The overarching topic of the congress is Nationalism, populism, and identities: contemporary challenges. In the global context, the growth of nationalism and populism is one of the greatest challenges facing not only Europe but also North and South America and the Asia Pacific. This can be a destructive force if it means that states retreat into an isolationist mindset and away from effective multilateral solutions to perceived cross-border problems.

Nationalism is a form of identity politics and is not to be assumed to be always a negative force. However, the increasing tendency towards radical nationalism and in turn exclusionist populism, even when presented as nationalism, constitutes a major challenge to democracy and the rule of law. Populism can undermine trust in institutions and give rise to intolerance within society. Within the European context, and in addition to the broader international context, there are specific, disturbing populist trends in the EU and the EU’s focus has inevitably turned more strongly towards a number of internal challenges which might pose a serious challenge to the EU’s central aims and its adherence to fundamental rights.

A form of nationalism or identity politics is also discernible in the movement in Europe for more devolved powers or for secession and independence. A related question is whether opportunities for devolved administrations on the international stage might provide a dynamic alternative to independence, whether on their own or in conjunction with purely national or sub-regional measures.

Finally, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the greatest economic and health crisis seen in 100 years. Within the EU and beyond it, emergency powers have been used to close borders unilaterally and to restrict people movement on the ground of protection of public health. The problems over the EU’s Covid-19 rescue packages evidenced at the Council meeting in July 2020 have exposed severe fault lines in EU solidarity, leading some commentators to question the future of the common European project.

The congress is organized under the following topics of discussion, for which working groups of relevant experts have been organized to draft the pertinent papers.

The program below corresponds to the third day of the congress, April 6th.
You can see the complete program in the following link.

During the third day, the Congress will be focused on the analysis of nationalism in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic; Covid and the European Union, misinformation, and free speech in modern democratic societies; and presenting the preliminary conclusions from the working groups.

07.15-08.00: If the weather permits, delegates may be invited to join a walk around central Oxford, leaving from the front entrance of the College on Turl Street.

09.00-09.15: Tea / Coffee The Bastion

9.30-10.00: Keynote speaker- Professor Ulla Neergaard, Professor in EU Law, University of Copenhagen. President of the Danish Association of European Law

Topic: EU, COVID, and nationalism

10.00-11.00: Panel discussion: Working Group: Nationalism in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Leader: Federico de Montalvo, President of the Spanish Bioethics Committee, IBC UNESCO.
Constructive friend: Rosario Cospedal García, Director General of Genómica
Panellists: WG members

11.00-11.30: Coffee Break – The Bastion

11.30-12.30: Panel on Misinformation and free speech in modern democratic societies

Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell, Professor of Commercial Law at the University Carlos III of Madrid. Of Counsel, Andersen. Member of Fide⿿s Academic Council and Guillermo Serrano, Public Policy Manager, Spain & Portugal, Meta.

From 12.30-13.30: Lunch – Dining Hall

13.30-14.15 Parallel working groups on Nationalism, populism, and identities: contemporary challenges.

Working Group: Nationalism and populism at the national level.
Working Group: Constitutional, legal or governance questions in the context of Nationalism.
Working Group: Nationalism in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, and discussion on misinformation and Covid
Working Group: Nationalism, populism, and the economy:
Sub-group 1: Globalisation and Populism
Sub-group 2: The Future of the EU Project
Sub-group 3: Populism and Inequality

14.15-15.00: Conclusions on Nationalism, populism, and identities: contemporary challenges. Closure of the Congress and conclusions.

Conclusions and proposals discussed by the different working groups will be addressed by the leaders of each group. Closure of the Congress by the Directors of the Congress.

From 14.45pm-15.00pm: Coffee – The Bastion

Methodology: The dynamic of the session will respect the usual rules of Fide and the participation and interaction of the speakers and attendees as well, making only the changes required for its celebration on line. All sessions organized at Fide are convened under the Chatham House Rule, participants have the right to use the information they receive, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of any other participant may be revealed.

Date and place: The congress will be held on 4th, 5th, and 6th April, at the Jesus College, Oxford.

Language: English.

Registration fee: 800€, including lunches, coffees, and dinners during the Congress, documentation, assistance, and support for the arrangements related to the accommodation and transport. Members of Fide may benefit from a 5% discount.

Travel and transfers to Oxford and accommodations are not included in this registration fee.

Registration: To register you can contact us on the following e-mails:

  • Victoria Dal Lago:
  • Cristina Arribas:
  • Ana de Santiago:

Schedule: The session will be held from 7.15 to 3.00 pm using the online platform Microsoft Teams.
The time shown is adjusted to the time zone of Peninsular Spain (Balearic Islands included). To check your time zone difference, please visit this link:

* Check registration conditions.


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