Student conference at The University of Florence

Twenty-seven ideas from the Erasmus generation
31 May – 1 June 2012
Deadline for application March 26.

Send applications to CEMES administration Lene Raben-Levetzau:
For questions ask CEMES chairman Hans-Jörg Trenz:

Conference description:
   To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ‘Erasmus’ programme, the Faculty of Political Science ‘Cesare Alfieri’ and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the University of Florence are organizing a conference aimed at involving a group of Erasmus students coming from EU Member countries and European Parliamentary Members. The purpose of the conference is to allow a group of students coming from all over Europe to present specific proposals and discuss their views on the European integration process with representatives of EU institutions. The event is a follow up of the series of nine conferences on “The costs of non Europe” that the Faculty of Political Science organized last year. The results of the conferences were officially presented and discussed with Giuliano Amato during the first Festival of Europe jointly promoted in May 2011 by the European University Institute, the city of Florence, the University and other local Institutions. As a result, the University of Florence has committed to a transnational initiative on the future of the European Union aimed at involving European universities and particularly Erasmus students, as they represent “the symbol of a European space which already exists and in which the feeling of a common belonging becomes everyday stronger” (

Local organizers and scientific committee:
Valeria Fargion, Jean Monnet Chair, Politics of European Integration
Laura Leonardi, Jean Monnet Chair, Social Dimension and European Integration
Annick Magnier, Jean Monnet Chair, Cities in the European Integration Process
Roberto Castaldi, Centre for Studies Research and Education on the European Union
(CESUE), Sant’Anna School of Pisa.
Pasquale Baldocci, former Italian ambassador

Participant selection:
CEMES will send two students (a male and a female) to the conference.
To apply you should:
- currently be working with European Studies. 
- have spent a period of study in another European country, preferably as Erasmus student.
- be in good academic standing in order to contribute effectively to the success of the project.

   The 27 teams will be asked to write a short paper on the issues that are a priority for the revitalization of the European integration process.
   In order to encourage the exchange of views among the participants and to stimulate a joint exercise, the local organizers will set up a virtual platform for the group (such as
google-docs or drop-box). The platform will be active for a month (starting around the end of March up to the end of April). The documents prepared by the students should be submitted to the local organizers by the 10th of May, in order to be forwarded to MEPs and representatives of the Commission taking part in the event at least two weeks before the forum.

The local organization (In Denmark: CEMES) will cover travel and accommodation expenses for all the students.

Participants will stay in Florence for four days, arriving on the 30th of May and leaving on June 3 2012 .

Institutional participants
The students will present their proposals and discuss them with some Members of the
European Parliament (MEPs) elected in Italy, and possibly with representatives of the
European Commission in Rome. Contacts have already been established with Leonardo
Domenici, Paolo Bartolozzi, Niccolo’ Rinaldi , Deborah Serracchiani, who have committed to involve a wider number of MEPs in the Forum. The participating MEPs will be members of different parties but come primarily from the electoral district of centre Italy .

Outline of the project
Considering that several events have already been scheduled for May 9, Day of Europe, and also taking into consideration the European Parliament's calendar of activities, the confernce has been planned for the last week in May. Students should arrive in Florence on Wednesday, May 30.The forum will start on Thursday, May 31 with an entire day dedicated to students interacting with each other and finalizing themes and proposals to be discussed the following day with the European Institutions' representatives. In detail, students will gather in thematic working groups during the morning; a presenter will be chosen for each thematic group. In the afternoon, students will gather in a plenary session, in order learn about the work being carried out in each thematic area. The presenter will be in charge of illustrating his/her working group's dossier to the students of other working groups, and exploring the possibility for wider agreements. Students will receive technical support from the local scientific committee and additional experts, so that every group will have a tutor. There should be approximately six different thematic groups. Friday, June 1 will be dedicated to the dialogue between students and the MEPs and representatives of the European Commission. Presentations will be organized into six thematic sessions, three in the morning and three in the afternoon. For each of them, the presenter chosen by the students will open the discussion. All working documents will be made available online.
Saturday will be left for the students to visit the city of Florence. Return to their country of origin is scheduled for Sunday, June 3.

• Selection of participants by March 30.
• Launch of the virtual platform by March 30.
• Participants' interaction through the virtual platform, definition of the proposals and
distribution of responsibilities among the teams, plus lay out of the documents during the whole month of April.
• May 10: Deadline for sending the proposals to the local organizing Committee.
• Wednesday, May 30: Students arrival in Florence and accommodation at the hotel.
• Thursday, May 31: Beginning of the conference at the Polo delle Scienze Sociali
(Campus of Social Sciences) of the University of Florence.
• Friday, June 1: Students meet the representatives of the European Institutions at the
Auditorium of the Polo delle Scienze Sociali.
• Saturday, June 2: Free day for students to visit the city of Florence.
• Sunday, June 3: Students return to their country of origin