Poland and the Baltics
Estonia, Kaliningrad, Latvia and Lithuania
For the academic year 1994-95, the Polish program, which by then had seventeen visiting lecturers, was incorporated into CEP. Since then, its growth within CEP has always been managed with a view to its autonomous sustainability, for the time when CEP is no longer present in the region. For the academic year 2001-02, this is most clearly evidenced in the programs focus around four centers chosen to be future models of excellence influencing other university departments. These are:
The ongoing role of the Poland Program also changed in the academic year 2000-01, when it was merged with the existing CEP Baltics Program, in the belief that the two combined would for a strong and cohesive unit to the benefit of all of the participant regions.
In the academic year 2000-01, the newly merged CEP Poland and the Baltics Program hosted eighteen Local Faculty Fellows (LFFs - formerly Eastern Scholars) and four Visiting Faculty Fellows (VFFs - formerly Visiting Lecturers) in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Kaliningrad (Russian Federation) and Poland. There continues to be a growing demand for CEP's services. CEP Fellows are approached by institutions and individuals who would like to share the experience of having foreign-educated lecturers to work with, to expand their course offerings, or to help with curriculum revision. Some students who once took CEP courses are now CEP Fellows, implementing what they have learned from their CEP tutors.
In addition to their classroom duties, CEP Fellows are active in a variety of outreach activities, such as organizing seminars, workshops, guest lectures and conferences.
CEP launched a Public Administration program at Gdansk University two years ago. The program is based at the Faculty of Management at Gdansk University and is open to all university students. Students are enrolled based on their academic credentials and have to pass ten course units (which include internship at the local government offices). The two or three best students are given the possibility of study at full MPA programs at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and Appalachian State University. The certificate course was and is administered by Renata Matuszkiewicz, CEP Local Fellow in 1999-2001, and currently Program Coordinator. As well as being in its innovative in its nature, content and methods, this course also draws both visiting Professors from the US and local scholars from the region. Veronica Junjan, a CEP LF from Babes-Bolyai University, in Romania, was one such visiting contributor to the program.
In some ways, the culmination of this work was seen on 6 January 2001 when the first 18 students went through a Graduation Ceremony to mark their completion of the course. The Certificates awarded were in the joint names of GVSU, Gdansk University and CEP. This ceremony has since been repeated for the next intake of students, and the course continues to enroll students in what is rightly regarded as one of the most innovative and progressive University courses in the entire Central European region.
This focus on Public Administration, centered around Gdansk University has also been evidenced through the series of roundtables, organized annually to bring together PA teachers from the region to discuss the development of PA education in Central and Southeast Europe. In 2001 the meeting was held also on 6 January, and brought together participants from Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. This years event focussed specifically on Teaching & Researching PA in Central and Southeast European Countries.
March 2001 saw two parallel events focussed on international environmental issues. From the 9-11th, the Third Annual International Student Conference, entitled "Environmental Protection in the Baltic Region: Environmental Challenges in the process of Eastward Expansion of European Union", took place at Gdansk University. Over 25 participants attended from Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad and Moscow), Sweden, and Ukraine. The specific goal of this event was to discuss the impact of EU accession on environmental policy and practice in candidate countries in the Baltic region, and to assess how the process of EU expansion will affect neighboring (not candidate) countries and their environmental policies. In addition to the student conference, there was a forum discussion including scholars and representatives of Baltic, Polish and Scandinavian environmental non-governmental organizations. The main sponsors of the event were the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Jurzykowski Foundation, Gdansk University and Gdansk Technical University, and CEP.
Meanwhile, from 22-23rd a conference was held for students and faculty entitled "Environmental Challenges in the Process of Eastward Expansion of the European Union", at the Faculty of Economics of Opole University. The Jurzykowski Foundation, Opole University and CEP jointly sponsored the event. Over 20 participants from Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, and the UK came together to take part in themed panels, the general focus of which was to consider the impacts of EU expansion on Central European environmental policies and practices. The proceedings of both conferences will be published and made available to libraries throughout Central Europe.
As well as the major activism in the fields of PA and Environmental Studies, CEP Poland has a long history of Law work. Students from CEP/Juris Angliea Law programs at Warsaw University took part in both the CEP/Warsaw University British School of English and European Legal Studies Moot Court in Prague and in the European Law Moot Court in Lubljana. Also, in June, this same law team hosted the Polish-German Legal Student Conference at Warsaw University, entitled "The Niece Treaty and EU Enlargement". This conference saw over 50 law students from the two countries come together to discuss this issue of the utmost importance in the next decade of growth of EU law.
CEP Fellows involve themselves outside the classroom in a number of outreach programs. These include coaching moot court teams in competitions across Europe, participation in Euro-Faculty workshops, and book donation initiatives. In the past, CEP Fellows helped promote accreditation efforts for institutes of higher education and monitored elections in Lithuania. CEP Fellows have offered extra classes and a Tort Law Post Graduate Summer School and contributed to the English language version of the University of Latvia's Human Rights Journal, as well as organizing small conferences and roundtables, including one on "Gender Issues in the Baltics" in Riga in June 2001.
However, the highlight of the CEP year was the 7th International Baltic Student Conference, "Continuity and Change in the Baltic Sea Region". Over 35 students convened in Vilnius, Lithuania, at the end of March 2001. The participants came from Estonia, Kaliningrad, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and even Japan! The main theme of this years event was the different dimensions of transition in the Baltic Region, and the specific problems that the Baltic countries face 10 years after the fall of communism in the region. However, during the event, the main focus that arose - or rather the common difficulty that many participants emphasized - was that of the relations between the Baltic states and their resident Russian minorities. Whilst this issue was of considerable personal concern to many of the participants, the discussions remained focussed on academic analysis and proposition of serious solutions to the difficulties faced.