Universiteit Leiden

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Prime Minister Mark Rutte is a guest at lecture to first-year law students

On Wednesday 23 September 2020, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave an online lecture together with Professor Afshin Ellian as part of the course Introduction to Law. The lecture had the title ‘The European Union in times of coronavirus’, and the Prime Minister answered questions from students. Hundreds of students were able to follow the lecture via a livestream.

Before the lecture, Professor Afshin Ellian and Raisa Blommestijn presented Rutte with the first copy of their book Reflections on Democracy in the European Union. The Prime Minister had written the foreword to the book which contains contributions from various national and international scholars. The book is highly relevant in view of Brexit, the Green Deal and the other challenges currently facing the European Union.

Following a short introduction on the issues in the book and the presentation of the first copy, a discussion with the Prime Minister took place on (the future of) the European Union. Topics included the coronavirus crisis, the policy of the European Central Bank, the transfer of sovereignty to Brussels and the division of sovereignty between the Member States and the EU. There was also time for personal anecdotes from the Prime Minister, about his own thesis for example.

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