The Fourth Gozo Seminar
The fourth dissertation seminar for final year Bachelor of European Studies students was held at Manresa House in Gozo on 27 and 28 February 2013.
Preparations for this seminar started early in the academic year, in a meeting which European Studies Director Prof. Roderick Pace, and resident academic Mr Jean Micallef Grimaud had with third year students in November 2012. Students thus had the necessary time to prepare well for the seminar, in consultation with their respective supervisors.
Twenty one students and the seven resident academic staff of the IES attended the seminar. The aim of the seminar was to provide students with the opportunity to present on-going dissertation work. Therefore, students presented their dissertation areas mainly focusing on the research question/s, literature review, and theoretical and methodological approaches which they were applying. Students were also able to air any preliminary findings or specific problems encountered so far.
As is customary in this seminar, short presentations were followed by a discussion among students and the academic staff, who gave their feedback on the presentations.
Following a short introductory plenary session, the seminar involved six parallel sessions, with students being divided into different groups according to the theme of the sessions.
During the seminar, a presentation of the Institute for European Studies’ post-graduate course was also delivered by Prof. Pace.
At the end of the seminar, students were forwarded a feedback form whereby they could anonymously give their comments and suggestions on this seminar. As in previous years, the feedback received was very positive, and students praised the organization and value of holding such a seminar. In particular, the students appreciated the feedback they received on their work, and they enjoyed the opportunity to get to know fellow students better, now that they are approaching the end of their course of studies.
The next Gozo seminar will build on this feedback to ensure that it will live up to student expectations and to continue in its success and popularity among the Institute’s undergraduate students.
First Jean Monnet Chair Colloquium
On 20th December 2012 a colloquium was held at Dar L-Ewropa in Valletta to start the research part of the Jean Monnet Project “An Evolving EU Engaging a Changing Mediterranean Region”. The colloquium, which was chaired by Prof Roderick Pace, Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Malta, was attended by Prof Fulvio Attina of the University of Catania, Prof Aylin Güney Jean Monnet Chair at Yasar University, Izmir, Professor Magnús Árni Magnússon, Bifrost University, Iceland, Dr Stelios Stavridis, ARAID Researcher, University of Zaragoza, and from the Institute of European Studies Dr Mark Harwood, Dr Marcello Carammia, Mr Stefano Moncada, Ms Moira Catania and Mr Jean Micallef Grimaud. In attendance were also a number of M.A. students and a Ph.D. student from the Institute. The first reports of the working teams were presented. This activity was also co-financed by University of Malta research funding.
The main objective of the Jean Monnet Project is to analyse and assess key developments in the EU as it evolves further, particularly in the light of the Lisbon Treaty implementation, enlargement, as well as developments in the Mediterranean Region following the Arab-Spring.
The project’s main theme of "An Evolving EU Engaging a Changing Mediterranean Region" is split into seven working-themes, each led by a member of the Institute’s academic staff. Prof Roderick Pace is co-ordinating working-teams one, “The State of the EU after Lisbon and its External Action in the Mediterranean”, and six “Energy Security and Alternatives in the Mediterranean Region”; Dr Mark Harwood leads working-team two, "State Building and Democratic Consolidation (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia)"; Ms Moira Catania working-team three, “Economic Change in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia”; Dr Marcello Carammia leads working-team four, “Mediterranean Migration”; Mr Stefano Moncada leads working-team 5, “Climate Change & Development in the Mediterranean Region”; and Mr Jean Micallef Grimaud leads working-team seven, “Institutional Issues”.
A presentation on each of the working-themes was carried out by the respective working-team co-ordinators during the colloquium. The reports were discussed amongst the academic discussants present at the meeting, with participation from the floor.
The Gozo Seminar
Forty-four third year European Studies students attended the annual two-day dissertation seminar organized by the Institute for European Studies of the University of Malta which took place between the 29 February and 1 March 2012. This was the third time that this seminar was held in the Jesuit retreat house “Manresa” in Victoria, Gozo.
The Institute’s resident academic staff members also participated in this event which offers third year European Studies students the opportunity to discuss their dissertation projects and receive feedback both from fellow students and from members of the academic staff. Students confront the task of writing a dissertation for the first time in their final year of the course. Although the Institute’s staff supervise the bulk of these research projects, and despite the individual attention that they are given, students encounter some difficulties in carrying out this task. To address these difficulties, the Institute for European Studies organises a 2-day live-in seminar for all final year students at the well-equipped Manresa House in Gozo.
The process is kicked started at the beginning of the academic year when students are prodded on by their supervisors to start researching and writing on their topic as early as possible, so that by the time the seminar is held they would have made sufficient progress as to be able to discuss it with confidence and highlight the difficulties they are encountering. The seminars have their lighter moments as well. Students usually organise their own transport, provide lifts for those without private transport, and carry quite an amount of belongings particularly quilts as an extra precaution to fight this year’s unusual cold spell. For lunch and dinner they are together – as for the night crawl on their only night out in Gozo.
One of the students’ commonest remark is that the seminar serves as the only occasion in the three year course when they are able to socialize with fellow colleagues. Stronger relationships are forged.The academic work is carried out in two simultaneous parallel sessions consisting of three to four (depending on the subject) 15 minute student presentations overseen by a team of three academic staff members. The presentations are followed by a discussion involving students and academic staff.Most students initially have some apprehensions about making an academic presentation on their thesis methodology and literature survey. But once their turn comes they normally do well. The methodology is generally considered the most difficult part. At the end of the seminar the students have to fill an evaluation form which is kept anonymous and is collected by a fellow student. The seminar provides a unique opportunity for students to cement friendships in a relaxed atmosphere, away from the university lecture rooms. The academic staff is very informal, mixing with students, both during meals and in free time. Most students treasure the experience and at the end of it regret that it is over. Some say it is unforgettable, highly enriching and unrepeatable, especially before examinations and the parting of ways which comes after them.
This article was written by two students who participated in the seminar: Albert Camilleri and Nadya Papagiorcopulo.
The Politics and Economics of the Euro Crisis
Friday 2nd December 2011
Gateway Hall E University of Malta
6.00pm - 8.00pm
Dr Susannah Verney, Assistant Professor, Univeristy of Athens - Preventing another Euro Area Crisis: EU Economic Governance 'Six Pack' - a case of too little, too late?
Mr Michael Bonello, former Governor of the Central Bank of Malta - The Euro: a crisis of the currency or a failure of politics?
Ms Moira Catania, Resident Academic Staff, EDRC - Greek Domestic Politics and the Eurozone crisis
Professor Roderick Pace, Director EDRC
For more detailed information, please click here.
Graduation Ceremony 2011
The Graduation Speech delivered by Professor Roderick Pace, Director of the European Documentation and Research Centre, during the Graduation Ceremony held on 23 November 2011 can be read by clicking here.
5 ideas for a younger Europe
Monday 7th November 2011
1200hrs to 1400hrs
Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences (MaKS) Room 301
The Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences in collaboration with the European Documentation and Research Centre at the University of Malta are inviting all European Studies and Communication Studies students to the initiative 5 ideas for a younger Europe
. A two-hour discussion is going to be held on Monday 7th November 2011 starting at 1200hrs at the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences (MaKS) Room 301. For more detailed information, please click here
The Gozo Seminar
The second dissertation seminar for final year Bachelor of European Studies students was held in Gozo on the 15 and 16 of February. 39 students and the 5 resident academic staff of the EDRC attended this seminar. The seminar was held again at the Jesuit Retreat Home, Manresa House, which is located in Victoria, Gozo.
The aim of the seminar was to provide students with the opportunity to present their work on the dissertation. The presentations focused on the research question/s which the dissertations will tackle, the methodology applied and any preliminary findings or specific problems encountered thus far. Following this short presentation, a discussion followed and students received feedback both from the academic staff as well as from fellow students.
The choice of the date was influenced by the need to provide students with sufficient time so that they can make adequate progress in their research. The first semester assessments in January and the Christmas recess are constraining factors and it was considered that holding the seminar in the beginning of December would be too early as most students would still be in preliminary stages of their research work. On the other hand, holding the seminar later than in February was not considered appropriate as students would have limited time to take into account the feedback received in the seminar and adapt their research projects to meet the May submission deadline.
Given the relatively large number of students, the organisation of the sessions was more challenging this year. Following a short introductory plenary session, the seminar involved parallel sessions so that all the presentations would be covered over two days. Students were assigned into different groups for the different sessions. The seminar was very intensive with seven parallel sessions held over the two days. Presentations were grouped according to the subject of the dissertation and the academic staff with the more relevant expertise in that topic attended that particular session. Concluding plenary sessions were held at the end of each day of the seminar to wrap up the discussions. Furthermore, two other presentations were made during the seminar by the Director of the EDRC. The first presentation provided an overview of the Masters in European Studies offered by the EDRC, whilst the second presentation concerned the referencing system and other technicalities involved in writing the dissertation. The sessions were held in the two conference halls of Manresa House, which are equipped with excellent audio-visual facilities. All students delivered a power point presentation on their research.
Building on the experience from the first seminar held last year, preparations started early in the academic year 2010/2011. Students were informed of the seminar in November 2010 so that they would have enough time to work on their research and to prepare their presentations, in consultation with their supervisors.
Book Launch - 9 December 2010
SOME REASONS FOR AN EUROPEAN STATE
Facsimile of the original essay of 1710
With Introductory Essays and Annotations by Roderick Pace and Peter van den Dungen
9 December 2010 at 1730hrs
Dar l-Ewropa, Valletta
On 9 December 2010 a panel discussion introduced a new book on John Bellers’s 1710 essay, Some Reasons for an European State
, to a packed hall at Dar l-Ewropa in Valletta (please click here
to view programme). The book which includes a facsimile of Bellers’s original essay was co-edited by Prof Roderick Pace, Director of the European Documentation and Research Centre of the University of Malta and Dr Peter van den Dungen, visiting lecturer at the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford.
John Bellers a Quaker, was described by Karl Marx as a ‘phenomenal figure in the history of political economy’. Robert Owen attributed his own ideas of ‘villages of co-operation’ to him and Eduard Berstein accorded him singular importance. In his Some Reasons for an European State, Bellers a friend of the more well known William Penn, proposes a European Senate and the division of Europe in 100 cantons. He also proposes a Council of Religions to achieve at some kind of rapproachement between Europe’s principal religions, a prerequisite for lasting peace.
The book is part of the ‘Idea of Europe in History’, a research project of the EDRC. In 2008 Professors Pace and Carmen DePasquale then head of the French Department published a translation of the 1729 Abrege of the Abbe de Saint-Pierre which was located in the library left by the Knights of St John when they left Malta in 1798.
Some Reasons for an European State (120 pages) is available in paperback ISBN 978-99932-7-328-8 and hard back ISBN 978-9932-7-329-5 at €9.50 and €14.50 respectively (excluding postage) from the EDRC, University of Malta, MSIDA, MSD 2080, Malta. For more information please click here.
Graduation Ceremony 2009
The Graduation Speech addressed by Ms Estelle Sant during the Graduation Ceremony held on 2nd December 2009 can be accessed from here.
MESA Seminar Series 2009
The New Social Policy Agenda and the Lisbon Treaty
RECENT MESA SEMINARS:
The European Documentation and Research Centre (EDRC)
in conjunction with the Malta European Studies Association (MESA)
and the support of the European Commission organised the following seminars in this year’s New Social Policy Agenda and the Lisbon Treaty
26 March 2009 - "The Future of Citizenship in the European Union"
This first seminar in this year's series was given by Prof. Jo Shaw, Salvesen Chair of European Institutions at the University of Edinburgh, Co-Director of the Edinburgh Europa Institute and Dean of Research, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This seminar examines in more depth the future trajectory of citizenship in the European Union, this paper uses as a case study recent citizenship debates in the United Kingdom. The discussion is placed in the context of the evolving concept of citizenship in the European Union and its Member States and for the purposes of the detailed analysis, deploys a composite concept of 'European Citizenship', which combines both EU citizenship in the narrow sense, and national citizenship.
26 June 2009 - "Gender and the Renewed Social Agenda of the EU"
The second seminar was given by Dr Susanne Burri, Senior Lecturer, Utrecht University. This seminar examines in more depth the European Commission Communication in July 2008 to the European Parliament and the Council on the Renewed Social Agenda addressing three interrelated goals: creating opportunities, providing access and demonstrating solidarity (COM 2008, 412). This social agenda is meant to reinforce the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. Recently, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on this issue (P6_TA-PROV(2009)0370). According to Article 3(2) of the EC-Treaty, the Community shall aim to eliminate in all its activities inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women. How is this objective concretized in the renewed social agenda? What are the main future objectives of the EU in the social field? Which instruments will be developed and which gaps will probably remain? The paper offers an analysis of these issues in the light of the existing EU legislation in the fields of equal opportunities and equal treatment, and the reconciliation of work, private and family life.
Monday 6 July 2009 - "Purely internal situations and reverse discrimination in a Citizens' Europe: Time to "reverse" reverse discrimination"
This seminar was given by Dr Alina Tryfonidou, Lecturer, School of Law, University of Leicester. This seminar examines in more depth the plausibility of reverse discrimination in a Citizens’ Europe. Reverse discrimination is the less favourable treatment that is suffered by persons who are in a purely internal situation and, as a result of that, cannot enjoy EC protection in their own Member State. This form of differential treatment has traditionally been considered to fall outside the scope of application of EC law since it does not impede the achievement of the Community’s economic aims. However, at a time when the status of Union citizenship has developed into “the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States” and contribution to the economic aims of the Treaty is no longer the sole prerequisite for enjoyment of rights under EC law, it appears questionable whether reverse discrimination can continue to be ignored. It will be argued that unjustified instances of reverse discrimination should now be re-proposed as violations of the Community principle of equality and thus the Union itself should provide its own solutions to this problem.
14 July 2009 - "Recent European Court of Justice Cases on Collective Employment Law Rights or How to help Doom a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty without really trying"
The fourth seminar was given by Dr Gavin Barrett, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University College, Dublin. This seminar examined in more depth the defeat in Ireland of the only referendum held in Europe on the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. A crucial element of the ‘no’ vote in Ireland – just as had been the case in two previous referendums concerning the Constitutional Treaty held in the Netherlands and in France – was the failure to convince the least financially well-off sector of the electorate that membership of the European Union is of benefit to it. This thus appears to be a recurrent phenomenon in such referendums. During the Irish referendum, a great deal was made of determinations by the European Court of Justice in cases such as Viking, Laval and Rüffert, which were used to help secure the defeat of the ratification process. In this paper, these decisions are examined, as is the more recent decision of the Court in Commission v. Luxembourg (which is already being cited by anti-Treaty of Lisbon campaigners in anticipation of the second Irish referendum which is expected to determine the fate of the Lisbon Treaty in October 2009) in order to shed light on the question of whether the European Union – and more particularly the European Court of Justice – really is hostile to workers’ rights.
Civil Society Project CONFERENCE 2009
On the 15 May 2009, the EDRC held a National Conference on “Malta in the European Union: 2004 - 2009
" at the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort, St. Julian’s. Over 100 persons attended. They were addressed by a number of eminent speakers including the President of Malta, Dr George Abela, the Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Joseph Muscat, the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Mr Michael Bonello, the Principal Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr Godwin Grima, the first Parliamentary Ombudsman, Mr Joseph Sammut, the President of the Church in Malta and Europe Commission, Mgr Dr Joseph Farrugia, and the Executive Director of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, Ms Sina Bugeja. The Conference was also addressed by Mr João Vale de Almeida, Head of Cabinet of José Manuel Barroso, President of the Commission.
Marking the fifth anniversary of Malta’s Membership of the EU, this Conference presented the vision of our political, economic and social leaders for the coming years, and also the recommendations of the twenty expert contributors to the Report which was presented at the Conference. The Civil Society Project has involved civil society in the process of analysing our first years of membership, and has itself contributed to the role of CSOs in Malta. The Conference was aimed at the general public, and looked at the global picture of politics, economics, social change and values in a fast-changing Malta. It also looked to the future, using as a starting point the findings of the EDRC’s 2009 Civil Society Project Report. The Conference Proceedings are now available on CD.
To view programme click here [PDF]
To view list of Contributors and titles of papers click here [PDF]