Julie Smith and Ernst Hirsch Ballin: How to bridge research and policy?

On October 31st 2019, we closed BRIDGE kick-off conference by inviting Julie Smith, Baroness Smith of Newnhan, Member of the UK House of Lords, and Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Professor at Tilburg University and the University of Amsterdam, for a high level policy dialogue, chaired by Federico Fabbrini, Director of DCU Brexit Institute.

They both shared their insight on Brexit and differentiation, drawing on their experience as both academics and policy makers.

Ernst Hirsch Ballin, as Member of the Dutch Scientific Council of Government Policy, opened the dialogue by presenting his newly published report Variation in the European Union, before providing historic context in regards to integration and differentiation in the EU.

Julie Smith focused her speech on the UK’s tumultuous membership to the EU.

“The UK joined in 1973 and we knew what the rules were, but we immediately started to say no.”

She concluded by expressing regrets over the existing disconnection between academia and politics, and stressed the need for more interactions between the two fields. She called on academics to tailor their communication and dissemination methods to be effectively read by policy makers.

left to right: Julie Smith, Federico Fabbrini, Ernst Hirsch Ballin

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About the Network

BRIDGE (Brexit Research and Interchange on Differentiated Governance in Europe) is a three-year (2019-2022) Jean Monnet Network funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. It brings together scholars from across Europe to share knowledge and ideas on how to address some of the toughest challenges facing the continent. Coordinated by the Brexit Institute at Dublin City University (Ireland), the consortium also includes the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Central European University (Hungary) and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy).