The objectives of the Center of Excellence are the following:
- Increasing the interest and enhancing the knowledge in order to properly prepare future political and economic leaders and opinion makers.
- Promoting the interest of the academic community and European citizens in the processes of European integration.
- Providing incentives to participation in innovative educational and research processes to understand the fundamental concepts and potential of the European Union.
- Addressing the growing distrust of European citizens in the European Union’s “ideals”.
- Enhancing the public debate on controversial European issues.
- Improving teaching methods and materials that will help upgrade the quality and efficiency of research activities.
- Encouraging and providing appropriate training and mobility knowledge.
- Creating new research and academic conditions for the introduction of modern models of higher education in the European Union and the European neighborhood.
- Strengthening cooperation between the academic community and civil society on European integration issues.
- Synchronizing the scientific research with the needs of European societies.
- Rejuvenating and boosting the values of solidarity, democracy, cultural diversity and the rule of law within Europe.
Since September 2015, the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence “Research on Crucial Issues of European Integration” has been operating at the University of Macedonia, hosted by the Laboratory for International Relations and European Integration of the Department of International and European Studies. The establishment of the Center was sponsored by the European Commission, in particular the Erasmus + program following a call for detailed proposals and rigorous evaluation by independent experts. There are now two Centers of Excellence in Greece, and such centers exist throughout Europe, America and other countries. The main mission of the Center is to promote dialogue, to help revitalize the “European idea” among European citizens and to increase interest in the studies of European integration.
The primary goal of the Center of Excellence of the University of Macedonia is research on crucial issues of European Integration with is done with specific structure and timetable with the help of teams of researchers from the University of Macedonia and other institutions in Greece and abroad. The research is supported by research visits abroad as well as the organization of events such as ’round table discussions’ and meetings.
The main research areas of the Center include:
1) European Union in the International System: Security and Defense,
2) European Economic Governance,
3) EU Growth,
4) Constitutional Values, Rights and Citizenship; and
5) Education and research policies of the EU.
The second goal of the Center of Excellence is to teach on crucial issues of the EU. The Center of Excellence organizes every year a summer school entitled “the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice” as well as online training seminars on EU policies for hate speech and hate crimes. In addition, students of both the University of Macedonia and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who study in subjects related to the purposes of the Center of Excellence have the opportunity to intern.
The third objective of the Center of Excellence is the operation of the EU Constitutional Observatory, which mainly deals with the activities of recording and commenting on EU legislation and case law (EU Constitutional Observatory).
The Center of Excellence publishes its research papers in conference proceedings, scholarly articles, research programs and student workbooks. Postings are made on his website and / or in print and / or social media.
With a vision to continue the work of the Jean Monnet Chair ‘New Dimensions in EU Legal Studies’ (since 2012) and the first Jean Monnet Center of Excellence in New Greece (2005-2008), the new Center aims to continue the long-standing tradition of the University of Macedonia and particularly of the Department of International and European Studies, in conducting high-level research and teaching.