A study workshop “European School” was held in Voronezh from 27th to 31th of March. The event was organized by the EU Embassy in Russia. Among the 40 students from all over Russia who took part in the workshop, seven were students of the Regional Studies and National Economies Department of the International Relations Faculty. During the five days, students had been discussing problems of the European Union and ways of its further development with experts from Portugal, Romania, Great Britain, Croatia, Poland and Russia.
Among invited experts was Natalia Zhurbina, a project coordinator, who delivered a lecture on European Migration Policy towards third-country nationals. At the lecture, students had an opportunity to get an overview of not only the EU main policies, but also of its legislative and regulatory framework in relation to third-country nationals. At the end of the lecture, the students performed some Refugee Status Determination tasks.
Presentation “EU policy towards third-country nationals”
On 25th February at the Department of Regional Studies and National Economies of the International Relations Faculty there was delivered a lecture by Martin Tamcke, who is a professor at the Theology Faculty of the University of Goettingen (Goettingen, Germany) and a foreign expert of Martin Tamcke EUMig project on migration problems reflected in German literature. The issues of social and cultural integration of immigrants into society in the host country and its influence on the process of their self-definition were raised.
After the lecture the professor held an informal meeting with students of the Department, who study German. At the meeting Martin Tamcke answered the questions concerning not only European Union and Germany Migration Policy but also German culture itself.
These events help students, whose specialization is European Studies, to get firsthand information on Europe and to practice foreign languages.
From 29 October to 1 November 2018, during the autumn school holidays in Russia, the Department of Regional Studies and National Economies (the Faculty of International Relations, VSU) held an international workshop “The School for Young Specialists in Regional Studies”. One day of the School was focused totally on the problems of migration in Europe.
Students from Voronezh and Lipetsk, as well as from the regional schools, met the academic staff and students of the Department, attended lectures on European law, problems of migration in the EU and shadow economy.
On 31st October 2018 Associate Professor Natalia Zhurbina delivered lectures and seminars for senior school students, as well as 4th year students of Foreign Regional Studies training programme, as part of the Educational Module "Migration in the European Union: Problems and Prospects" within the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Actions.
The participants were given a lecture and took part in the role-play «II EU summit on migration». The main goal of the delegates to the summit was to continue discussion between European countries, started in July 2018, Brussels. They needed to reformulate current principles and mechanisms of EU migration policies on refugees, asylum seekers and illegal migrants.
The students’ immersion into the EU migration issues encouraged thorough understanding of migration processes and complexity of the situation, which European countries are facing for the last years under the conditions of massive influx of refugees, that makes them keeping balance between national interests and fulfilling their duties to protect those who need it.
On 4-7 April, 2018, Voronezh State University was holding the International conference “Europe in the XXI century: new challenges and development trends”. It was held by the Department of Regional Studies and National Economies, the faculty of International Relations, the Government of Voronezh oblast and the European Community Studies Association (Conference schedule, updates on the VSU’s website).
The conference was organized in the framework of implementation of Erasmus+ programme, Jean Monnet activities. It included the conference, workshops and lectures provided by Russian and foreign guests. The participants of the meeting included the academic staff, students of the university, Voronezh government representatives as well as academics from leading universities and foreign guest speakers.
The migration and intercultural communication issues were discussed as a separate thematic module. Natalia Zhurbina reported on the causes of migration crisis in Europe, and Elena Yakushkina focused on gender aspects of migration.
Within the educational module of Jean Monnet project “Migration in the EU. Problems and perspectives” (a senior lecturer N. Zhurbina (PhD in History), a senior lecturer E. Yakushkina (PhD in History)), a research partner and an expert in this field – professor of Theological faculty at the University of Goettingen, Germany, Martin Tamke gave a lecture on “Values and migration”. The lecture was followed by a lively discussion on the European policy for refugees and immigrants along with the problem of intercultural communication between the host society and immigrants.
Rupert Baynhauer, a research fellow from the International Management Institute of the University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM, Graz (Austria), ran a roundtable discussion with the students that participated in the international grid project on “Intercultural differences in micro-, meso- and macrolevels” in autumn 2017. The project involved 172 students. In addition to students from the Department of Regional Studies and National Economies, there were also students from English, Indian and USA universities. The project aimed at the analysis of cultural differences between the countries on the basis of TV advertisements of their own countries.
Igor Barinov, a research fellow in the Centre of Comparative Social, Economic and Political studies of the Department of Comparative Political Studies IMEMO RAS, reported on regional security affairs and the migration processes taking place in the Southern Balkans.
A delegation from the university “Sup management”, Fez (Morocco), delivered a presentation on its university and also discussed the issues of illegal migration from Morocco to the EU.
The deliverables of the conference include signing several agreements with Russian and foreign partners on continuing joint research and educational projects, dedicated to the European studies.
On 26th April 2018 a role-play devoted to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) activity was held within the discipline “Migration in the EU». Two departments involved are the Regional Studies and National Economies Department of the International Relations Faculty and the Culturology Department of the Philosophy and Psychology Faculty.
Aims of the projects are: to refine and reinforce students’ knowledge about the migration situation and the migration policy; to build up an objective picture of the International Organization for Migration work.
The course of the game.
Students select EU countries and divide into two subgroups: representatives of the International Organization for Migration and local authorities. The Representatives of IOM analyze migration situation and migration trends in the selected countries. They propose draft decisions on identified problems, adjust national migration policy and its priorities.
The local authorities must evaluate the offers and justify why they approve or reject them.
The Representatives of IOM:
The local authorities:
Final stage: summing up and preparing results list of the meeting between the representatives of IOM and the local authorities.
This year students selected such countries as Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Austria.
For the results list, please click here
On 19-20th of April 2018 the delegation of the Voronezh State University visited the European Studies Development conference in Moscow. The project team was represented by Natalia Zhurbina and Elena Yakushkina. This conference was organized by the European commission and devoted to delivery of Jean Monnet projects within the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.
This conference provided a platform for network organization of cooperatives and participants of Jean Monnet projects in Russia and Eastern European countries. It also provided exchanges of experience on implementing projects.
Natalia Zhurbina made a presentation of the project «Migration in the European Union: Problems and Prospects» and showed the outcomes on the plenary session, devoted to migration issues.
The event enabled to establish new contacts between colleagues from the Russian institutions and institutions abroad. It could be the basis for dissemination of the results and new project ideas.
From the 31st of October to the 2nd of November, 2017 an event aimed at high school and University students interested in Regional Studies was held on the site of the Regional Studies and National Economies Department of the International Relations Faculty. The event was registered as Young Regional Studies Specialist School and was attended by 14 students from different educational institutions of Voronezh and the region.
The School program was very intensive. The event included lectures and seminars delivered by the Department lecturers on relevant international, political, economic and legal aspects of European regions development, foreign language learning workshops and communication with students of the Department.
Three international projects implemented at the Department according to the European Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Actions program “Educational Module” were introduced to the participants:
The students took a great interest in the role-play "Council of Europe", which considered the problem of mass refugee influx to Europe. The game was organized by Associate Professor N. E. Zhurbina as part of the Educational Module "Migration in the European Union: Problems and Prospects". The participants were not only the guests of the Young Regional Studies Specialist School, but also Bachelor’s degree students in their final year.
The goal of the game was to familiarize both university and high school students with migration and refugee problems in the EU.
The course of the game:
Stage 1 – students select EU countries, whose interests they wish to represent in the Council of Europe.
Stage 2 – students study the present demographic and migration situation in the selected countries.
Stage 3 – holding a meeting in the Council of Europe to consider the distribution of refugees in the EU, followed by a discussion of the countries’ representatives.
Stage 4 – summing up and signing the resolution.
The students faced a difficult task: they had to represent the interests of the selected countries relying on the analysis of the current demographic and migration situation and to agree on a way to distribute 50 000 refugees who, according to legend, have recently arrived at the territory of the EU.
The joint work of the School and University students showed not only their good knowledge of the topic of migration in the EU, but also keen interest of Secondary School students in this issue.
Natalia Zhurbina, Associate Professor at the Regional Studies and National Economies Department of the International Relations Faculty, and Elena Yakushkina, Associate Professor at the History of Philosophy Department of the Philosophy and Psychology Faculty, were participants of the International Forum “European Higher Education Area: Development Trends” held on the 18th of May, 2017.
The forum involved a teleconference with Snejina Nikolova, project adviser of Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Actions (EACEA), during which the Project participants delivered a presentation of the Module “Migration in the European Union: Problems and Prospects”, as well as intermediary results of its implementation.
On 26 June 2017 the panel discussion on the topic “About Demographic Situation in the Voronezh Region and Implementation of the State Family Policy Concept in Russia to 2025” was held in the Information and Business Center (library 1). The event was initiated by “Independent Women’s Democratic Initiative”, a non-profit organization.
E. I. Yakushkina, Assistant Professor (VSU), gave a speech on gender dimensions of family policy and sociocultural aspects of migration in the Voronezh region in the context of migration processes in the EU.
The panel discussion was attended by members of the “Independent Women’s Democratic Initiative” (19 representatives), the Central District Administration and the District Registry Office (8 representatives).
On the 8th of April, 2017 the 6th UN International Student Model was held at the International Relations Faculty. The participants were not only Russian but also foreign students.
This year’s meetings of the United Nations Committees were devoted to International Migration problems. Thus, the Second Student General Assembly considered the issue of international migration, its problems and prospects. The working language of the section was English. The chief foreign expert of the Assembly was Martin Tamke, Professor of the Theology Faculty, Director of the European Center of the Göttingen University (Göttingen, Germany).
27 people took part in the work of the Committee. Among the delegates were students of the International Relations Faculty and high-school students as well as two foreign delegations: the US delegation of five members and the German delegation of two members. The US delegation was represented by students from Utah and Texas. The German delegation was represented by students of the Göttingen University.
During the work of the Committee no coalitions were formed, so all the delegates worked on the Joint Resolution Draft, the basic draft copy of which was prepared by the delegation from Nigeria. During informal debate with no presidency some amendments to the operational part of the Resolution Draft were proposed by the delegations of France, Germany, Great Britain and Russia. The Resolution developed by the Second Committee of the General Assembly was adopted.
The Resolution is comprised of 8 Paragraphs of the Preamble and 12 Paragraphs of the body. This document appeals to countries to aim at cooperation and compromise, emphasizing the importance of the International Law to migrants (especially to women and children), and recommends that countries should support migrants via socioeconomic programs. In addition, special attention was drawn to border security, identity check and development of security measures to prevent terrorist threats. Special attention was drawn to the International Refugee Organization, which should closely cooperate with the UN and its bodies.
The meeting of the Second Committee of the Voronezh UN Model General Assembly was aimed at discussing international migration issues. As a result, a collection of articles is to be published, that will outline the position of the Committee as a whole, as well as the positions of the individual delegates.