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Newsletter November 2004


On the 1st of November a new stagiaire arrived at the Centre for European Studies: Assia Hadjit. She is here for the Leonardo Project and will stay at the University of Limerick until the 28 February 2005.

Assia is from Mons, Belgium and studied at the University of Mons-Hainaut. She got a degree in commercial engineering in 2003 and after that she did a Master’s in Euro-Mediterranean Economic Relations at the University of Mons-Hainaut.The Leonardo da Vinci stage that she is doing in the Centre for European Studies at the University of Limerick is research work on Bulgaria and Turkey.Her first report is focused on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bulgaria. Its aim is to discuss the main barriers and opportunities for FDI in that country and to forecast future FDI, taking into account the accession of Bulgaria to the EU in 2007.The second report is focused on FDI and trade in Turkey in the context of EU enlargement and the possible entry of the country into the EU in the future. The aim is to discuss the main barriers and opportunities in Turkey’s trade with the EU since the Customs Union. The research will take into account the impact of EU enlargement on FDI in Turkey and Turkey’s foreign trade with the EU.

Annarita Bernabini


Three Peace Studies summer programme participants visit Limerick city with Deirdre Kelleher:from L to R: Deirdre Kelleher, Michele Jacobs (Belgium), Maria Regina Pinto Botelho (Portugal),Marcello Mollica (Italy)

On the 1st September 2004 the participants of the Intensive Programme in Peace Studies 2004 arrived throughout the day at the University of Limerick. It was lashing rain for the entire day, which did not give the participants a very good impression of the week ahead, but in spite of this, the feeling among these PhD students was upbeat and one of excitement for what lay ahead of them. The students came from varying disciplines including; law, peace studies, anthropology and International Relations, to name but a few. Likewise they came from various Universities throughout the world: Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Austria and Germany. The diversity that existed made this an extremely interesting group, who were always a pleasure to help and work with.

On the 2nd of September we were far more fortunate with the weather as the sun was splitting the rocks. This, thankfully, enabled us to go ahead with the IP schedule as planned, giving the students the opportunity, first and foremost to have their tour of the campus, familiarising them with the grounds and facilities with which they were very impressed. For most of them it was their first time in Ireland, but for others who had been previously, it was their first time in Limerick, and the University campus was loved by all of them. The fact that the weather was so good, rather than the rain we usually get, was certainly a help!While at lunch, or having dinner, the students were always interested to know about Irish culture, food and sport. They took advantage of their time here, and sampled as much of the food and culture as they possibly could. The sport was mostly left to the energetic footballers who we could see doing laps of the track, and running up and down the hills surrounding the track, while we were all tucking into our chocolate cake!

Due to the huge agenda and workload, the students did not get to see as much of Limerick as they would have liked. This was commented upon by some of the students when they were leaving saying that “more time for visits to Limerick would have been nice!” However, they did get some opportunity, especially on Sunday the 5th, prior to, and after their visit to the Centre for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Limerick. St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle and the Hunt Museum were the most popular attractions. On Saturday the 4th, the students went to an Outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in The People’s Park. As the saying goes; “the best things in life are free”, and this was certainly reflected by the praise for the free performance that was expressed by the students, who as part of the audience had to promenade from scene to scene in the picturesque park.

Another favourite activity among the students were the pubs, with the Scholars Club, the Stables Club and the Sports Bar being the most frequently visited. The nightlife was also a big hit with the students, especially Dolan’s for its traditional Irish music sessions.

While they were here, the students commented on the IP, one student said that they found it “quite an interesting and positive experience”. Most of the students were heading back to their own heavy workloads in their own Universities, after what Sarah, one of the students called “the relative “calm” of the IP in Limerick”. While the one or two fortunate ones, such as Maria, another student, were going to take their holidays. Maria said on her return that on her calm flight home she thought “ok, Limerick took off a piece of my heart, but it does not matter at all now, now I am safe and will finally have my vacations!!!!”

Deirdre Kelleher


Oleg Piletsky was a stagiaire in the office of the President of the European Parliament for six months, when Pat Cox was President. During the meeting he gave information and advice to the students about the traineeships in the European Institutions.

Oleg met Pat Cox at the University of Limerick during the President’s visit in 2002 and he talked with him about his traineeship. He started his work in February 2005 and finished in August. Traineeships, usually, last five months but in June the elections for the new EP were held and Oleg had the chance to extend this period.

There are three types of internship at the European Parliament:

  1. Administration or secretary work in any DG.
  2. Work for Political Groups: in this case you do not have to apply to the European Parliament but you have to ask your local MP to accept you as a trainee.
  3. Work in the Office of the President or in the Cabinet of the President.

There are two sessions of internship per year (in February and September) and the places available at every session for administrative work are 60-65. Each session lasts five months (deadlines and rules for applications are on the EP website: It is more difficult to enter as a stagiaire at the administrative level than with a political group. For the administrative traineeships you are required to have a good knowledge of a second language of the EU, a third level education, a reference letter is important and you must be between 18 and 45 years old. There are about 600 places each session. Oleg suggests going to Brussels if you do not pass the selection for the internship, in order to meet people and present yourself. If you pass the selection you have a supervisor who is responsible for your work. At first you can be asked to do every job the office needs done, but when your supervisor knows you better and trusts you he can ask you to do more, important jobs.Oleg, at first, wrote reports on meetings, prepared drafts for the President about the economic and political situation of the country he was going to visit. Later, he wrote the President’s interview for the newspapers, arranged his speeches, organised meetings and followed the President, especially during the Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

Annarita Bernabini and Deirdre Kelleher


Paul Salinas

Paul Salinas is from San Antonio, Texas. He studied at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He has a BA Degree in Business Administration and a minor BA in Legal Studies. He got a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for participating in the MA in European Integration here in Limerick. He believes that the professors are very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Paul considers the curriculum of the MA extremely challenging and well suited to prepare students for a career in the EU Institutions. He believes, in fact, that one of the best qualities of the program is that it offers many opportunities to meet with professionals in the EU field to provide career advice. Paul enjoys the Campus here in Limerick but he feels that the lack of sunshine is a little depressing.

Annarita Bernabini

Michal Mravinač

Michal is from Prague, Czech Republic. He attended Charles University in Prague and he studied International studies (i.e. modern history, politics).He spent his second year of University (2003-2004) in Ireland at the University of Limerick for the Erasmus project. In that time he learnt about the MA in European Integration at UL, and was awarded a scholarship by the Centre of European Studies. He thinks that the MA has a well-balanced structure allowing one to go in depth into the subjects. He said that there are similar MA courses in Prague but they are mostly focused on history and politics and less practical than the Masters here in Limerick. Teachers here at UL are very helpful, they have a high standard of lecturing and there is a general high demand sought from the students (in the sense that teachers expect students to do a lot of work). Michal thinks that the course has a convenient organisation. He believes it to be excellent the practice of bringing in speakers working in the field of the MA program. He believes that the course provides a good starting point for the future career of the students in the European Institutions.UL as a University provides good services for students and responds to students’ needs and preferences. The department of PPA facilitates communication with students very well. He appreciates obvious efforts made by professors to provide the best possible education for students. Professors make clear they are here for students, not the other way round. Michal appreciates that there is a relationship of equality between professors and students.He thinks that in Ireland depressing cloudy days are compensated by the friendliness of the people.….. the Irish are, in fact, more open than in the Czech Republic, they are very kind and never far from a smile!!

Annarita Bernabini


Thursday 25 November

Sonja Biserko
Albin Kurti
1300 in CO-072

Thursday 25 November
Tobias Theiler (UCD)
1600 in Wood Room

Thursday 25 November
La Pelota Vasca
Documentary Film
1830 in C2-062

Friday 26 November
Andrew Cottey (UCC)
1200 in Daly Room