News and Events

UCC Awarded Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on EU Integration and Citizens’ Rights

14 Dec 2021

The three-year project – led by PI Professor Dagmar Schiek, a Jean Monnet ad personam Chair of 20 years standing and Synnott Family Chair in European Law at UCC – will explore ways to address the EU’s increasing legitimacy crisis through focusing on individuals in society in their status as citizens.

The European Commission Erasmus+ programme’s Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence are focal points of competence and knowledge on European Union subjects. Hosted and led by high-level, often cross-departmental experts within higher education institutions, they play a key role in reaching out to students, policy makers, civil society and the general public, making European Union issues accessible to all. The EU Integration and Citizens’ Rights Project (EUICR) at UCC, which is aligned to the newly founded Centre for European Integration comprised of researchers from the School of Law and Department of Government and Politics, is the first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence to be established at the university. The Project has received a €100,000 grant from the European Commission to undertake its activities.

The EUICR establishes an interdisciplinary cooperation at UCC of legal, political, and economic EU studies exploring how effective activation of citizens’ rights in the EU, its neighbourhood and through its global partnerships can ensure the EU’s future legitimacy. It consists of five work packages which aim to:

  • Provide a conceptual framework on the link between citizens’ rights and the EU’s legitimacy (WP1)
  • Explore success and failure in activating citizens’ rights within the EU (WP2)
  • Explore the extent to which citizens’ rights are established, protected and used in the EU’s neighbourhood (WP3)
  • Explore realisation and activation of EU derived rights for citizens globally (WP4)
  • Engage with a range of audiences, and to ensure a wide and effective dissemination of the project results (WP5)

EUICR combines three Jean Monnet Chairs (Professor Dagmar Schiek, Professor Andrew Cottey and Dr Mary C. Murphy) and one Jean Monnet Module leader (Dr Stephen Coutts), with the team as a whole comprising staff from across the School of Law, Department of Government and Politics, Department of Economics and the Glucksman Gallery, which will disseminate academic results of WP3 and WP4 through two creative and innovative engagement workshops in partnership with relevant academic stakeholders. This dissemination method, along with other initiatives such as public-facing seminars and collaborations with civil society groups including the Centre for Cross Border Studies, stresses the EUICR’s sociological approach to law and rights.

Commenting following the announcement of the grant, Professor Dagmar Schiek, EUICR PI, Jean Monnet ad personam Chair and Synnott Family Chair in European Union Law at UCC School of Law said:

I am delighted that our Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “EU Integration and Citizens’ Rights” (EUICR) will be funded from March 2022! Our research connects the socio-legal and political analysis of integration through EU rights with citizens’ experiences with realising those rights in their daily lives. Our research covers the EU itself, reflecting on the impact of COVID on free movement rights, debating whether a citizens’ initiative proved suitable to generate momentum for the Universal Basic Income, how eliminating frontiers for broadcasting sports events contributes to non-verbal citizens’ engagement. It covers the EU’s Western and Eastern neighbourhood investigating the fate of citizens movement and anti-discrimination rights in Northern Ireland and the Ukraine, and approaches the global human rights endeavours of the EU highlighting its relationship to China. While this is the second Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence I am leading, it is the first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for UCC, and I am satisfied to put European Studies at this university on the map.

EUICR activities will begin in earnest next year (2022), so watch this space for information on workshops, webinars and other exciting outputs from this innovative and collaborative project.

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