The CBSS Summer University Series for 2016 kicked-off in June, with the first of three programmes across our region. The first Summer University was held at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. In cooperation with the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), throughout the week, lectures and seminars connected to the topic “Cultural memory in Europe: East and West” discussed and explored not only the history of the Baltic Sea Region but also notions of identity and memory politics. The 23 master and PhD students during this nine-day-long Summer University elaborated whether a Baltic Sea regional identity exists and if so, how it came to exist and how it could be further developed in the future. In this course, academic input was given by lecturers coming from different universities and institutions of the Baltic Sea Region such as the University of Tartu, Estonia, the University of Greifswald, Germany; and the University of Gdańsk, Poland. Thanks to the multidisciplinarity amongst the students and teachers, scientific questions addressing borderlands, ‘Eastness’, region-building alongside present and historic ties in the Baltic Sea Region were vividly debated and resulted in interesting findings which will also be useful for the CBSS and its priority area Regional Identity. Additionally, during the field trips to places such as the open-air museum Skansen and the Viking village of Birka, the students had the chance to discover different historical sights of the Baltic Sea Region and to approach the cultural memorial sites of the region also in a practical way.
The second Summer University took place in southern Norway at the University of Agder (Kristiansand), the Baltic Sea Region was explored through the prism of political science. The European Integration Summer School (EISS) which has been taken place since 1992 dedicated a weekly course this year to intergovernmental organisations operating in the Baltic Sea Region and multi-level governance in general in the BSR. With regards to this, about 25 master students from not only the Baltic Sea Region but from all over the world analysed the European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), familiarised themselves with the work of the CBSS itself and discussed Norway’s role within it as well as vis-a-vis the EU. Since the second module of this Summer University focused on “The European Union in Crisis”, special attention was also paid to regional cooperation and its benefits and challenges during times of political or economic turmoil. In this course, theoretic input was given by lecturers from the host university and from Baltic Sea regional universities such as Aarhus University, Denmark and the University of Tampere, Finland.
The third Summer University took place at Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics, Russia in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, Finland; the University of Gdańsk, Poland and Södertörn University, Sweden. Dealing with the topic “Baltic Energy in a Changing Energy Landscape”, this Summer University approached the pressing issue of energy market operation and sustainable development in the BSR. Furthermore, about 20 students from the Baltic Sea Region as well as from Belarus and the Netherlands learned about the different energy landscapes and politics in the Baltic Sea States and discussed EU-Russian relations in this field. Receiving input not only from academics but also from leading experts such as Jurgis Vilemas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Association for Energy Economics; or Hans Jørgen Koch, CEO of Nordic Energy Research under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Summer University was closed with a British Parliamentary style debate on energy perspectives in the BSR, the outcomes of which could be valuable for the CBSS’ priority area Sustainable and Prosperous Region.
Go on the CBSS Flickr for some impressions!