UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST | 22-24 September 2022

International Conference on Alternative Models for European Integration
Interregnum Europe: Crisis, War and Alternative Futures

This event is developed as part of the project Nation, institutions and pandemic: challenges to the European Project and the history of Alter-European discourses supported by a grant of the Romanian Ministry of Education, CNCS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-IDPCE-2020-2597.



In the past two decades, the life of the European Union has been defined by the tension between the EU’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe and the multiple crises faced by the European community. Among the issues, there are the dismissal of the treaty establishing an European Constitution; the sovereign debt crisis that followed the financial crash of 2007/08; the refugee and migrant crisis that came about in the middle of the last decade; the collapse of centrist politics coupled with the rise of various forms of populism and anti-system opposition; the waves of protest and collective actions within the member states; the UK’s exit from the EU; the recent pandemic outburst, and, last but not least, the still-ongoing war in Ukraine. Many critical voices have accompanied each moment of crisis, questioning the prevalent political model behind the EU’s institutional architecture and the logic of its development, and stressing the need for a shift in direction.

Often, however, the questions raised by and the critiques that followed the moments of crisis seemed uncoupled from any theoretical tradition that would have set them in the vicinity of similar inquiries. Therefore, whereas the project of European integration – as reflected by the treaties that shape its institutional structure – is backed up by a long intellectual tradition, one cannot say the same about the attempts to outline alternative routes to integration, which are marked by historical discontinuity. These attempts fail to provide coherent alternative models to be implemented by tangible political actors, restricting their actual function to conjectural criticism.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 places us in yet another moment of crisis. The political and diplomatic complications generated by EU’s reliance on NATO structures for its security, coupled with its dependency on the imports of fossil fuels from countries like the Russian Federation, seem to press for an in-depth reflection on matters that are crucial for the Union’s present and future state of affairs, beyond the statements and the immediate political reactions spurred by ongoing events.

Taking advantage of this breach opened by current events, as well as trying to respond to the challenges these events place before us, we invite researchers in the social sciences and humanities to reflect upon and discuss these issues in an international conference. The event aims to identify the alternatives that would allow us to overcome the European Union’s various points of impasse, as well as the theoretical or historical antecedents that could serve for constructing these alternatives. In this regard, we propose the following list of research topics for individual papers and collective panels, without considering them to be an exhaustive list:

  • What are the limits of Europe?

  • The Eastern Bloc and the European project

  • European integration in the face of the Eurasian project

  • Climate crisis and the European project

  • Europe’s relationship with states from former colonial territories

  • How far does an alternative model have to go: reform, reconstruction, replacement?

  • The history of alternative models of integration in different (inter)national intellectual milieus

  • What should be the territorial unit on which models of integration ground themselves: region, nation-state, continent

  • The European labour market and the effects of migration

  • Alternatives to the economic model of European integration

  • Financialization and European integration

  • Alternative models for European identity

  • Past and future refugee crises and the European sphere

  • Collective actions and social movements at the EU level

  • The common European policy during the Sars-COV2 pandemic

  • The security of the European construction: NATO or an European army?

The conference will be held in person. However, if presenters are unable to attend in person, we will provide the option for an online presentation.

English is the working language of the event.

A selection of contributions will be published in a collective volume.

Participants can also submit their contributions by the 15th of October 2022 the latest to the journal Annals of the University of Bucharest. Political Science (, to be included in the special thematic forum What next for the EU project? (planned for issue 2/2022 - online first by December 2022 / in print by February 2023).


Deadline (extended): June 15th 2022, 23:59 CET


(300-500 words abstract)


(300-500 words abstract, 3-4 paper proposals)

Authors will be notified about the acceptance or rejection of submitted proposals by July 15th 2022.


The research team of project UEFISCDI PN-III-P4-IDPCE-2020-2597:


University of Bucharest

Alexandru-Vasile SAVA

Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca


University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology of Târgu Mureș


Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca


University of Art Linz


University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca


More details about the project