Prof Christian Kaunert, leading a team of several excellent researchers from the University of South Wales has been awarded a prestigious Jean Monnet Chair for three years, starting from September 2018. Jean Monnet Chairs, as part of the prestigious Life Long Learning programme of the European Union, are very competitive. These highlyprestigious awards are designed to undertake very advanced research and teaching activities at a world-leading research organisation in Europe. Each award is worth € 50,000. This award underlines the research prestige of the University of South Wales, being a recognised global leader in research in policing and counter-terrorism.
The Jean Monnet Chair will be centred on the EU policy area of Counter-Terrorism and Police Cooperation, which has often been overlooked in European integration. The objective of this Jean Monnet Chair, is to engage students, academics and policy-makers/practitioners in a dialogue on: (1) the policy evolution of EU Counter-Terrorism (dynamics and change of instruments, decision-making, participation of institutional/societal actors); (2) taking stock of European internal security; (3) technological developments in the sphere of data exchange and security/intelligence tools; as well as (4) challenge to law-makers and civil society at large. Throughout the lifetime of the project, teaching activities of three separate modules on Policing, Security and Counter-Terrorism in the European Union within the Jean Monnet Chair, culminating in the development of a new Masters Programme in International Security and Risk Management, will be complemented with conferences, lecture series, and the accession to the EuroSIM teaching event as part of the TACEUSS transatlantic EU simulation network. These events will lead to several significant research outputs.
The Jean Monnet Chair activities will be organised in cooperation with the special interest section on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), which is currently being established. EUSA is the premier scholarly and professional association focusing on the European Union, the ongoing integration process, and transatlantic relations. Founded in 1988, EUSA now has almost 1,000 members throughout North America, all EU member states, and on all continents, representing the social sciences, humanities, business and law practitioners, news media, and governments on both sides of the Atlantic. EUSA is an independent, non-profit educational organisation. Prof. John Occhipinti and Prof Christian Kaunert, as joint Directors, have established a special interest section on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice within the framework of EUSA; the formal decision to establish this special interest section was taken in November 2012.
The proposed project is both extremely relevant and timely for several reasons. The ‘EU acquis’ on EU Justice and Home Affairs has grown significantly over the last years; a majority of Union citizens, according to Eurobarometer (1997-2018) periodic surveys, increasingly feel that EU-level actions have an added value compared to those taken solely at a national level and two thirds of citizens support EU-level actions in the fight against organised crime, irregular migration and terrorism. The detailed analyses of EU policy-making in European internal security will be of profound benefit for representatives of the EU member states’ diplomatic and home affairs establishment. This will also provide further insights into the policy-making of the most dynamic policy area of the European Union, and the workings of the European institutions. This has clear practical relevance for EU officials and national officials working for national ministries and embassies in Brussels. Given the sustained interest of governments in the development of this most dynamic policy area in the EU, this project will have an important impact on both academic and governmental debates.
In this project, theteam at the University of South Wales will serve as a hub that connects to the different stakeholders in the field of EU policing and counter-terrorism, i.e. policy-makers, civil society and the academic community. The project will provide the platform required for a fruitful exchange between policy-makers, civil society and academia. The project is of innovative character, as such a hub does not yet exist in that area. Due to its outstanding position in the academic community and its research excellence, the University of South Wales is in a unique situation to serve as platform and centre of excellence. Furthermore, the events will be fully open to civil society, which will be directly addressed and invited in the preparation of specific events.