Jean Monnet Chair project “Teaching, researching and debating contemporary European issues” (TRENDS)

9 October 2020 - 8 October 2023

Project idea

The project aims at revising, expanding and upgrading the EU studies on both bachelor and master levels to systemically integrate contemporary European issues into the study curriculum of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science and expand accessibility of the EU studies to the students of other departments of Vilnius University. The project is guided by three main goals: first, to motivate bachelor students to pursue master level studies of the EU and choose professional carrier in Lithuanian and EU public institutions working on those issues, second, to widen access to the EU studies to other departments of Vilnius University, and third, to stimulate the public debate on European issues, counter misleading narratives about the EU as well as provide knowledge to non-academic audiences about the EU institutions, policies and current issues.

The underlying motivation for the proposed activities is based on the need to reinvigorate interest in what is happening in the EU among young generation and to contribute to public debates on the contemporary European issues in Lithuania. It originates from a currently visible decline in the interest in the EU matters compared to the times of EU accession fifteen years ago. This decline is manifested in fewer students opting to study EU subjects on master level, reduction in the number of theses written on the EU subjects, fewer books published on the EU related subjects in Lithuanian, decline of quality debates on European issues, and intellectual exchange between policy makers and scholars that used to be more frequent in the times of EU accession as well as, to some extent, in the run up to the Lithuania’s EU Council rotating presidency in 2013.