Europe is not only a group of societies united by thousands of years of consolidated coexistence. It is not only a culture that, driven by established forces of globalisation made up of expansion and internalisation, has acquired the consciousness of being united and different from non-"Greek Roman-Jewish-Christian-individualistic" cultures. It is not only a civilization that has discovered technologies and rationalisations and transformed them into a paradigm of modernity spread over the whole world so as to generate a multiplicity of forms of modernity. Europe is also a state in the process of formation, composed of many nations and regions whose concepts of state and nation need to be reinvented, as do the related concepts of national sovereignty and international solidarity.
From this standpoint, Europe has become a laboratory for original forms of state, new forms of political and civil society, public and private organisations,for the formation of leaderships and citizenships, for integrated economies, for the planning and management of socially complex and simple areas as well as rich and poor ones, and without precedents in history an extraordinary and precious laboratory for the society of knowledge. This laboratory of multiple originality is being developed in the very time of the EU enlargement based on the prospective access of Central and East-European countries and of the new independent countries of the former Soviet Union. Such a development entails higher education and training as key areas for the process of economic and social reforms. The training of new professional profiles is of utmost importance as they should take charge of and manage the integration into Europe especially of countries which have only recently started to privatise their economies and whose primary task is to create new entrepreneurial structures and adapt their markets to new standards of quality in production. This new Europe, acting through programmes such as INTERREG, PHARE and TACIS, DEMOCRACY and INTAS (to name only the biggest) and with regulations shared by the countries which join, is the context in which the International University Institute for European Studies has grounded its constitution.
The foundation of IUIES was marked by the following features:
- it is located in towns on a junction border;
- it is the result of an initiative proposed by universities from different countries which synthesise a Europe that for fifty years experienced complementary histories, from liberal democracy to socialism;
- there is a lack of facilities for professional and intellectual training in the problems and methods of European policymaking and cross-border policies;
- the specific training objectives and academic contents, as they have been defined, are not be found in other European contexts. The postgraduate programs at the European University Institute in Florence have a more general political-sociological orientation, the CentralEuropeanUniversity in Budapest is mainly designed to cover political and social issues in Central/East European and post-communist countries and those related to their progressive approach towards the European Union.
The acceleration of the European construction has progressively led universities to adapt their curricula to include European studies. In so doing they are responding to a demand for in depth information and for the adaptation of teaching activities to take into account community developments in Community Law, European economic and social integration, political and social studies as well as the history of the European construction.
The achievement of the internal market and the establishment of the European Union through the Maastricht Treaty as well as the Amsterdam Treaty have given a new perspective to this movement. The accession of new Central and East- European countries to the Union will widen the circle of universities offering European studies and teaching at the postgraduate/graduate level, giving to these activities their rightful place within the university structure.
If state borders are destined to retain a separating function (albeit virtual), there is no doubt that over the centuries these areas have accumulated social diversity and have above all worked out a form of coexistence and equilibrium among their diverse social groups - groups that constitute invaluable resources in terms of behavioural models and lifestyles to offer to the rapidly expanding New Europe. These conditions provide the new university structure with two advantages, two stimuli and consequently two objectives.
The first is training in professional skills (for scholars and operators) in the study and management of border questions - borders being meeting points of societies, cultures, economic systems, legislative systems and spatial planning practices which are non-homogeneous as well as different.
The second is that scholars and experts are to be trained in questions which are not specific to single nations but affect the whole of Europe and at the same time the individual venues in which relations develop, business is transacted and divergent mentalities, planning systems and legislative systems meet and clash, only to be "necessarily" reconciled in daily life.
From this viewpoint, the use of English as the lingua franca, a comparative approach to problems and solutions, the fact that students will be coming from all over Europe and that teachers will be not only from the four founding institutions are guarantees of the formation of a global and local context in dealing with the subjects studied, general and specific alike.
The objectives of the proposed postgraduate studies are related to the need to train talented professionals and contribute to the creation of a certain number of graduates with a qualification in addition to a degree in sectors where detailed knowledge on the EU is in increasing demand. These graduates will be capable of assuming important, even leadership responsibilities in today's global environment, especially in the ever-increasing cross-border and international activities and contributing to the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law and market economy (with special reference to Central and East European countries). Scholars and experts will be, thus, trained for the organisation of the European Union, European Universities and national and local institutions directly involved in the design and management of international life in European states. The establishment of postgraduate programmes for the formation of international professions will effectively satisfy these needs by offering to prospective participants an education based on intensive study and professionalism within an innovative atmosphere.
Teaching and Learning, and Creating scientific and cultural outcomes
All programmes provide a broad social science education, including training in research methods and research, while allowing students to specialise in areas of particular concern to them.
The PhD xTransborder Policies for Daily Lifex and the Ma xMethods in European Policy Makingx are constructed in the knowledge that the process of European integration, the changes under way in central and eastern Europe, the increased importance of the EU in international affairs, and the development of regionalisation and crossborder cooperation have ushered in a new area. The Ma xInternational Peace Operatorsx is designed as to provide students with the theoretical and practical tools needed in the various phases of peacekeeping and peacemaking, and the development of the analytical skills required from professionals operating in various international organisations.
Teaching is on a modular and two semesters basis. This allows for increased flexibility in students programs. All courses are taught as modules adding, where needed, to the lectures, seminars and tutorials. During seminars students will have the opportunity to present their essays and/or research work and discuss key issues related to the course contents. Tutorials will give students the opportunity to discuss his/her work and academic progress with the coordinator of the program, his/her personal program tutor and individual lecturers.
Creating science and offering it to the Universities and to the Public opinion are consequences of the studies, through the teaching activities and the scientific researches.