ReThinking Europe in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region. The 11th annual international conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies

Târgu Mureș, Romania, 28-29 May 2020

Abbreviation: EURehink2020

Brexit has just happened and its consequences are not yet fully comprehended. Would the outcome be a return to a status quo ante the Brentry of 1 January 1973 in British-EU relations? Would Britain become a sort of bigger Norway tightly connected to the EU, but yet not fully a member of the united organization? Would Britain really continue to exist as such? Would Scotland, not to mention other territories, emulate London and decide on their own Brexit, this time from the United Kingdom, in order to rejoin the EU? Would actually Brexit become a pathway for other skeptical EU nations? Would Brexit rocket exclusive forms of nationalisms? Wouldthe whole of united Europe collapse, on the long run, as a result of Brexit as the League of Nations had become toothless after the US Senate had vetoed the Pact of League of Nations? But what effect is going to have Brexit on Scandinavian countries which historically have been closely connected to Britain? How is it reflected in Scandinavian intellectual milieus, in mass-media, in public discourses? What about the Baltic states which received a strong support from Britain in key moments of their history, for instance when Royal Navy came at the rescue of Estonian and Latvian independence following World War I or in the process of re-enactment of Baltic sovereignty after the collapse of the Soviet Union? Moreover, Britain was a key market for Baltic products both during the interwar period and after 1990/1991. How are their elites and public opinions reflecting on Brexit? What can they do in order to continue their strong bonds in foreign and security policy, including Eastern neighborhood, and close commercial ties? What would be the status of their co-citizens emigrated to Britain? These are but a few questions which this conference aims at answering both from a political science and international relations perspective and from a cultural, historical, educational, social and economic perspective.
When approaching the rethinking of Europe we shouldn’t eschew the fact that Europe, including Baltic and Nordic Europe, has changed quite dramatically in the past hundreds of years, and this conference aims at digging ideationally in these layers of history, even going further to the time when the Vikings recreated the European networks as a result of their trade and pillage expeditions. The Hansa, the Kalmar Union, the Swedish realm (some continue to this day calling it empire), the Russian Empire, Norway’s independence in 1905, the First World War, the independence of Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia a hundred years ago, the League of Nations, the Second World War and the Soviet occupational regimes forced upon in the Baltic states, the Cold War and the Iron Curtain, and finally the freedom regained by the Baltic nations and the adhering by Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania to the EU, and of the latter three countries to NATO had a tremendous impact on the region and falls within the aims of this conference. How was this region recreated mentally, how was it recomposed on the portative of decision makers, writers, intellectuals, musicians, painters, architects, film makers, journalists, diplomats, and how much of their thoughts found reflections in what actually happened in the region? Cultural institutions and networks, language and its social content, various cultural currents and political ideologies and doctrines would be closely investigated and discussed in the keynote speeches and panels of the conference.

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