ENACTEDNetwork
© Centre for European Studies - Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

Assessing the impact and limits of the EU’s neighbourhood

instruments in the eastern borderland regions.

According to many studies, since its inception the neighbourhood strategy of the EU has hardly been able to alleviate the difficulties post-Soviet Eastern Europe faces. Despite being committed to supporting reforms in the fields of democracy promotion, human rights, good governance and economy, the incentive-based approach has not been sufficiently strong. Most of the EaP countries have embarked in the past years on a reversed path, amidst growing illiberal and anti-democratic trends. Moreover, the Eastern proximity of the EU has gradually turned into a less stable and secured area, in spite of the originally stated goal of regional stability. Particularly the Ukrainian crisis which erupted in the days after the EaP Summit in Vilnius in November 2013 has had a damaging effect on the EU ‘transformative power’ in the region. Thus, in line with the ENP review from November 2015 and the subsequent “Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy” document from June 2016 which emphasised the urgent need for reconsideration of the EU’s neighbourhood and external instruments, borderland regions have become salient for increasing the cooperation between Eastern European EU and non-EU members, for enhancing regional prosperity and strengthening regional stability and security. Our research endeavours seek to assess the implications of the latest political events in the region and analyse whether the reviewed neighbourhood instruments are able to bring added value and enhance regional cooperation. While the ENP/EaP instruments are vital tools to promote a sustainable democracy in neighbouring countries and new market economies with high potential trade and economic integration with the European internal market, the CBC’s role is to diminish the border effects at the eastern frontier of the EU is also salient. OBJECTIVES The current research aims at testing the efficiency of the neighbourhood instruments by looking, on the one hand, at the perceptions and feedback from the region vis-a-vis the ENP/EaP instruments and, on the other, at the ways CBC between EU and EaP countries could be improved. ADDED VALUE OF THE RESEARCH Despite numerous attempts to analyse the impact the neighbourhood instruments have had at the level of the eastern border regions, few of them have made a complete and updated assessment since the commencement of the Ukrainian crisis. The beginning of the conflict in Ukraine is significant, since this conflict shed a negative on the EU’s capacity to act as an efficient actor in the region. Moreover, the legitimacy of the EU’s neighbourhood project and its envisaged actions have been increasingly questioned in the region. Moreover, it seems that the appeal of the EU’s regional policies, particularly in the borderlands, has reached a plateau, since the population and part of the political elites (such as the Moldavian ones) have gradually lost their confidence in the EU’s support. Hence, a fresh analysis which can offer new insights into the perceptions vis-a-vis the EU’s role in the region would be extremely valuable for our network both from a scientific and policy-making perspective. Empirically, our project lays a fertile ground for fine-tuning methodological tools employed to analyse the multidimensional implications of the EU’s approach in the neighbourhood by embracing both a top-down methodology (from the EU’s perspective) and a bottom-up outlook (investigation on the ground). Our project will both collect data from primary and secondary sources and based on our findings will afterwards generate valuable scientific outcomes. From the perspective of the policy-making impact, this project will generate theoretically grounded empirical knowledge about the factors that could further drive in a positive way the EU-EaP states relationship. Such knowledge will help policy-makers both from the EaP and the EU countries across the eastern border to better implement modes of cooperation on ground. IMPACT The goal of this research activity is to thoroughly analyse the implications of the EU’s neighbourhood instruments and policies in the border regions and beyond in the wider eastern neighbourhood and to assess how the CBC/EaP projects are undertaken and whether they bring added value. As soon as the data is collected, the research team will develop studies which aim at critically assessing the challenges the EU’s policies in the eastern borderlands face. As a follow-up activity, these studies will not only lead to an improved research level of the network, but they will, potentially, help policy-makers to improve the regional cooperation framework between the EU and the EaP countries. In this sense, we will produce informative materials based on our studies which will be elaborated in a very concise and interactive way in order to raise awareness about our goals, networking possibilities and other opportunities. The materials will be published both on the project’s website and in hard-copies which will be later sent to libraries and to administrative bodies from the countries part of the network. The data collected and the follow-up publication materials will also considerably contribute to developing new competences and skills of the multinational network members and potentially launch new educational programmes in the network institutions. RESULTS (available soon) COORDINATORS: Gabriela Pascariu, David Rotman, Gabriela Prelipcean

Research.

ENACTED    project    seeks    to    a.    obtain    new    research    results    and    novel    methodological    instruments    regarding    the    EU’s actorness   in   the   region   which   could   be   employed   in   future   studies   and   research   and   included   in   teaching   activities;   b. develop   didactic   and   research   competences   and   create   new   opportunities   in   terms   of   professional   development   and international cooperation for the academic staff; c. promote new research directions and new educational programmes. To achieve the objectives of the project two directions of application were defined: Activity R1: Assessing the impact and limits of the EU’s neighbourhood instruments in the eastern borderland regions Activity   R2:   Tertiary   education   in   European   Studies   in   the   EU’s   Eastern   borderlands.   A   cross-country   analysis   of   the multi and interdisciplinary curricula in relation with the stakeholder expectations
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the inf

Tertiary education in European Studies in the EU’s Eastern borderlands. A cross-country analysis

of the multi and interdisciplinary curricula in relation with the stakeholder expectations.

The higher education in the eastern border-countries of the EU has been passing through various transformations since the communist regime had collapsed. The volatility of the educations system has so far harmed the educational process, since none of the universities in the region is ranking in the top 500 worldwide universities (according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014). Moreover, the number of students is decreasing. For instance, Romania is still being far from reaching its target assumed until 2020 (26.7% of population aged 30-34 to have successfully completed tertiary education, as the level reached in 2013 was of only 22.8%). More and more students are already leaving for studies abroad and the return rate to their home countries is low. The brain drain phenomenon and the low tertiary education attainment reflect the low quality of the academic offer. In this process, the education systems of the network’s countries suffer ongoing reorganisations, without a unitary strategic vision. The promotion of the European dimension of tertiary education features the same lack of coherence and vision, reducing the universities’ vision of developing programmes meant to strengthen the knowledge and general or specific competences in different areas of European Studies. For example, the European Studies are not yet to be found in the specialisations inventory; interdisciplinary studies (particular for European Studies) are not yet standardized; the students from other areas than European affairs are not provided with an adequate context of subjects of interest on European themes in their curricula. There are no studies to establish the state of arts in European studies curricula, guidelines regarding the necessary competences on labour market on themes of European integration process. These circumstances limit the interest of universities for the programme development in European studies, deprive the graduates of acquiring, by formal and non- formal education, knowledge, competences and skills needed for higher opportunities on labour market; limit the role of universities in informing and knowledge about European Union, in promoting European values in society, in inducing, disseminating and institutionalisation of ideas of affiliation at European civilisation and synchronisation with EU model. Given the abovementioned reasons, as well as the particular importance of development of European Studies in EU Eastern borderlines for fostering the European Neighbourhood policy impact and the EU actorness, we propose to investigate the state of art in the European Studies curricula in the tertiary education in the 6 countries covered by the project and to assess the adaptation of the curricula to the interests and expectancies of interested actors (academic staff, students/learners, employers).  In a specific way, we will analyse in a comparative manner how each of the partner institutions have implemented the European studies within their academic programmes. Thus, this activity aims to assess the quality of the education in European studies in showing the competences so far acquired by the Bachelor/ Master/ PhD students in the field, and assessing to what extent the introduction of courses on European Studies in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which do not normally have included in their curricula courses on the European integration will have a positive impact. IMPACT This activity will have a consistent scientific impact both in terms of helping to shape a better understanding of the gaps and shortcomings of the educational offer in European Studies, as well as to propose new databases, new curricula, new teaching approach and methods, in order to help universities renewing their educational offer by providing more comprehensive and updated teaching activities. The action will ensure: a better understanding of the development of the European dimension of education in project countries; a favourable context for experience and best practices exchange in the field of education offer in European studies areas (formal and non-formal education, teaching methods, relation with the employers); a better visibility for the educational offer in the field in the network’s regions, a support for cross-border mobilities and cooperation between universities and non-academic actors; the creation of new tools for improving tertiary education in European matters; the increase of information and knowledge level of policy makers regarding the educational development priorities in the field (the results of the actions will be made available; the elaboration of a policy paper which will encompass the main shortcomings and discrepancies of the curricula, linked to TUNING’s identified competences, respectively to the students’ needs in the border regions). Overall, the action will contribute to: gathering information, exchanging practices and building knowledge in tertiary education in European areas studies; offering tools for the increase of expertise of network members in European matters teaching; creation of a favourable framework for the development of network cooperation; providing of analysis and visions on the subject of research for external network actors and policy makers; increasing the expertise and proficiency of universities and ONGs activating in the field in contributing to the promotion of knowledge about integration process and fostering the Europeanisation process in EU Eastern borderlines. RESULTS (available soon) COORDINATORS: Ioan Horga, Ramona Țigănașu
© Centre for European Studies - Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași

Research.

ENACTED   project   seeks   to   a.   obtain   new   research results     and     novel     methodological     instruments regarding    the    EU’s    actorness    in    the    region    which could   be   employed   in   future   studies   and   research and     included     in     teaching     activities;     b.     develop didactic   and   research   competences   and   create   new opportunities   in   terms   of   professional   development and    international    cooperation    for    the    academic staff;   c.   promote   new   research   directions   and   new educational programmes. To     achieve     the     objectives     of     the     project     two directions of application were defined: Activity   R1:   Assessing   the   impact   and   limits   of the    EU’s    neighbourhood    instruments    in    the eastern borderland regions Activity     R2:     Tertiary     education     in     European Studies    in    the    EU’s    Eastern    borderlands.    A cross-country      analysis      of      the      multi      and interdisciplinary    curricula    in    relation    with    the stakeholder expectations