During the fourth workshop of the EUCAIS Master Programme 25 students successfully passed their final examinations and gained their Master’s degrees. They travelled to Brussels and visited all major EU institutions before the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) and the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE) took leave of the students in a farewell ceremony.
The first term of the EUCAIS Master Programme, funded by the VolkswagenFoundation and financially supported by the European Commission, ended with its fourth workshop in Berlin and Brussels. Between the 12th and the 22nd of March 2012 the students defended their Master Thesis and passed their final examinations in Berlin. 25 students studied for 20 months in the EUCAIS Master Programme, passed all examinations and gained a Master’s degree.
Subsequently, the students travelled to Brussels and visited the EU institutions. Intensive debates with representatives from the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament complemented the students’ theoretical knowledge with insights into the practical work within these institutions. A guided city walk through the European quarter and a discussion at the Press Club Brussels Europe rounded up the study trip to Brussels.
On 22 March 2012, the students’ last day in Berlin, the farewell ceremony, took place. Marie-Thérèse Duffy-Häusler (Deputy Head, European Commission, Representation in Germany, Berlin) welcomed students and all guests in the European Commission Representation in Germany. Keynote speaker was Patricia Flor (then “Special Representative for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia” in the German Federal Foreign Office), who presented the German perspective on the current EU-Central Asia relations. A students’ point of view on the programme was given by Aijan Sharshenova.
See Aijan Sharshenova’s farewell speech for the class of 2012 and for more information the EUCAIS Brochure.
The Master Programme is now into its second year, and 28 post-graduates and young professionals from Central Asia, Afghanistan and the Chinese Province of Xinjiang again journeyed to Berlin for their presence workshop, held 10-18 July 2011.
In addition to undertaking exams for their second semester subjects, participants also attended introductory lectures for third semester subjects. Prof. Dr. François Bafoil gave an energetic opening lecture on “Political and Economic Aspects of Transition of Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, while IEP Director Prof. Dr. Mathias Jopp challenged participants to consider the potential for regional cooperation in Central Asia in his lecture on “The EU and the Relations with Central Asia – Lessons of the Past for Strategies of the Future”.
Attendees began to turn their minds to their thesis topics and in this participated in a lecture by Prof. Dr. Carina Sprungk on “Methodology of Academic Work in Research and Writing” and opportunities to meet with their supervisors to discuss their proposed topics.
Students were privileged to benefit from the considerable experience of Dr. Alexander Mühlen, who illuminated his seminar on negotiation with many examples from his time in the German Foreign Office. They had the opportunity to try out their negotiation skills in several simulations based on actual international events, e.g. a meeting of the UN Security Council and negotiations on an international agreement.
Finally, participants were fortunate to be able to listen to a two guest speakers. Students visited the German Federal Chancellery and discussed Germany’s role in EU policy with Mr Markus Knauf. Students also heard a presentation from Wenzel Michalski, Director of Human Rights Watch Germany and participated in a discussion that revealed a range of views amongst students.
Prof. Bafoil giving his lecture on Transition and transformation policies in Eastern Europe and Asia.
The students visiting the Chancellery and discussing Germany´s role in European politics with Mr. Markus Knauf.
The lecture by Prof. Dr. M. Jopp on the prospect for future relationships between the EU and Central Asia.
Dr. Mühlen, former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, lectured on negotiations skills and lead a simulation.
From 22nd to 31th January 2011 the second presence workshop of the EUCAIS online master programme took place at the Institut für Europäische Politik and the Centre international de Formation européenne in Berlin. Within one week the 31 participants from various countries of Central Asia passed their first official exams of the master programme and coevally attended the four starting-sessions of their second semester:
1. “The EU and Central Asia in World Politics”; Prof. Dr. Reimund Seidelmann, Justus Liebig University Gießen
2. “European and Inter-national Law”; Andreas Knödler, University of Heidelberg
3. “EU Trade Policy and the Single Market”; André Schmidt, University of Witten
4. “Energy Economy and climate Change”; Dr. Oliver Bettzüge, Dr. Frieder Borggrefe, University of Cologne
Additionally, the students discussed the German perspective on the EU strategy towards Central Asia with Christine Weil, Head of Southern Caucasus and Central Asia Division of the German Federal Foreign Office, and Mathias Roth, also of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia Division of the German Federal Foreign Office. Bernd Hüttemann, secretary general of the “Network European Movement Germany”, presented insights to the role of NGOs in European politics.
In the course of just one week the students successfully completed the exams of the first semester and got an introduction to the courses of the second semester. Beyond that the students continued to develop a feeling of community. Friendships that evolved during the first presence workshop between the multicultural master students were visibly deepened. This fuels the expectations for the next workshop taking place in July 2011 in Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Seidelmann lecturing about theoretical and methodological aspects of the study of International Relations
Mr Knödler, PhD Candidate at Heidelberg University, explaining the students how to present their group work during the lecture on EU Law.
The students while visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before a meeting with Christine Weil, Head of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia Division.
32 students from Central Asian countries for a one-week seminar in Berlin
From 29 August to 4 September 2010 the first presence workshop of the EUCAIS online master programme took place in Berlin. The 32 participants of the first promotion of EUCAIS (2010-2012) arrived from their countries of origin (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and the Chinese Province of Xinjiang) and stayed for a one-week seminar at the Institut für Europäische Politik and Centre international de formation européenne in Wilmersdorf.
After the opening ceremony which took place at the European Commission Representation in Germany and was introduced by Ms Barbara Steffner, Head of the Political Department, the three courses of the first semester started:
1. History: “EU-Integration and European Central Asian Relations in a Changing World”; Prof. Dr. Hartmut MARHOLD, General Director, CIFE, Nice/Berlin
2. Politics: “Instititutions, Decision-making and Core Policies in the External Action of the EU”; Prof. Dr. Wolfgang WESSELS, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam, University of Cologne
3. Economy: “Challenges and Trends of World Economy: Implications for the EU and Central Asia”; Prof. Dr. Wim KÖSTERS, University of Bochum/ Member of the Executive Board, Rhine-Westfalia Institute for Economic Research and Prof. Dr. Ansgar BELKE, University of Essen/ Research Director, DIW
The programme of this first presence workshop was completed by a visit to the German parliament as well as a guided city tour to the historical Berlin and museums of the museum’s island.
After a fulfilling week of impressions, new friendships and interesting seminars, the EUCAIS participants returned to their home towns, anticipating their next gathering in the context of the second Berlin workshop that will be held in January 2011.