Are we witnessing the birth of a 'bio-political' Europe? - University of Groningen

Primary tabs

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 19:00 to 20:30

Following the 'Age of Anger', it seems as if an 'Age of Risk' is slowly emerging as the dominant paradigm for Europe and the EU.

We are delighted to introduce our new series on the future of Europe, with a talk by Dr Jan Grzymski

Are we witnessing the birth of a 'bio-political' Europe?

This a hybrid event and you can participate either online or in person.

You can also watch the livestream on Facebook here

Please register using this link and add (online) or (in person) behind your name depending on how you choose to participate.

The introduction of the Digital Green Certificate (the so-called COVID-19 passports) may herald the coming of "Biopolitical Europe" in the near future.

For the first time, the EU applies, on such a large scale, a biopolitical mobility control mechanism. COVID-19 passports might mean that free movement of persons within the EU becomes conditional.

It might also create a completely new forms of inequality and selectivity for intra-EU mobility and migration to the EU for people outside the Schengen area.

In the near future, a mechanism of verification and control of individual data on citizens' biological knowledge would also have to be created, which might determine the possibility of free movement within the Schengen area.

This, in turn, raises a number of contentious issues related to civil rights and the protection of sensitive data.

COVID-19 passports may be the beginning of the introduction of more advanced techniques of biopolitical mobility control, the acceptance of which would be facilitated by the widespread recognition of the current COVID-19 passports as something inevitable and taken-for-granted.

The aim of the presentation is to show how COVID-19 passports, as extraordinary forms of mobility control within the European Union resulting from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, could become the dominant biopolitical practice of mobility governance in the EU.

Dr Jan Grzymski works at the Centre of Migration Research of the University of Warsaw as an assistant professor. He is co-convenor of UACES Research Network ‘The Limits of EUrope: Challenging the Crisis of European Integration’.

His research interests include: EU crisis, EU identity, EU borders, migration, mobility. Jan is the Member of New Europeans. Recently, he co-edited the special issue of Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) on populism and technocracy in the EU.


We are grateful to the Centre of Migration Research for coverng Jan Grzymski's travel to Groningen and to the University of Groningen for hosting this event and covering the accommodation expenses of the speaker and the organiser of this event.

About the series

In the post-pandemic near future, Europe will face new forms of crises and challenges related to governance, security and the economy.

In a narrower sense, the EU’s four freedoms will be affected too, including: freedom of movement, both for the EU nationals within and outside the EU.

All this might be framed within three types of emergency governance: the COVID-19 related emergency, future catastrophe emergencies, for example, global warming and/or another pandemic and the cyber-threat emergency (non-conventional warfare).

Some specific issues to be discussed:

-          How free will freedom of movement is going to be in the context of the potential new biopolitical forms of mobility control? What does it mean for EU citizenship? What does it mean for European integration?

-          Virtual mobility as a chance or as peril for freedom of movement and EU citizenship right?

-          Is there a need for the EU/European wide public health governance?

-           Green New Deal and the need for the new EU common policy?

-          Cyber-threats as threats to the EU identity, values, and democracy.

We envisage inviting scholars and practitioners active in these field of research to present on bi-monthly basis from September through May (5-6 events). The core group would be invited to present but is not required to. At least three representatives from the core group are expected to participate each time.



Van der Leeuw Zaal, Academy Building, Broerstraat 5 9712 C
9712 CP Groningen

Subscribe to email updates from New Europeans

Join our newsletter to receive the latest news and events from New Europeans.

* indicates required

Or be a part of it!

Join today Donate Volunteer Online shop