EUKIT, a pause in our journey

  • 30/10/2023
  • 1 min reading time
Jean Monnet

The Jean Monnet Module “Knowledge and Innovation for EU Trade Challenges” (EUKIT), concluded its three-year execution period at ESCI-UPF. It has been exciting and enriching for all participants, enabling our institution to contribute to ongoing discussions about the EU's trade policy in these times of significant turbulence and uncertainty.

The original proposal submitted to EACEA, the same European agency responsible for Erasmus academic exchange scholarships, encompassed four key areas of work: teaching, research, knowledge dissemination, and organising events to complement these areas.

In this context, introducing a new elective course in the 2020-2021 academic year, titled “European Union Trade Policy in Times of Change,” was not coincidental. It directly responded to the Jean Monnet module awarded a few months earlier. This course has become the flagship of the entire EUKIT project, as EUKIT’s primary objectives were education and dissemination, and not research.

The fact that we are consolidating this course in the new academic year 2023-2024, without the financial support of EACEA but with a record number of enrolled students, is a positive indication of our achievements.

Moreover, over the past three years, a small but consistent number of students from ESCI-UPF’s degree and master’s programs have chosen to focus on topics related to EU trade policy in their final theses. This demonstrates that EUKIT has succeeded in raising awareness about the significance of EU trade policy among ESCI-UPF stakeholders, particularly the students. And we are proud of that.

Activity in other areas of EUKIT’s work has been equally robust. We have published EUKITalks, a collection of online interviews with experts covering various aspects of the EU’s trade policy. In collaboration with ACCIÓ and the journalists of the radio slot “El Pregoner”, we have released an eight-episode podcast that delves into the state of trade relations with eight key EU partners.

Furthermore, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that suggested cancelling the study trip to Brussels in July 2021, the subsequent editions in July 2022 and July 2023 were a clear success. On both occasions, a group of 20 GNMI students had the opportunity to visit the European institutions that shape trade policy and explore Brussels, a city that has been the host of the EUropean institutions since its early days (except for Strasbourg, Luxembourg, or Frankfurt am Main, but that’s another story).

EUKIT marked a milestone as the first Jean Monnet action hosted by ESCI-UPF in its 30-year history. Over these three years, the institution has undergone significant learning. In light of this, and taking advantage of the upcoming conference on good teaching practices at GNMI scheduled for December 14th, EUKIT team members will deliver a lecture on the lessons learned from the design, implementation, execution, and evaluation of EUKIT. The goal is to generate synergies for the future.

While some EUKIT actions were executed exceptionally well, there is always room for improvement. The overall balance of this initial experience should encourage us to continue on the path charted by EUKIT and make ESCI-UPF a hub for teaching, reflection, and education on European issues. This extends beyond trade policy to encompass the internal market, industrial policy, logistics, climate emergency management, and, of course, sustainability, which must be regarded as a critical element at the core of a new social contract, one that our societies cannot ignore.

EUKIT is reaching its conclusion, but this is not an endpoint; it’s merely a pause in our journey.

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