Opening Debate

During its opening ceremony, SFM 2017 hosted a panel debate with five experts from various EU-related fields. In light of the upcoming changes in the political landscape of our Union, the topic was: “Do we need more or less European integration in the face of Brexit, Refugee Crisis and rising populism throughout Europe?”. The speakers will offer a number of different perspectives and understandings on Europe’s future. Below you can find videos of the debate and information on the moderator and the speakers who were participating.




Hylke Dijkstra

Assistant Professor (with tenure)
Department of Political Science
Maastricht University

Dr Hylke Dijkstra is an Assistant Professor (with tenure) at the Department of Political Science of Maastricht University. His area of expertise is the role of international organizations in the area of security and he won several prizes such as the Otto von der Gablentz Academic Prize and the G.A. Van Poelje Prize for his publications. He is author of International Organizations and Military Affairs (Routledge, 2016) and Policy-Making in EU Security and Defense (Palgrave, 2013) and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Contemporary Security Policy. Before becoming an Assistant Professor at UM, He was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford, where he was also affiliated to Nuffield College. Moreover, he worked for the Dutch EU Presidency at the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York and DG Enlargement of the European Commission. (SOURCE)



Jeroen Hardenbol

Senior Adviser

Jeroen Hardenbol, a Maastricht Alumni, completed a Bachelor in European studies and a Masters degree in European Public Affairs. Since 2010, he has been working for Business Europe, an organisation of over 60 years. The organisation aims at uniting the central industrial federations to foster solidarity between them, at encouraging a Europe-wide competitive industrial policy and acts as a spokesperson body to the European institutions. Hardenbol works as senior adviser for the free movement of services in the single market, transport issues, public services and public-private partnerships. He speaks Dutch, English and French and has completed a Schuman traineeship at the European Parliament, assisting the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee in their daily work, prior to joining Business Europe. (SOURCE)


Vincent-Immanuel Herr

Activist and writer
Herr & Speer

Vincent-Immanuel Herr of Herr&Speer studied history, sociology, and political science in the United States and Europe. His interests include gender equality, European history, youth empowerment, and political theory. At his U.S. college, Vincent served as editor-in-chief of the student run newspaper and to date has published numerous articles in German and international newspapers and magazines. Vincent’s public speaking record – at conferences, on panels, in TV & radio – in both English and German includes remarks on European youth and identity, the relevance of history, gender equality/feminism, and German/European political developments. Herr und Speer aim at improving European societies, empower youth, and affect tangible change. (SOURCE)


Jimmy Bastings

Policy Advisor
European Parliament

Jimmy Bastings, another Maastricht University Alumni, works as a policy advisor with the Dutch EPP delegation at European Parliament. Specializing in EU budgets, structural policies and foreign affairs he can shed a light on the possible future of European integration. As international secretary of the CDJA (Youth organization of CDA, Dutch Christian Democrats) he represents interests of young European and Dutch citizens. (SOURCE)


Dr. Nicholas Startin

Head of Department
Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies
University of Bath

Dr. Nicholas Startin works as a senior lecturer in European Politics at University of Bath. His research focuses on Euroscepticism including the Brexit and on the Radical Right in contemporary Europe. Co-editing several publications regarding this very contemporary topic, he has demonstrated his striking expertise repeatedly. In recent years he has also elaborated on his views and research during events in Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, Cologne, Paris, Split and Vienna. (SOURCE)