Research & publications


New publication by Filip Kostelka on the decision to vote and abstain in the 2014 European Elections (co-autored with André Blais, University of Montréal)

Filip Kostelka, academic assistant at the European General Studies Programme (Bruges Campus), co-authored a new article on electoral participation in the European Elections of 2014 in the European Journal of Social Sciences.

 Référence : Blais, André, and Filip Kostelka. “The Decision to Vote or Abstain in the 2014 European Elections.” European Journal of Social Sciences, no. 53–1 (May 15, 2015): 79–94.


The article examines the individual decision to vote or to abstain in the 2014 European elections in seven Member States of the EU. We focus on the role of socio-demographic characteristics and attitudinal factors. The empirical analysis draws upon the Comparative EU Election Dataset with 22 000 observations. The main finding is that the explanatory factors that account for participation in European elections hardly differ from those that explain participation in national electoral contests. One difference pertains to the existence of a slight gender gap in the European elections. We also find that European identity favours electoral participation while the perceived performance of the EU exerts no effect. Last but not least, there are no systematic cross-country differences in the determinants of individual turnout between the “North” and the “South”, or the original and more recent EU Member States.


 NB: Should you encounter difficulties to access  the article, please, do not hesitate to contact Mr. Kostelka (filip.kostelka [at]


Participatory Democracy and Civil Society in the EU, new publication by Luis BOUZA GARCIA

Dr. Luis BOUZA GARCIA, Academic Coordinator of European General Studies courses at the College of Europe, has just published  Participatory Democracy and Civil Society in the EU: Agenda-Setting and Institutionalisation in the Palgrave Macmillan European Political Sociology series.

Participatory Democracy and Civil Society in the EU analyzes the institutionalization of EU-level participatory mechanisms by asking what EU institutions and civil society organizations were trying to achieve in the agenda setting process. This book explores the institutionalization and the democratic potential of these mechanisms by analyzing the discourses and activism of the actors involved in the agenda setting, recognition, and implementation of the participatory mechanisms at EU level from 1997 to 2012. BOUZA GARCÍA finds that the aims of civil society organizations – namely recognized access to the EU – were more stable than those of the EU institutions which have evolved from fostering organized civil society participation to enhance transparency and debates in the European public sphere.Participatory Democracy and Civil Society in the EU concludes that the field of civil society participation is not yet fully stabilized and its evolution will continue.

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Schuman Report on Europe – State of the Union 2015

The Schuman Report on Europe – State of the Union 2015, under the management of Thierry Chopin and Michel Foucher, is now available in good book shops, e-book and on the website of the Robert Schuman Foundation, .

It includes this year an exclusive interview of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and valuable analyses and proposals to better understand and address current topical issues such as terrorism, defence, strengthening of the euro area, growth and employment, Ukraine, Russia, investments, energy, immigration, etc.

Thierry Chopin


Book presentation: Writing the Rules for Europe. Experts, Cartels, and International Organizations by W. KAISER

Date: 21 October 2014
Place: Bruges Campus (Dijver Room E)

European General Studies Professor Wolfram KAISER presents "Writing the Rules for Europe", a history book he has co-authored with Professor Johan SCHOT. This book analyses how experts, cartels and international organizations have written the rules for Europe since around 1850. Based on fresh research in the archives of multiple international organizations and European countries it explores the 'hidden integration' of Europe – forms of integration that were not always visible, but affected the citizens of Europe in their everyday lives. The book decentres the present-day European Union in a new long-term understanding of European integration.

The presentation will be followed by comments by Professors FRANK and BOUZA and a Q&A with students.


Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2013

The European General Studies Programme (College of Europe) is pleased to announce that the Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2013, co-edited by Prof. Thierry Chopin, Head of Research at the Robert Schuman Foundation, has just been published. Additional information is available on the following link:


Perspectives on European Politics and Society on The European Citizens' Initiative: a First for Participatory Democracy?

Luis Bouza Garcia and Justin Greenwood have coedited a special issue of Perspectives on European Politics and Society on The European Citizens' Initiative: a First for Participatory Democracy? The issue provides different legal, institutional and political perspectives on the possible effects of the ECI in European politics and on the question of its contribution to bringing the EU closer to European citizens.