April 4, 2023 | Elsbeth Bembom

Striking days in Paris: A recap of REGROUP’s research events

After the successful kick-off events in Groningen in October last year, the REGROUP team has been looking forward to reuniting in Paris this spring to share recent research developments in Work Package 1 and 2. Our partners from the Jacques Delors Institute hosted the consortium in Paris on March 23-24 for a second Executive Board meeting, a public event, and the first academic workshop of REGROUP. Unfortunately, a general strike on March 23 forced us to cancel the public panel, which will be organised as a webinar at a later date. However, thanks to the flexibility of the organisers and the rest of the team, we could proceed successfully with the rest of the programme in hybrid mode! 


Research-in-progress: Work packages 1 & 2

In the academic workshop, the ongoing research of the first two REGROUP work packages were shared and discussed by the team. The director of the Jacques Delors Institute, Sébastien Maillard, opened the session with a word of welcome, in which he emphasised the importance of our research to be better able to anticipate and respond to future crises. 

Photo by: Solena Lefeuvre

After that, the consortium partners responsible for research in WP1 presented their work in progress on the comparative and multilevel analysis of crisis governance. Christopher Lord, Professor at ARENA – University of Oslo, presented research on the use of emergency powers during the pandemic, and their institutional implications, which will be published as a research paper in July this year. Mark Thatcher, WP1 leader and professor at LUISS, is exploring how the Covid-19 crisis has been constructed and reacted to by examining similarities and differences between the area of fiscal and policy, and that of cultural heritage. Finally, Lorenzo Cicchi, research fellow at the EUI, presented work in progress with Daniele Caramani, on the political dynamics of implementing EU recovery funds. A discussion followed each presentation, in which authors received valuable feedback on a number of aspects touched on by their papers. 

In the second part of the workshop, we moved on to the topic of international relations and the (post-)pandemic. WP2 leader, Nicoletta Pirozzi of IAI, introduced the main themes of the work package, after which Federica Marconi, also from IAI, presented her preliminary findings on how the consequences of Covid-19 on international relations compare with the dynamics of previous crises. In a second presentation, Anna Ayuso of CIDOB, and Eulalia Rubio of the Jacques Delors Institute, discussed the response of multilateral organisations to the Covid-19 crisis and similar emergencies. Last but not least, Andreas Eisl, of JDI, shared his initial ideas for a paper on the effects of crises on EU integration, and in particular the Union’s international actorness. All in all, it was great to see that the research activities are in full swing and that synergies throughout the project could be highlighted and enhanced through plenary discussions. 

Photo by: Solena Lefeuvre

Executive Board: State of play on milestones and deliverables, and upcoming research 

At our second Executive Board meeting, many updates were on the agenda. Besides the EB members, and other consortium partners, we were very happy to have in attendance Advisory Board member Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, who was with us also for the WPs 1&2 academic workshop. REGROUP has already achieved six of its milestones: the project kick-off; three witness meetings (covering, respectively, WPs 1&2, 3&4, and 5&6); the REGROUP website; finally, the academic workshop in Paris. On top of that, the Project Management Team has completed a number of deliverables on time, including a Dissemination, Communication, and Exploitation Plan, Ethical Guidelines, a Data Management Plan, and a series of infographics that visually convey the project’s objectives and structure. 

Photo by: Solena Lefeuvre

In addition to the current state of play of REGROUP, the EB discussed the peer review and production process for the REGROUP papers, the first of which will be launched in June. More precisely, the first scheduled publication, by Ben Leruth of RUG, will set out methodological principles and standards for the WP4 citizen juries, while the second, by IAI’s Federica Marconi and Ettore Greco, will explore the consequences of Covid-19 and other crises on international relations. As a little peek behind the scenes, before publication each REGROUP draft paper will be peer reviewed at the WP as well as central level to foster coherence and synergies at different project levels. Once ready, REGROUP papers will become available in the “publications” section of the REGROUP website, and shared via the open access platform Zenodo. 

Stay tuned on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mastodon accounts to follow the latest updates on our publications, the new date for the public panel, and other exciting new projects and collaborations!