COVID-19 / Activities update by the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair at Natolin

April and May 2020

Like all units at Natolin, also the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair has adjusted its operations and work to the new circumstances caused by the current pandemic.

After having contributed, together with Dr Emile BADARIN, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, and Ms Maja OLSZEWSKA, Chair Assistant, to the virtual study trip to Jordan, the Chairholder, Professor Tobias SCHUMACHER has been teaching his optional specialist course on the EU's Neighbourhood Policy in online mode. The entire Chair team were in close contact with students interested in ENP and EU neighbourhood-related matters through weekly online meetings, and they provided supervision in full online mode to all supervisees. In this context, the Chair organized another round of the EUN research colloquium, providing students with an opportunity to present their evolving Master's thesis online.

Throughout the past months, all ENP Chair researchers continued to work on multiple research projects: the Chairholder has finalised one peer-reviewed article on the ENP in 2019, to be published by the Journal of Common Market Studies later this year, and on EU-Moldova relations respectively, which is about to form part of a special issue. He also finalised a book chapter on EU relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, due in late 2020 as part of the Routledge Handbook on Europe-Middle East relations. Together with Dr Andriy TYUSHKA, Senior Research Fellow, he is also working on an edited volume on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the EU's Eastern Partnership, to be published later this year with Routledge. Also Dr TYUSHKA brought his compact seminar, taught entirely in online mode, to a successful end and finalized a co-authored article revolving around the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and cross-border cooperation within the Carpathian Euroregion. He finalised recently the Polish edition of his co-edited book on Strategic Partnerships between States and International Organisations which was published in Polish just a few weeks ago.

Dr BADARIN has been in the process of finalizing a peer-reviewed article on artwork and dissent and resistance in the framework of a project conducted by the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit and continues his work on another manuscript on empirical resilience in Palestine and Jordan.

Professor Jean-Pierre CASSARINO, Senior Research Fellow and temporarily holding also the Fulbright/IMéRA Chair on Migration Studies at the IMéRA – Institute for Advanced Study, is engaged in a research project on the functions and implications of the readmission system in the Mediterranean.​ He also edited a special issue of Les Cahiers de Tunisie, entitled La question de l’expulsion des étrangers dans les relations euro-méditerranéennes : Faire la lumière sur la zone grise, which will be published shortly.

On 21 May 2020, the ENP Chair organised a high-level fireside chat with Mr Laurence MEREDITH, Director, Neighbourhood-East and Institution-building at DG NEAR in the European Commission, on the future of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). This debate was very well received and offered participants an opportunity to discuss under the Chatham House Rule the recently published joint communication by the Commission and the European External Action Service ahead of the EaP Summit in Brussels in June.

On 17 June 2020, the Chairholder moderated a virtual online debate, organised by the Trans-European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) on COVID-19: What do Eastern Partnership countries make out of EU support. Together with Dr TYUSHKA, he was also invited to participate in the high-level think tank event, organised by the European Commission's DG NEAR and the German Council on Foreign Relations, on the future of the Eastern Partnership, held on 19 June 2020.