Conversations and Commentaries on Europe: Video Resources


ESC has online video offerings for select items from its extensive programming.  These resources are meant to ehance transatlantic conversations happening and enrich understandings of Europe here in the United States.

Resources can be used as classroom aids, out-of-classroom assignments, or as background for research papers.  Please provide proper citation of any of the resources used (examples below). Please let us know how you are using the videos! Send a message to with your stories. 

You can also watch our collection on the UCIS YouTube Channel.

Citation examples:

  • MLA
    European Studies Center. "Title of Video." University of Pittsburgh, Date it was posted, URL.
  • APA
    [European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh]. (Year, Month Day it was posted). Title of the Video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL.
  • Chicago
    European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh. "Title of Video." YouTube video, length. Date published. URL.


Trade, Technology, and the Transatlantic Relationship
A conversation with European Commission Executive Vice Preseidnet Valdis Dombrovskis

September 30, 2021





"Polish Post-Election Results in Poland and their: Impact on European Security for Poland

Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh
Paweł Lewicki, University of Pittsburgh

Jan Kubik, Rutgers University & University College of London
Michał Kotnarowski, Polish Academy of Sciences
Monika Nalepa, University of Chicago
October is the month of Parliamentary Elections in Eastern Europe’s
powerhouse, Poland. On 15 October, the electorate stands at a crossroads and our invited panelists will discuss the path the Polish voters will have chosen. In addition to the implications for Poland, our panelists will discuss what the election results mean for relations with Poland’s neighbors, Ukraine in particular. And given that Brussels has repeatedly drawn attention to Polish democratic backsliding under the current government, this CoE will ask what the election it means for the EU?

EU Enlargement: Spotlight on Poland

Anna Horolets, University of Warsaw
Dr. Horolest is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. Her research interests include discourse analysis, Europeanization and migration studies. She authored the monograph "Obrazy Europy w polskim dyskursie publicznym [Images of Europe in Polish public discourse]" (Kraków, 2006).

Janusz Reiter, Former Poland Ambassador to Germany
Janusz Reiter attended German studies at the University of Warsaw. In 1977, he started working as a journalist. Between the years 1990-95, Mr. Reiter served as a Polish ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. He was actively engaged in the rebuilding process of Polish-German relations. In 1996, he founded the Centre for International Relations (CIR), an independent thinktank, focused on foreign and security policies. He held this position for 11 years. In 2005, he became the Polish Ambassador to the United States, and in 2008 – a Special Emissary in regard of the climate changes and in this capacity, he participated in the preparations for climate changes conferences in Poznań and Copenhagen. Moreover, he was a deputy chairman of Presspublica Sp. z o. o. (Ltd.).


European Year of Skills: What's the Future of Labor Security in Europe?

MODERATOR: Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh


Jane Gingrich, University of Oxford
Stefan Olsson, Deputy Director General, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
Jamie Woodcock, University of Essex

The EU declared 2023 the Year of Skills to bring attention to the challenges the contemporary workforce faces and to the European responses. It is indeed a period of transition in labor, with no little unrest. The Yellow Vest strikes are perhaps the best known of the strikes that have taken place recently in Europe. This Conversation on Europe (CoE) considers the state of labor and the security of employment. In conversation with our panelists, we will consider labor struggles, the disruption of historical industries, the insecurity caused by inflation, energy scarcity, and AI. We will consider the future in Europe of the developing culturally diverse workforce? And we will hear about EU level initiatives to develop skilled workers for the 21st century.



Radical Populism and its Challenge to European Democracy: Insights from Austria

Reinhard Heinisch
University of Salzburg

The emergence of radical populism has impacted both established democracies, such as the United Kingdom when we think of Brexit, and new democracies, such as Hungary and Poland. Populist actors have also played a role in the COVID pandemic and in the context of Russia's war on Ukraine, as they mobilize people against mainstream policies that attempt to manage these crises. This talk will demonstrate that populism is closely related to the decline in legitimacy of established institutions and traditional elites in times of social and economic change. Drawing especially on the case of Austria, where radical populism has been long established, the lecture and discussion will provide an overview of this phenomenon and the state of political science research.

Climate Change and Migration-What Can the US Learn from Europe?

As North and Central America increasingly experience climate change and disasters (fires, hurricanes, drought, rising waters from the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean), the US has come to realize what our European colleagues have been experiencing as they have been at the forefront of the accelerating trend of global displacement related to climate change. The panel will be an informal discussion of how Europe’s experience with climate change and migrants can inform the United States.

Mary Rauktis
University of Pittsburgh

Carla Malafaia
University of Porto, Portugal

Cosmin Nada
University of Porto, Portugal

Sheila Velez Martinez
School of Law, University of Pittsburgh

The series is intended to present a broad range of views and opinions about topics relevant to Europe. The views expressed are those of the presenters and cannot be taken to represent the views or opinions of the U.S. Government nor the European Union.

This video has been funded with the assistance of both the European Commission (through the Erasmus + Programme) and the US Department of Education. The contents of this video are the sole responsibility of the European Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the U.S. government or the European Union.

Co-support provided by the International Foreign Language Education office of the U.S. Department of Education and the European Commission's Erasmus + Programme. Views and opinions expressed are those of the individual panelists and do not reflect the views or opinions of the U.S. Government or the European Union.

Forging Consensus in Crisis: Changing Macro-Economic Regimes and European Integration

Matthias Matthijs
Johns Hopkins University

During the 2010s, the European project suffered a series of crises that underlined both a shift in geopolitics as well as the decline of the previous consensus around the single market and the single currency. The decade showed the different attitudes of national elites towards the reigning consensus and the limits of the EU’s macroeconomic regime that was no longer compatible with Europe’s diverse national growth models. The four biggest EU member states – all G7 members – had radically different responses to the crisis. The UK voted to leave the EU (“exit”). France wanted more EU sovereignty, while Italy wanted to regain some of its national sovereignty, though both wanted more EU solidarity (“voice”). Germany, for its part, long doubled down onthe status quo and insisted on further strengthening the existing rules (“loyalty”). The response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine was qualitatively different from previous crises in the 2010s, in that it started to give shape to EU "strategic autonomy.” The decisions the EU has made in the past few years show the emergence of a new EU paradigm, which has the potential to give the European project a new lease on life.

The Russian War in Ukraine: Displaced People and Changing Security Concerns”
Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh
Erica Edwards, University of Pittsburgh
Joachim A. Koops, Leiden University
Kseniya Yurtayeva, University of Michigan
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine transformed European security concerns dramatically. It has disrupted the lives of countless people in the region. It triggered a new wave of rapid forced migration throughout the EU and in other neighboring countries. Displacement from the war impacts not only Ukrainian women and children fleeing to Poland, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, and other neighboring countries. It has also affected Russians avoiding mobilization or Russian intellectuals avoiding repressions in their home country. Unfortunately, at a time of record numbers of internal and external displaced persons worldwide, numbers of people seeking asylum have now risen in Central Asia and Caucasus. In addition to considering the overall security situation resulting from the war, this Conversation on Europe will ask: how do these movements of people affect the current situation in the EU and in receiving countries? How have societies and state apparatuses reacted to this migration and what can we learn from these dynamics? What role does “security” and securitization play in these processes? 
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Identity, Nation Building and the War in Ukraine

Oxana Shevel
Tufts University

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine’s spirited and effective resistance caught many observers by surprise amidst expectations of Russia’s quick victory. This talk will focus on the profound identity transformation within the Ukrainian society that began following the Euromaidan revolution and the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014. Examining the sources and consequences of these identity shifts sheds light on the sources of Ukrainian resistance, the nature of Putin’s miscalculations about Ukraine, and the likely future of post-war Ukraine, Russia, and their relations with each other and with Europe.

A Tale of Two Borders: Lessons from the Differential Enforcement of the Polish-Belarussian and the Polish-Ukrainian Frontiers

Karolina Follis
Lancaster University

This talk discusses the responses of Polish authorities and wider society to two phenomena of human mobility: the arrival of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa on Poland's border with Belarus in 2021-22, and the arrival of Ukrainians fleeing the war on the Polish-Ukrainian border in and after February 2022. The first of these groups encountered hostility, while the latter received a compassionate welcome. I analyze these seemingly disparate responses with reference to the shifting politics of border enforcement in the European Union, arguing that the technocratic model of border control that dominated EU discourse and practices in the early 21st century has now been exhausted.

The EU as a Threat-Responsive Security State

Kaija E. Schilde
Boston University

The EU is a non-unitary security state of international significance and is threat responsive to challenges to its interests. It has become a security state through a combination of incremental institutional layering and shifts in international threat, primarily the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine, and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The security studies debate on European strategic autonomy has so far ignored and dismissed the infrastructural power of the EU. The EU’s infrastructural power comes from regulatory, monetary and market instruments, and a nascent but increasing direct procurement of military materiel. EU infrastructural power complicates EU-related state formation theory debates. Traditional security states extract resources from their society, directly tax their populations, and have formal authority to generate military capability. Historically, the EU has done none of these things. Scholars using the conventional lens of state security authority have concluded that the EU is not yet a security state, because it does not tax and spend to generate military capacity on its own (Kelemen & McNamara, 2022). However, this misdiagnoses the sources of infrastructural security power in the 21st century, and only compares the political development of the EU to the generation of military power in earlier centuries. Moreover, this position fails to consider the comparative: how do contemporary non-EU states generate military capacity? To what are we comparing EU state formation? I theorize a broader definition of security state to align with 21st Century generation of military power and evaluates the shifts in EU infrastructural power in light of changes in the EU’s threat environment.