Arqus Academic Debate

Post-Pandemic Citizens

Are we still citizens of Europe? Will the Schengen area go back to normal? Five researchers from Norway, Germany, France and Italy try to answer to these questions in Arqus's first Academic Debate.

Post-Pandemic Citizens
University of Bergen


The event will be streamed on ARQUS YouTube channel here below:


Arqus Alliance brings together seven comprehensive research universities with strong regional involvement: Bergen, Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon, Padova and Vilnius. 

Arqus is one of 17 selected alliances in the prestigious European Universities Initiative pilot call.  Engaged European citizenship is a key feature of alliances. The academic dialogue will explore how the Covid-19 has affected and will continue to affect Scientific knowledge and citizenship as key components in western democratic societies.

Through this dialogue Arqus partners aim to benefit from different experiences and research perspectives among partners, to address global and local challenges and stimulate new perspectives related to the societal impacts of the pandemic.

Questions about possible changes can be asked along axes both political and scientific:

  • With the radical lock-down and closing of borders, are we still citizens of Europe?
  • Will the Schengen area go back to normal, or will there be 'a new normal' with less travel, more control and more surveillance?
  • Are we back to being citizens of single national states, as claimed by some?
  • Many places have also seen re-emergence of boundaries within single countries themselves. When regions and municipalities close their borders, however temporarily, is this a threat to the nation states as ultimate guarantees of citizenship?

The dialogue is open to anyone with an interest in the topic of citizen engagement, and the target audience of the event includes students, researchers, civil society, policy makers and teachers.


  • Béatrice Espesson – Professor, University of Lyon.
  • Hakan Gurcan Sicakkan – Professor, University of Bergen.
  • Matthias Middell – Professor, University of Leipzig.
  • Pietro de Perini -  Researcher at Human Rights Centre, University of Padova.


  • Kjetil Rommetveit – Associate Professor, University of Bergen.