The immense developments that have been taking place in the European Union these recent years (the migration nexus, rising Euroscepticism and the proliferation of nationalist reactions, Brexit, developments in the governance of the Eurozone as well as greater attention to the aspects of EU fundamental rights) have led to an increased need, both in academic research and in university teaching, to re-view how Europe is being taught in the universities as well as how scholars understand the nature of the European integration.
There is a growing acknowledgment of the fact that teaching about Europe must be re-designed, from a methodological and educational aspects, in order to take account of the changing realities, highlighting both the “quasi-statal constitutional quality’’ of the EU and the core national elements of the EU integration process. The changing nature, theoretical content and relationships within the EU process require the deepening in European studies as well as cooperation between different academic and research stakeholders at European level for the production of common, “cross-fertilized” results which will have an impact at EU level.
The Jean Monnet Chair “the fundamentals of European integration: democracy, institutions and policies” is aiming to implement this new approach. The Chair is integrated in the new endeavor taking place within the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to highlight the EU dimension of several academic fields. The School of Political Sciences has for many years taught several courses on European integration. The Jean Monnet Chair complements and improves the existing EU courses and tools of the School. It is aiming to make the EU-related curricula more systematic and provide innovate teaching, moving away from a static to a more dynamic analysis. The intention is to provide a new framework for academic teaching of EU matters with a logical sequence and an increasing specialization, focusing on a more dynamic reading of European integration. The structure of the teaching part of the Chair is reflecting this objective. The Chair includes classroom courses, summer school activities, conferences and lectures as well as scientific publications on EU issues. Finally, the proposal includes one conference to be organized at the university and a study visit to the EU institutions.
The Chair was awarded to the Chairholder in 2019 and the duration of the Chair’s activities will last for three years (from September 2019 to September 2022).