Chair’s Message – July 2017

The UACES Network |


Helen Drake, Loughborough University

28 June 2017

It would be fair to say that my time as UACES Chair has coincided with much change within the Association and also in our external environment. This shows no sign of abating as I prepare to enter the final year of my mandate.

In the UACES office, we have been delighted to welcome Helena Cicmil as our new Digital Communications Officer. Helena has already made a real impact, and I’d like to formally welcome and thank her here. Still in the office, we are currently advertising for a new administrator to start once Hassan Ould Moctar leaves in the autumn to pursue his PhD fieldwork. You can find out more at and for now I would like Hassan to know how much we have enjoyed working with him, and to thank him for being such a calmly efficient colleague.

On the Committee itself I’ll be working alongside a third Secretary to have taken office since I started in 2012: I’m delighted to announce that Maria Garcia has been elected to this post. She will be moving from her current role as Committee member into the Secretary’s chair at the Krakow Annual Conference in September. Kathryn Simpson and Joachim Koops will be joining the Committee at the same time as the newly-elected members, and I look forward to working alongside them next year.

Moving beyond UACES itself, we are also about to see wholesale changes to the editorial teams of our flagship journal, JCMS. Members will probably already know that UACES is part-owner of JCMS with publishers Wiley, but it’s worth recalling that JCMS is vital to the reputation of UACES and to its financial sustainability. I would like to thank Michelle Cini and Amy Verdun, outgoing editors, for their extraordinarily hard work over the past seven years in ensuring that the journal goes from strength to strength. Toni Haastrup and Richard Whitman from the University of Kent, along with four co-editors from across the globe, took over from Michelle and Amy on 1 July. Toni and Richard will begin their term alongside new Annual Review editors. Here too I would like to thank the outgoing team, Nat Copsey and Tim Haughton, for making sure that the Annual Review remains a staple for those of us teaching, researching and or practising EU affairs, and I extend a very warm welcome to our incoming team from the University of Surrey: Theofanis Exadaktylos, Roberta Guerrina and Emanuele Massetti.

At JCER too there are new starts. Simona Guerra and Kathryn Simpson have come to the end of their terms as editors and Maxine David stays on as editor-in-chief. Alongside her will be three new co-editors: Christopher Huggins, Kenneth McDonagh and Anthony Salamone. The outgoing editors and Maxine have been the architects of what is now an increasingly well-known and well-respected online only, open-access journal. In June 2017, JCER was identified as an ‘emerging source’ in the Thomson Reuters 2016 Journal Citation Reports. JCER’s 2016 special section on Brexit meant that Volume 12 (4) was one of the most downloaded issues ever and we have similarly high hopes for our forthcoming special section on #UACES50 – the 50th anniversary of UACES – in Volume 13 (4). Thank you so much to Maxine, Simona and Kathryn for keeping this particular show on the road so well.

Finally on this subject of editorships, I wish to express my gratitude for all colleagues who took the time and trouble to apply for these positions over the last few years. It was hugely appreciated and I’d like you to know that we were sorry to have to turn some of you down despite the qualities of your applications.  UACES and the profession relies on colleagues being willing to take on unpaid jobs that serve the wider community; thank you.

I mentioned in my previous newsletter that we had created the Luke Foster prize for the JCER Best Article of 2016, and I’m delighted to say that we have a winner: Matthijs van Wolferen for his article in Volume 12 (4) entitled ‘The Limits to the CJEU’s Interpretation of Locus Standi, a Theoretical Framework’. Matthijs will receive £500 (generously co-funded by the James Madison Charitable Trust), and two runners-up  (Vincenzo Emanuele, Nicola Maggini, Bruno Marino, ‘Gaining Votes in Europe against Europe? How National Contexts Shaped the Results of Eurosceptic Parties in the 2014 European Parliament Elections‘ and Anna Lito Michala, Iraklis Lazakis, Osman Turan, ‘ The European Commission’s role in marine materials, equipment and components certification mutualisation‘ be rewarded with a prize of £250 each. We’re running this prize again for the best article of 2017, and we are so pleased to be able to remember Luke in this way.

I have the pleasurable task of announcing that the UACES 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award will be made to Professor Jo Shaw of the University of Edinburgh on the occasion of the Annual Conference dinner in Krakow on Tuesday 5th September 2017. Tributes and testimonials to Jo (still working as hard as ever, I hasten to add) can be found here, and I’ll save my comments for the awards ceremony itself. But many congratulations, Jo!  Registrations for Krakow are still open (and those for Bath 2018 will open in October 2017).

This column began with reference to change, and it would be odd not to mention Brexit in this regard. Negotiations to begin the UK’s withdrawal from the EU have formally begun, and we must assume that at some point in the future the UK will become a non-EU member state, although almost certainly not before I come to the end of my 6-year term as UACES Chair in September 2018. UACES began before the UK joined the EU, and I intend to leave it in good shape to continue its mission long into the Brexit years.


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