Cross-border Co-operation in Central Europe: Story of Success (?)

Program Overview

The curriculum was designed to provide a unique academic experience in a challenging period of the current Eurpean crisis.  The key topics of the course cover the way how does current Europe approach the topic of cross-border co-operation with particular focus on differences between “old” and “new” Europe. It reflects the current refugee crisis and offers various viewpoints on the links between CBC and Euroscepticism. It also makes possible cultural immersion through extracurricular activities including many field trips. Students are also integrated into the campus through numerous events, walking trips, fun and sports activities. A prolonged free weekend in the middle of the course enables student to make individual trips and explore other European countries.

Learning Outcomes

At the beginning of the program, students participate in an intensive introduction to Czech culture as well as the orientation at the university and the city of Liberec. The programme explains the concept of CBC as one of the key tools to overcome negative effect of national borders in Europe, with particular focus on the different approaches by “old” and “new” EU members and the role of the EU and its financial instruments in promoting CBC.   The knowledge will be framed in the context of current European crisis so that students can understand its causes, different understanding in different Euroepan countries and observe difficulties in efforts to promote European identity.

This mix should help the students to obtain an interdisciplinary perspective of current Europe.
Field Trips are academically interlinked with in-class sessions and are designed to provide better understanding of the discussed issues. The program lecturers guide all of the following trips: Prague, Wroclaw and Dresden, short trips to the neighborhood of Liberec.

Organizer: Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Humanities and Education, Technical University of Liberec

ECTS credits: 5

Price: 450 EURO (price includes course fee and all course materials, accommodation in the university dormitory, accommodation during field trips, all transport to the field trips, welcome and farewell party, entrance fees and non-stop students´assistance)

Contact: Hynek Böhm, Ph.D., Academic Coordinator
(e-mail: Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript., phone: +420 775 297 415)

Programme of the summer school

Weekend 1 to 3 August 2020 – arrival to Liberec, accommodation at the university dormitory – see http://www.tul.cz/en/international-office/international-students/accommodation-eating-and-shopping-on-campus

Week 1

Orientation of the students in Liberec, introduction to the local context and the city of Liberec, introduction of course leaders and students´ assistance, guided tour through the city, trip to iconic Ještěd mountain

Introduction to the Czech Republic, major historical phases and events 
(when teaching in Liberec we will organise 3 teaching units/90 minutes a day)
  • History of the CBC in Europe after WWII: first co-operation structures along the Rhine on Dutch-German and Franco-German borders, influence of the European single market on the CBC, INTERREG funds as multiplying factor for cross-border initiatives.
  • Development of the CBC forms in the EU: Euroregions, Local groupings for territorial co-operation, European groupings for territorial co-operation (EGTC).
  • CBC in the Czech Republic: development of the CBC after 1989, creation of first co-operation structures – euroregions.
  • Visit of the Euroregion Nisa-Nysa-Neisse secretariat – Czech part, introduction to the work of the oldest Euroregion in the post-communist Europe
  • Role of CBC as a “laboratory of European integration” – true in a current crisis? – concrete cases
  • Euroscepticism and CBC
  • Financing CBC from the EU Structural Funds: INTERREG programmes and their successors.
  • How did EU funds influence the way the CBC has been conducted in Europe
  • Trip to Prague, guided tour through Prague. Students will have an opportunity to spend the weekend in Prague, if they wish so (at own costs)

Week 2

  • Actors of the CBC: International organisations (EU, Council of Europe, OSCE, UN), states, regions, municipalities, other actors (NGOs, universities, entrepreneurs) and their motivations
  • Introduction to the Visegrad Group co-operation and their cross-border links
  • Introduction to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary including their CBC initiatives
  • Bus departure to Dresden, sightseeing in Dresden, Czech-German relations, afternoon move to Wroclaw, overnight there
  • Sightseeing, city tour, afternoon bus departure back to Liberec
  • Self-study, preparation for the test based on the required readings
  • Final test

Weekend 14 to 16 August 2020: departure of students