Guest lecture for a course in Transnational Public Administration at Södertörn University, Sweden

Stefan was invited to give the opening lecture in a newly established course In short, he addressed the theme on (macro)regionalization and the EU and its implications to transnational(ization) of public management. The course has been designed for public servants around the Baltic Sea (macro)region – and it is given for the first time in 2020. The idea emerged out of the growing need to deal transnationally among the public servants in different state agencies. The course covers themes such as legal context of public administration in selected Baltic Sea countries, cross-border cooperation (and lessons to be learnt from that), case studies of transnational public administration, accounting and organizational cultures.

New Ph.D.!

Nadja Sophia B. Kühn successfully defended her thesis for the PhD-degree Monday 5 October 2020. Her thesis is entitled “Ever closer administrative institutions? Impacts of the European Union on national decision-making processes.” Congratulations!

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Laboratories of Differentiated Integration in a Post-Brexit Europe“ awarded!

As the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) hails in a new era, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (JMCoE) “Laboratories of Differentiated Integration in a Post-Brexit Europe“ aims to foster our understanding of Post-Brexit Europe by studying two laboratories of differentiated integration. We focus our research, teaching, and outreach activities on Europe’s North and East – two regions which encompass the entire spectrum of differentiated integration arrangements. Both regions are also uniquely exposed to new geopolitical challenges as they share a border with a resurgent Russia while the American commitment to NATO is thrown into doubt. These laboratories of differentiation thus offer important lessons on how a Post-Brexit Europe may respond to both challenges to its internal cohesiveness and new external threats. 

Brexit and the related question of the UK’s future relations with the EU have led to a renewed interest in the varied integration arrangements among Norwegian policymakers, businesses, civil society groups, and citizens. Our activities thus bring European Studies to new audiences, offering new teaching modules to students of various backgrounds and engaging citizens through formats such as the ‘Saturday University’ and Podcasts.  

The JMCoE will promote excellence in research in EU studies by fostering collaborative dynamics among the Centre’s twelve key staff and beyond. The Centre will help to create synergies in research by bringing together researchers with different regional foci as well as various disciplinary backgrounds, such as Political Science, Sociology, Law, and Economics. Members of the key staff will co-author and co-edit several academic publications during the duration of the JMCoE. In addition, the JMCoE aims at building an interdisciplinary network of researchers working on questions of differentiated European integration with a focus on the Nordic countries. The kick-off event for the new network will be an interdisciplinary conference where academics and policymakers from all Nordic countries meet to discuss the Future of Europe.  

Based on excellent research, the JMCoE will also promote excellence in teaching EU related subjects. This will provide students with new interdisciplinary insights on European integration. The JMCoE will thus further improve the EU related teaching activities at the UiA that were successfully built up in previous Jean Monnet activities and will make them even more attractive to current and prospective students. 

Moreover, a main objective of the proposed JMCoE is to foster the dialogue between EU scholars from various disciplines and policy-makers. Various planned events, such as the “Meet the ambassador” format involving the Head of the EU Delegation to Norway, will foster the exchange between key staff experts and policy-makers. The JMCoE will also reach out to organised civil society and the larger public. It will actively take part in various existing and new formats establishing links between the academic world and the public, such as the Arendalsuka. Some outreach formats are particularly modelled to attract pupils to topics of European integration. In the framework of “Meet an Agder researcher”, members of the key staff will visit local schools and familiarise pupils with EU-Norway relations. In turn, pupils will visit the Department of Political Science and Management during the “Eilert Sundt Day”. Furthermore, the JMCoE will produce animated short videos on topics of European integration, which can be watched by school children throughout the country. 

The JMCoE, established under the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme, is the first in Norway. It is based at UiA’s Department of Political Science and Management and involves a collaboration with colleagues from the Department of Sociology and Social Work, Department of Law, and the School of Business and Law. It will run from September 2020 to August 2023. 

EISS at UiA: “Educating upcoming EU experts for the 30th time”

European Integration Summer School (EISS), coordinated by professor Stefan Gänzle, was founded in 1990 to offer education about the EU – some years before the 1994 Norwegian European Union membership referendum. Today, EISS still continues to educate people in EU topics, and it also officially a part of Prof. Gänzle’s Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration.

During the past 30 years, EISS has educated hundreds of students in topics related to EU integration – this year, the summer school focuses differentiated integration and disintegration. For more information, please read the full article about EISS at uia.no.

Jean Monnet Forum: BREXIT and Norway

The holder of Jean Monnet Chair, Prof. Stefan Gänzle, opening the second Jean Monnet Forum held at the University of Agder 25 June 2019

The Jean Monnet Chair’s second “Jean Monnet Forum” addressed topical questions related to the political crisis behind BREXIT. The forum was led by the chairholder prof. Stefan Gänzle and Stig Martinsen (Sørlandets Europakontor). The two guest speakers, Dr. Tim Oliver (Loughborough University) and Siri Mathiesen (The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise NHO) discussed the current situation in the UK and what scenarios are likely to be played out, and how and to what degree Norway is prepared for a hard Brexit.

More information and details about the forum is to be found here.

Screening of ‘EU Presidential Debate’ on Monday, April 29, 18:45-20:30 (HU 022)

On 29 April 2019, we will again join – after 2014 – the organizers of the ‘Maastricht Debate’. The Theatre on the Vrijthof in Maastricht will again host a debate in advance of the European Parliament elections between candidates designated by their European political party for the post of European Commission President. Already in 2014 four candidates, including Jean-Claude Juncker, the present President of the Commission, took part in a debate in which they defended their vision for Europe and outlined what they would do if elected. Five years later Maastricht University, the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Maastricht, the European Journalism Centre based in Maastricht and the European Youth Forum have come together to organise this debate. As in 2014, the debate is particularly focussed on the concerns of students and young people across Europe, many of whom will be voting for the first time. On this occasion, the organisers have invited Politico, the Brussels based news organisation, to work with them to ensure that the event reaches the widest possible audience.

Join us in HU 022! Pizza and beverages will be served.

A glance to the first year of JMCEG

The first year of Jean Monnet Chair on European Governance – in short, JMCEG – proved to be a busy and exciting experience, including various events and a number of courses.

In terms of events, the year started with the preparation of a kick-off seminar on “Differentiated Integration after Brexit” held in November 2017, which brought together young and established scholars to reflect on the future direction of European integration. It aimed to forge and expand an interdisciplinary network of scholars working on the topic and go beyond existing conceptualizations or differentiated integration. One of the participants of this event, Prof. Frank Schimmelfenning from ETH Zürich, concisely explains why it is so important to talk about differentiated integration in post-Brexit times.

The latter half of the first year of JMCEG included a seminar held in April 2018 for language teachers on the topic of “Future of Europe: Current Trends in France, Germany and Spain”, examining the key challenges EU member-states are currently facing, singling out the so-called refugee crisis, the rise of Euroscepticism and separatism as well as the terrorist threat.

Furthermore, before the summer holidays the JMCEG hosted two larger events aimed at fostering the dialogue between the academic world and policy makers in matters regarding EU and EU policies. The first one, workshop on ‘EU macro-regional strategies: Learning from experience, learning from each other – in a laboratory for the new Europe’ held 5 June in Tallinn, Estonia, was co-organized by the JMCEG, the EUSBSR Horizontal Action Capacity, Anders Bergström, and the Interact Program, Turku, represented by Baipa Liepa and Jörg Mirtl. The second one, the first Jean Monnet Forum held at UiA on 26 June, hosted the EU’s Ambassador to Norway, Thierry Béchet. It addressed the EU’s impact and role of the regional and municipal level in Norway, and included a panel debate with the Ambassador, Harald Furre, Mayor of Kristiansand, and Per Christian Lunden, Mayor of Risør.

The Chairholder and the team would like to thank all participants and contributors of the first year’s activities! Stay tuned for the JMCEG events during the academic year 2018-2019 – more information will follow.

Jean Monnet Forum “The EU and Norway: Challenges and Opportunities in a Turbulent World”

The first Jean Monnet Forum held at the University of Agder on 26 June 2018, was opened by EU’s Ambassador to Norway, Thierry Béchet. The forum included discussions about EU’s impact and role on the regional and municipal levels in Norway. Harald Furre, Mayor of Kristiansand, and Per Christian Lunden, Mayor of Risør, were part of the panel debate.

The Jean Monnet Forum was supported by the EU office of the region of Sørland, and was visibly reported afterwards by UiA and by the newspaper Fædrelandsvennen.