Online Debate | The Future of EU Unemployment Insurance: An Ethical Perspective | Conversations for the Future of Europe | 2020 #5

17th June 2020 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
European Governance and Politics Programme


Recently, there have been numerous calls for the development of an EU unemployment insurance policy (compare also the recent proposal for an instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency [SURE]). In the context of the Eurozone, the most common argument for such a policy is that it is an essential part of a monetary union: a monetary union without an accompanying fiscal union is inherently fragile. Professor Sangiovanni argues that such functionalist arguments rely on a set of implicit normative assumptions. Uncovering them allows us to ask: What is the best normative argument for an EU unemployment insurance scheme? Put another way: What does the often mentioned, but little understood, commitment to solidarity require of us as European citizens? He will outline what kind of EU unemployment insurance solidarity, properly understood, requires of us, putting forward a case for an EU-level instrument designed to reinsure member state schemes. He will also address whether, why, and to what extent such an unemployment scheme requires the EU to become a transfer union.


Lorenzo Cicchi (EUI – European Governance and Politics Programme)


Prof. Andrea Sangiovanni (EUI – Department of Political and Social Sciences)


Prof. Anton Hemerijck (EUI – Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Prof. Laura Pamina Seelkopf (University of Munich)

Please note: the Conversation will take place via ZOOM. Participation is only possible upon registration. The link to the meeting will be sent only to registered participants.

Conversations February – June 2020

Objective: To guide the steps of the European Union and to mobilise its citizens so as to make policy change possible, it is not sufficient to analyse the past and criticise the present. It is necessary to develop concrete proposals for a better future and to subject them to critical multidisciplinary discussion. The Conversations for the Future of Europe aim to contribute to such discussion. The focus of our Conversations will be to consider concrete and politically feasible projects which may guide the future development of the Union. A concern for political applicability, however, is compatible with creativity and boldness. Indeed, it may require it.

Format: Each Conversation will focus on one issue manifesting as a major challenge to the EU. The issue will be briefly introduced by two presenters, each presenting a brief proposal for how to address this challenge. Presentations will be followed by comments from one or two discussants after which, there will be a general discussion.

Output: The aim of the Conversations is to facilitate debate and inspire far-sighted, creative ideas for how to address current policy problems.


Prof. Brigid Laffan (EUI – Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)
Prof. Philippe van Parijs (Robert Schuman Fellow and Université Catholique de Louvain)
Prof. Andrea Sangiovanni (EUI – Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Dr Juri Viehoff (EUI – Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Dr Lorenzo Cicchi (EUI – Robert Schuman Centre)


All events part of the Conversations on the Future of Europe series can be found here.