Jean Monnet initiatives focusing on the enlargement process

Future Europe

Estimated time of reading: ~ 3 minutes

In the Newsletter issued on 25 March 2024, I have illustrated the main funding programmes to support the enlargement process. In addition to funding schemes directly targeting it, like the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, some other projects contribute to the advancement of EU integration from different perspectives. Significant examples are some projects funded by the Jean Monnet calls for proposals. First, Jean Monnet’s calls belong to the Erasmus Plus programme’s budget and are initiatives designed to promote excellence in teaching and research in European Union studies worldwide.

They consist of various actions, but among the most popular, there are:

-Jean Monnet Modules, which are short teaching programs or courses at the university level that focus on specific topics related to European integration and EU studies. Modules can cover various aspects of EU policies, institutions, law, economics, history, or any other relevant subject. They aim to enhance understanding of the EU and its impact on a particular academic discipline or study area. Jean Monnet Modules typically involve a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, and other educational activities.

-Jean Monnet Chairs that are long-term teaching and research positions awarded to academics in the field of European Union studies. They are established at universities worldwide and held by professors who are recognized experts in their respective fields. The main objectives of Jean Monnet Chairs are to teach courses on EU-related topics, conduct research, organize conferences and seminars, and contribute to developing EU studies within their institutions and beyond. Jean Monnet Chairs are crucial in promoting academic excellence and fostering dialogue and cooperation in European integration.

It is interesting to note that the enlargement process is the main subject of many Modules and Chairs.

A quick research in the European Commission’s Funding & Tenders system showed that at least ten projects on such a topic have been funded since 2021, the beginning of the current multiannual financial framework. It is a clear signal of the willingness to support the integration of new Member States into the European Union and to enhance understanding and dialogue surrounding this critical aspect of European integration. Enlargement involves complex political, economic, social, and legal processes. Funding Jean Monnet’s projects allows for in-depth study and analysis of these processes, fostering a better understanding among policymakers, academics, students, and the public about the challenges and opportunities associated with enlargement. Such projects encourage dialogue and cooperation among scholars, experts, and stakeholders from both existing and aspiring member states, facilitating the exchange of ideas, best practices, and lessons learned.

Enlargement is a technical process that reflects of the EU’s values, such as democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Funding projects focusing on the enlargement process allow for exploring how these values are upheld and promoted throughout the accession process, reinforcing the shared identity and sense of belonging among current and future EU members.

The European Commission aims to ensure that the EU’s enlargement policy remains effective, inclusive, and aligned with its broader objectives of peace, prosperity, and integration promoting a vivid debate in the academic arena.  

Written by: Cristina Ceccarelli

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