Institutions and Role in the World

Italy (Siena, Rome), 23th June – 11th July 2008

"Integrating Europe in a Changing World"

The University of Rome Tor Vergata, and the University of Siena proposed two stimulating Seminars, spreading over three weeks, dedicated to the exploration of the changing nature of the European Community / Union, in an ever-changing world. The seminars was held in Florence, Siena and Rome, thus students was able to enjoy Italy's cultural and geographical diversity while, at the same time, profiting from the intellectual stimulation of over 40 world class speakers among which Giuliano Amato, Andrew Moravcsik, Antonio Vitorino and Simon Hix

Seminar 1 – The EU institutions, EU decision making and lobbying in the EU -

It was held in Siena from 23rd to 28th of June 2008. It was an exciting hands-on course focusing on the complex EU decision-making procedures under Pillar I and the way it can be influenced by both internal and external actors. The lectures was in fact alternate theoretical background with roundtables with practitioners - decision-makers, MEPs, EU officials, lobbyists, etc. - ending on the last day with a simulation of a EU decision making process. Whatever the definition, the EC/EU does have a peculiar institutional framework and different decision making procedures, according to the kind of policy involved. Using Stanley Hofmann's words we can distinguish between high politics (i.e. international negotiations and EU policies), and low politics (the EC law-making). The most important characteristic and uniqueness of EC law is that it takes precedent over national law. In case of conflicting legislation, EC law prevails; in case EC law is not respected or correctly implemented the risk is to face condemnation from the ECJ. That makes EC decision-making very important to citizens and that is why is worth full to study them in depth.

Seminar 2 - Assessing EU domestic integration & The EU role in the World -

It was held in Rome from the 30th of June to the 11th of July, 2008. This it was our traditional and highly-prestigious Summer Seminar dedicated to analyzing both the domestic and external dimensions of the EU. The first week was dedicated to assessing the level of EU domestic integration, with particular focus on the impact of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements and the status of the Treaty for a European Constitution. The second week was dedicated to the impact of the EU in the world; with a particular focus being put on the changing nature of the transatlantic relations and the impact of the recent US legislative elections, on the role of the EU in the Middle East peace process and the rise of Asia as an undeniably important actor in the world affairs.

The Summer Seminars address primarily PhD students and young professionals, but they could be particularly useful also for other graduate students, as well as for people working in NGOs, national Ministries, interest groups, medias etc. Exceptionally skilled senior undergraduate students can be accepted on an individual base. Our seminars are highly selective and intensive, with 30 teaching hours each week. Admission is subordinated to the proof of previous knowlegde about the EU. In the past editions of the summer seminar, approximately 35% of the applicants have been accepted. Prospective students can choose to enroll one, two or all three seminars.

In terms of credits, Summer Seminars 1 (Siena) was awarded 4 ECTS/2 US credits, whereas Seminar 2 (Rome) was awarded 8 ECTS/4 US credits. Up to 4 additional credits could be gained by writing a paper on a topic assigned by the Directors of the project.

The fee was 900€ per week (room and board are not included). For partner institutions the fee was 720€ per week.

Thanks to the generous contribution of the European Commission - Jean Monnet Action and of other sponsors a limited number of grants partially waving the tuition fees was available.

Perspective participants from NIS countries was encouraged to apply for funding to Open Society Institute, since they offer funds for professional development as part of their fellowship. Participation in our workshop fits well in this. In case of interest contact Ms. Liana Ghent lghent@osieurope.org..

For futher information about the seminar please visit the official web site of the seminar www.eusummerseminar.uniroma2.it