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Working on Europe Academy: The European socioeconomic project

21 november 2022 | 16:0018:00

| Voertaal: English

(Dit evenement is in het Engels)

Session 1: The great lockdown and the sustainability of the European socioeconomic project

Lecturer: Dr Ivan Rubinić

This lecture’s principal purpose is to chart the route towards sustainable European integration through the lessons drawn from the nexus between cross-country COVID-19 pandemic response effectiveness and economic inequalities. Given the vast inequalities in initial capital and labour endowments among EU countries, the European single market generates unequal labour exchange and differences in social labour recognition. The latter leads to the systemic fostering of inequalities between the capital-abundant West and the less-developed East. Even though the eastern countries are catching up, this process is slow, far from over and hindered by the persisting unequal relations which enable the West to exploit the East. This lecture aims to provide a compelling framework to support a progressive idea of European unity by showing that the existing inequalities contradict the implementation of the admirable European values of equality, solidarity and cohesion. Through the prism of European affairs, the tension between two types of solidarity is exposed; that of national public systems and that of supranational solidarity, the core value underlying the European social project. Current developments show that continuing on a path stemming from vast differences in available resources exerts and will continue to exert an enormous challenge for European cohesiveness. To tackle this crisis in an orderly fashion and secure post-COVID European sustainability, policymakers must realise that prioritising market freedoms ahead of societal necessities renders a disservice to both. Consequently, this lecture will demonstrate that the COVID pandemic experience mandates abandoning nation-centred decision-making and demands rethinking European values in a conceptual and practical sense.



Pre-attendance materials:

Rubinić, I., & Tajnikar, M. (2019). Labour Force Exploitation and Unequal Labour Exchange as the Root Cause of the Eurozone’s Inequality. Društvena Istraživanja, 29 (2), 207-228.

Rubinić, I. (2020). Pandemic Paradigm Shift. Journal of Labor and Society, 23 (3), 383-397. 

European Commission (2021). Recovery and Reselience Facility.

The Economist (2021). Covid-19’s second wave has devastated eastern European countries.


Specific Learning Outcomes:

– Acquire an in-depth understanding of European inequalities and the complexities related to the European
pandemic response.

– Understand the disconnect between European values and socioeconomic realities.

– Develop abilities to critically assess European policymaking.

– Develop personal competencies related to expressing ideas in an open debate with increased confidence.


Dr Ivan Rubinić is a postdoctoral researcher in European integration at Studio Europa Maastricht, Maastricht University. He is working toward the advancement of political economy, economic equality, international trade, development economics and European integration. He is a passionate advocate of pluralism in economics with a research focus on European inequalities, welfare, and prosperity. He holds a PhD in economics from the School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana. He has been awarded the University of Ljubljana Recognition for the Best Study Achievements, the Danubius Young Scientist Award and the URPE Doctoral Fellowship. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Review of Economics and Economic Methodology. Rubinić is a political economy lecturer committed to exposing that excessive cross-country inequalities stand in the way of the European vision of shared prosperity, equality, and cohesiveness. In this regard, his theoretical and empirical efforts aim to overhaul ideological oppositions to render European integration sustainable and aligned with its founding values. His scholarly record is comprised of a number of publications, recognised by many renowned scientific outlets, including Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge and Oxford University Press.
* After attending this lecture students will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon request


21 november 2022




Studio Europa Maastricht
Young Universities for the Future of Europe
Maastricht University