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Newsletter January 2007

MA EUROPEAN INTEGRATION FIELD TRIP TO LEUVEN

The annual field trip to Leuven for students on the MA European Integration took place between 15 and 19 January 2007. On the first day, Louis Roppe (a local mayor) introduced the group to Belgian politics and in the evening Deirdre Kelleher (a PhD researcher in CEUROS and currently working in the Commission) shared her experiences of a being a stagiaire in Brussels. On Tuesday, Deirdre Ni Fhalluin explained the role of the Irish Permanent Representation in Brussels. This was followed by an update on EU-Russia relations given by Richard Tibbels who works on the Russia political desk in DG External Relations. In the afternoon, the group visited DG ECHO which deals with EU humanitarian relief efforts worldwide. There, Simon Horner gave an informative powerpoint presentation on EU involvement in major disasters such as the tsunami, and the Pakistan earthquake. On Wednesday, the Committee of the Regions was introduced by Michael O Conchuir and this was followed by two more presentations on regional policy: one on Spain by Diego Villalba, and one on Ireland by Jorgen Gren. In the evening, Carol McGinley (former MA European Integration student) explained how she got her stage, and then found a position lobbying in Brussels; Alina Georgescu (a Romanian PhD alumna from UL) described her work in the European Parliament; and the evening rounded off with Pim de Kuijer ( a Dutch former Jean Monnet summer school student) giving insights on his work in the European Parliament and some reflections on recent Dutch antipathy to the EU. On Thursday, EU-Turkey relations were on the menu with Ricardo Serri (DG Enlargement – Turkey team) and in the afternoon Alyce Tidball (US Mission in Brussels) responded well to the challenge of explaining and defending US foreign policy positions in inter alia Iraq, Cuba, Iran, and the Middle East. On the last evening, Turkey returned in the shape of an analysis of FDI trends between EU and Turkey in the run-up to accession. Assia Hadjit, a former research assistant at CEUROS, came out to Leuven after a strenuous day working at ULB to do this. On the Friday, a minibus took the group back to Charleroi for the flight home to Shannon.
The cost of these fieldtrips has risen sharply this year because of substantial renovations taking place at the Irish Institute in Leuven, designed to coincide with the Irish College’s 400th anniversary in 2007. Thanks are due to the Department of Politics and Public Administration for reimbursing 200euro (of the 450 euro fee) to each student who participated. In terms of acquainting students with current developments in Brussels, and as an aid to making career choices, the field trip continues to be valuable.


SOME FORTHCOMING CONFERENCES…

28 February-1 March 2007 Germany and the Future of Europe (University of Edinburgh)
7 March 2007 Finnish Presidency of the EU: A Quiet Success? (University of Manchester)
7 March 2007 Reconstructing Womens Discourses in Medieval Japan (SOAS London)
12 March 2007 Citizenship, Migration and Identity in Europe (University of Surrey)
23-24 March 2007 Reflections on European Integration (UACES London)
23-24 March 2007 British Association for Japanese Studies Conference (UEA Norwich)
31 March-2 April 2007 BASEES Conference (Fitzwilliam, Cambridge)
11-13 April 2007 Europe and Global Politics (PSA 57th annual conference University of Bath)
11-16 April 2007 ECPR Joint Sessions 2007 (University of Helsinki)
17-21 April 2007 Visions of Europe during Eastern Enlargement (Association of American Geographers, San Francisco CA)
19-21 April 2007 UACES Student Forum (University of Nottingham)
13-15 May 2007 Many Faces of Internationalisation (ACA Berlin)
17-19 May 2007 EUSA 10th Biennial (Le Sheraton Montreal PQ Canada)
20-23 May 2007 EU Constitutional Treaty Research Conference (Dalhousie, Halifax NS Canada)
28-29 May 2007 Persian Gulf Security and International Law (Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran)
16 June 2007 International Role of the EU (Aston University)
27-28 June 2007 Reviewing the Good Friday Agreement: Effects, Impacts and Prospects (University of Wolverhampton)
2-14 July 2007 Standing Group on International Relations: EU Enlargement in SE Europe (Centre for International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana)
11-14 July 2007 European Conference on African Studies (Leiden, Netherlands)
2-3 September 2007 Czech-Israeli Conference
Integrating with the European Union: Accession, Association, and Neighbourhood Policy (Charles University Prague)
3-5 September 2007 UACES Annual Conference Exchanging Ideas on Europe (University of Portsmouth)
5-8 September 2007 The 17th Economic Forum (Krynica, Poland www.forum-ekonomiczne.pl)
11-12 September 2007 Japan Politics Colloquium (St Antony’s Oxford)
12-14 September 2007 Beyond the Nation? (Queens, Belfast)
19-20 September 2007 Security and Energy Supply in the New Europe (University of Glasgow)
11-16 April 2008 ECPR Joint Sessions 2008 (University of Rennes)


MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTSANDING SIGNED WITH TBILISI, GEORGIA

A memorandum of understanding was signed on Thursday 8 February between President John O’Connor of UL and Rector Gigi Tevzadze of the Ilia Chavchavadze State University in Tbilisi in Georgia. Part of this Agreement refers to two new initiatives in which the Centre of European Studies recently became involved: one is the establishment of a Centre for European Studies in Georgia, with both a BA in European Studies and an MA in European Integration closely modelled on the now well-known Limerick format. The other initiative is the setting up of a regional business school in Tbilisi which is intended to attract students from the South Caucasus and Central Asian region where there is not only pent-up demand for Business Studies but also a realisation that the road to economic development lies through close links with the EU. For Georgia itself this is a key preoccupation due to recent political and economic harassment by Russia: the EU has never looked more attractive. This has had the effect of driving Georgia closer to the West, and closer even to NATO – an objective perhaps not anticipated by Moscow! European Studies at Tbilisi will be directed by David Aprasidze who met with Eddie Moxon-Browne also on 8 February to finalise a syllabus and module outlines for the new degrees. In addition, teachers of the new programmes will come to Limerick in June for an intensive three-week interdisciplinary training school, organised by the Centre for European Studies, and including both pedagogical and information retrieval components.


MELBOURNE MEETING MARKS A MILESTONE

On December 5th and 6th 2006, the Centre for European Studies (CEUROS) was represented by Prof Nicholas Rees at a coordination meeting in Melbourne to assess progress of the Joint Research Group working under the title “Europe and the Asia-Pacific: Models and Linkages” after one year in existence. A deadline of 15 February 2007 was set for the book chapters; and it was decided to disseminate project findings at a seminar in Brussels in early July. A panel at EUSA in Montreal in May was also mooted. CEUROS is represented in the project by Profs. Nicholas Rees, Eddie Moxon-Browne, Alex Warleigh-Lack, and Bernadette Andreosso. Other universities represented are Keio (Japan), Leuven (Belgium) with Melbourne (Australia) as coordinator. This research project is worth 190,000 euro and is funded by the European Union’s Jean Monnet Research Network initiative; and is the second such Network to include CEUROS. Palgrave-Macmillan will publish the project outcomes in early 2008.


Next issue - 28 February 2007