Contemporary history of Europe

The European Union at a crossroads

16 May 2024

European elections
Conference-debate about the upcoming European elections.

In a difficult socio-economic context and a geopolitical environment marked by uncertainty, the European elections – scheduled from 6 to 9 June 2024 in the 27 EU Member States – represent a crucial moment with many issues at stake for democracy, solidarity and cohesion on our continent. To face up to these unprecedented societal and transnational challenges, Europe must not only revive the lessons of history to empower countries, regions and communities, but above all encourage the participation and commitment of citizens, among whom the younger generations occupy a place of choice. Dialogue, debate and critical thinking are more important than ever.

In keeping with their vocation of transmitting values and knowledge and opening up new horizons, the Centre Europe Direct at the University of Luxembourg (ED-UNILU), the Institut Pierre Werner (IPW), the City of Esch-sur-Alzette and their partners – Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), and the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg– are pleased to invite you to the conference-debate entitled 'The European Union at a crossroads'.


Thursday, 16 May 2024

18.00 - 20.00

Neumünster Abbey, salle Joseph Ensch
28, rue Münster
L-2160, Luxembourg

Please register for free.



18.00     Opening remarks

Prof. Marie-Hélène Jobin, Vice Rector for Partnerships and International Relations, University of Luxembourg.

Dr Elena Danescu, Research Scientist at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), Coordinator of the project Europe Direct at the University of Luxembourg (2021-2025).

18.15 The growing external and internal complexity of EU decision-making

M. Pat Cox, Former President of the European Parliament, President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe.




M. Robert Goebbels, Former Member of the Chamber of Deputies and of the European Parliament, former Minister.


Q&A session and debate with the audience

19.40 Closing remarks

Mrs Anne Calteux, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg

20.00 End of conferene


The event will also include the opening of the multilingual documentary exhibition “Shaping Europe: the story of European elections” created by the Historical Archives of the European Parliament.



The language of the conference will be English.

Questions can be addressed in English, French, German and Luxembourgish.

“The European Union at a Crossroads” is part of the 2024 edition of the public event series “Les mois de l’Europe à Esch-sur-Alzette”, organized in Luxembourg from March to June 2024 by Europe Direct at the University of Luxembourg, the City of Esch-sur-Alzette and their numerous partners.


Presentation of the speakers (in alphabetical order)

Mrs Anne Calteux Mrs Anne Calteux has been, since September 2021, the Head of the European Commission’s Representation to Luxembourg. Following her position as Head of European and International Affairs and Senior Advisor to the Minister of Health in Luxembourg, she manages political communication and strategic coordination for the European Commission in Luxembourg. Ms Calteux has held a number of senior positions with a high level of responsibility, including in the COVID-19 crisis unit at the Ministry of Health. She represented Luxembourg at the EU in the fields of public health and social security between 2004 and 2013. Mrs Calteux holds a Master’s degree in comparative European law from LLM, King’s College London, and practised as a lawyer at the Luxembourg Bar from 1999-2003.


Mr Pat Cox was born in Dublin in 1952 and grew up in Limerick, the capital of the Mid West region. He was a member of the Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament, in the early 1990s (1992-1994), but it is as a member of the European Parliament that he is best known. He was elected in 1989 in the Munster constituency, and then re-elected as an independent parliamentarian in 1994 and 1999. He chaired the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) of the European Parliament (1998-2002). Mr Cox was elected President of the European Parliament in January 2002 for a two-and-a-half year term. At that time, he was resolutely committed to the enlargement of the European Union. He has carried out internal reforms in the European Parliament and has enabled it to carry out the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe. He finally represented the European Parliament at the Intergovernmental Conference on the draft Constitutional Treaty of the European Union. He has been a member of several advisory committees at the European level, notably at Microsoft and Pfizer. He is currently a member of the Supervisory Board of Michelin, as well as the European Advisory Board of Liberty Global and Chairman of the Public Interest Committee of KPMG in Ireland. Pat Cox holds several Honorary Doctorates, including from Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland, the University of Limerick, the American University of Ireland and the Open University. He was the winner of the 2004 Aachen International Charlemagne Prize for his parliamentary commitment to the enlargement of the European Union. He is Commander of the Legion of Honour and has received several high national awards in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy and Romania. Pat Cox became President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe in 2015.

Source: Fondation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe – The president


Dr Elena Danescu is a Research Scientist in the Contemporary History of Europe Department at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), University of Luxembourg a PhD supervisor at the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (DSHSS). Her areas of expertise include history of economic thought, contemporary history of Europe, oral history and the EU’s eastward enlargement. She has authored various academic publications in her specialist areas. At the University of Luxembourg, she is in charge of the Master’s courses “Histoire de la contruction européenne depuis 1919” and “Histoire économique et sociale de l’Europe après 1945” and the Bachelor’s course “Transitions démocratiques en Europe centrale et orientale”. Since April 2019 she has been the coordinator of the Europe Direct Centre at the University of Luxembourg.


Prof. Marie-Hélène Jobin is the Vice Rector for Partnerships and International Relations at the University of Luxembourg. She is a Canadian national and was previously Vice-Rector (Director) for International Relations and Partnerships at HEC Montréal, a French-speaking academic institution with internationally renowned teaching programmes and research in management. Her area of expertise is operations management and logistics and her research includes activities in the optimisation of public health sector operations.