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Aims of the Centre
The main aim of the centre is to develop and extend the network of relations – in some cases to widen, in some others to deepen – amongst teachers, researchers, organisations involved in European integration, and in particular, young people across the South Transdanubian region. Special attention is given to graduate and doctoral students who pursue studies and research in fields/disciplines related with European integration.
The name “Borderless Europe” first refers to what the city of Pécs was striving for with the title ‘European Capital of Culture’, i.e. how far we can analyse the notion ‘borderless’ Europe taking into account that today’s EU faces many challenges inside and outside its borders; second, builds upon the outcome of the international conference under the same title our department organised in 2010, i.e. how much the EU can further enlarge, what kind of neighbourhood policy the community can/should execute, and in general terms what the limits to institutional functioning are.
With the centre we will organise workshops, round-table discussions, summer universities in co-operation with both the Centre for European Research and Education of the Faculty of Law and the European Documentation Centre of the newly built Regional Library. In terms of the courses we plan to co-ordinate the interdisciplinary nature of training is guaranteed as lecturers of two university faculties are involved. In addition, the special collaboration with the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Valladolid, Spain, will be substantial, not only in terms of joint activities, including high-profile publications, but as regards the running and development of such a centre (using the accumulated knowledge and experience of the Spanish side).
A newly accredited BA and MA programme in International Studies is launched from Academic Year 2012-13 (co-ordinated by our department), for which our JM Centre of Excellence can provide an important framework regarding curriculum development, academic literature extension and knowledge dissemination across the region. This knowledge-base can be utilised by a wide range of majors: students studying Political Science, Law, Economics, Social Geography, for instance, and with the contribution of our NGO partners, secondary-school students at large.
In addition to teaching the planned courses related with European integration, the centre intends to function as a central actor of co-ordinating and fostering research, together with encouraging lecturers to participate in international conferences. The scientific conference we will hold in 2015 is intended to present the research strength of the centre – its collaborating lecturers, researchers and students.
Hungary – according to a series of surveys of Eurobarometer – is one of the eurosceptic countries of the EU. Therefore, the centre we intend to run will have a fundamental task to help civil society – the citizens themselves – properly and correctly interpret processes of European integration. With this Internet site we want to contribute to a better understanding of the ongoing and visible developments of the European Union and the questions further integration holds for the 21st century. In order to successfully reach out the centre will co-operate with a number of local and national NGOs.
The centre wants to achieve its objectives using a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular methodology: besides more traditional university lectures we aim for developing students’ competencies in the form of role plays, presentations, debates, small group research and discussions, as well as group contests.
The multiple award-winning ICWiP international studies summer school our university has been hosting for 16 years – in co-operation with the NGO organising it (SIEN Foundation) – will be given a thematic focus reflecting upon European integration each year for the duration of the current centre-project. We will invite and involve Hungarian and foreign experts as lecturers – using the network of our lead partner, the Centre for Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in this respect, together with our Spanish partner. As in other already existing and functioning centres of excellence in the world we will balance between academic and research activities and those open to the public at large – in this respect we again wish to learn from the experience of our Spanish partner.
The international conference we will organise in 2015 – as continuation/follow-up of the 2010 event – will provide the ground for introducing PhD research, together with strengthening interdisciplinary projects. (In 2010 lawyers, political scientists, economists, regional development experts, social geographers presented their papers at the conference, and published their work in the proceedings volume of the event, edited by Ágnes Tuka and István Tarrósy.)
Based upon our extensive network of partnerships the centre will be multiplicating all of our results via all the informal networks connected with the project partners. With all these one of our major aims will be met as far as our new major in International Studies will be more known and more embedded in society at large – which has an important meaning and message at the same time in a period of crisis when society and the economy must find new ways of co-operation, and the labour market seeks for individuals who are well-embedded in all these networks.
Our centre plans to be closely co-operating with the following partners:
Institute of Geography of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Pécs
Centre for European Research and Education of the Faculty of Law, University of Pécs
European Documentation Centre of the Regional Library
Instituto de Estudios Europeas, Universidad de Valladolid, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Spain – our foreign partner, already with substantial experience in running a Centre of Excellence
Europe Direct information office of Baranya County
Pólusok Social Sciences Society
European Development and Information Association
SIEN Foundation and the ICWiP International Studies Summer School