems of identity, sovereignty and solidarity. Join Van Middelaar as he offers a great toolkit to cope with the cheers and jeers of the European public. But most importantly, join him to discuss whether this reinvention will succeed.


Luuk van Middelaar is a political theorist, historian, author, and a brilliant thinker from the Netherlands. He is one of the most engaged and passionate observers of European affairs, providing unrivalled insights on European history and politics, and what it means to be European today. He is a professor of EU law and European studies at Leiden University and a political commentator for NRC Handelsblad and De Standaard. Van Middelaar was the chief speechwriter and a close advisor to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy from 2010 to 2014. Since its original publication in 2009, his best-seller The Passage to Europe has received the Socrates Prize for the best Dutch philosophy book and the European Book Prize 2012. Since 2018, he is member of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs, the Chair of its Commission on European Integration (CEI).


  • Alarums & Excursions, Improvising Politics on the European Stage (2019)
  • The Passage to Europe (2009), Politicide (1999)


  • Luuk van Middelaar’s website

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