E la nave va? Social Science Perspectives on Germany, Italy and the European Union after a Decade of Crisis

Conference in Menaggio, Italy on November 19–21, 2020

This project is part of an ongoing conversation established in 2017 by a group of scholars interested in assessing the nature and evolution of the relationship between Germany and Italy from diverse points of view, in particular comparing and contrasting their responses to the crises that regularly beset the European Union. German-Italian relations are powerfully affected by their membership of the European Union and the Euro-area: EU membership creates interdependencies between policy choices and even occasional negative externalities. These constraints add a layer of complexity to German-Italian relations and may occasionally strain otherwise very strong and fruitful interactions.

The current project further explores these interdependencies by looking at how Germany and Italy have weathered the recent crises: the euro, refugee, Brexit and, Covid-19 crises. We start from an assessment of Germany and Italy as comparable political and economic systems and explore their reactions to these crises and the eventual positive and negative externalities that they impose on each other and what this means for their economic and political developmental paths.

In particular, we want to analyse the growing strength of populist movements, the increased difficulty of forming governmental majorities, and the greater salience of divisive issues such as refugee management or the stability orientation of economic policy (balanced budgets, structural reforms, trade surpluses) that may polarize national political systems and affect mutual relations . We aim to analyse the politics and economics of both countries in innovative ways and with a variety of methods. In each case, we want to emphasize the heightened interconnectedness between these two countries and explore the ways in which it affects both their bilateral relations and the interactions that they entertain at EU level. A specific EU focus is therefore welcome.


  • Prof. Simona Piattoni, Ph.D. (Università degli Studi di Trento)
  • Prof. Claudius Wagemann, Ph.D. (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)

Confirmed speakers:

  • Prof. Luca Verzichelli, Ph.D. (Università degli Studi di Siena)
  • Dr. Ton Notermans, Ph.D. (Tallinn University of Technology/Università degli Studi di Trento)

At VILLA VIGONI, Centro Italo-Tedesco, Via Giulio Vigoni, 1 - 22017 Loveno di Menaggio (CO), Italy. There is no conference fee. Accommodation and full board will be provided at Villa Vigoni. Travel costs are refundable – the Villa Vigoni guidelines for the reimbursement of travel expenses are set out below.

Reimbursement guidelines:

The following travel expenses are refundable upon submitting the original receipts to Villa Vigoni:

  • travel by train (return trip) from your home city/place of work to Lugano or Como;
  • low-cost-/economy class-flight (to Milan). Other types of flights are refundable only in exceptional cases and only upon prior approval by Villa Vigoni;
  • travel by private car is reimbursed at €0,20 per km for the shortest possible distance, with the maximum refundable amount equivalent to the cost of a second-class train ticket for the same distance;
  • travel by public transportation or private car to and from the train station or the airport.
  • For the reimbursement of taxi fees, a written motivation is required;

Note that Villa Vigoni may organise collective transfers as an alternative to public transportation; Please book your trip as soon as possible and take advantage of available offers or rebates.

Further information:
Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
c/o Freie Universität Berlin
Ihnestr. 26
D-14195 Berlin