Next stop: John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin – European Studies! #1

It’s the last time to decide what studies fits you best! Just have a look what European Studies students from Lublin(Poland) have to say about their academic experiences!

Emil Wojtaluk

Emil Wojtaluk (European Studies, III year)

Emil Wojtaluk (European Studies, III year)

My name is Emil and I study European Studies in English at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. Have you ever wondered whether or not you’re good enough to study entirely in English? I had the same doubts, but they passed as soon as they appeared. European Studies at KUL gives you practical knowledge on legal English, that you need to “function well” at the Faculty of Law – the classes from Academic Writing or English for Law and Business helped me a lot. All I can say from my own experience is that two weeks from the time I started to study my worries gone away. It turned out I found the courage to speak in foreign language, and I was one of the few most active students. What European Studies in Lublin can give you, beside improving your language skills, are student’s organizations.

“Students’ Scientific Association of European Studies Students” associates the most organized and knowledgeable people – the ones who do not “study only to study”, but are being active beyond regular classes, e.g. by promoting the faculty or organizing interesting events. If you’re an ambitious student, you’ll certainly find it useful and it’ll become your way of self-development.

Another students’ organization is the one you’re just reading- EUROpens BLOG! Since the Editorial Board is composed of 10 persons at maximum, in order to become the editor you have to meet some requirements. Each year thousands of people read our blog and share their thoughts with us. The most important thing for us is that the number of viewers is constantly growing – from 1,472 in the initial 2012 to over 5,500 in 2014! I have an honor to be the first officially chosen Editor in Chief since 2013 🙂 My last message to you will be simple… DON’T BE AFRAID! 🙂

Anita Weprzędz

Anita Weprzędz (European Studies, III year/ Law, V year)

Anita Weprzędz (European Studies, III year/ Law, V year)

Hi. My name is Anita and I am 24 years old. I like journeys and reading books. I was struggling with myself for a very long time to take my second faculty which is European Studies. Since I was always interested in European issues, I took part in some competitions about European Union and participating in programs funded from European budget like Youth in Action. But that was before studies. Currently, my dream is to become an attorney. So after high school I stared law studies. But I missed the classes on European Union issues. After the first year, our University (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin) opened a new faculty – European Studies conducted in English. Because I was afraid because of my English skills ;-), I took additional advanced English at Matura exam (final exam after high school in Poland). When I passed it without any problems, I decided to apply for European Studies. And that was one of the best choices of my whole life! For me, this studies supplemented my law faculty, gave additional opportunities and make me sure that this is what I would like to do always. Thanks to European Studies I got some extra internships, e.g. in insurance company which has chosen me due to my knowledge of legal English (we have some classes on it). Now being bilingual is very expected by future employers, and studies in English are very helpful to deal with it. I can talk about this for a very long time, but the point will be still the same – choose European Studies and you will get crucial experience which will ease your future life :-).

Kamil Augustyniak

Kamil Augustyniak (BA in European Studies, III year)

Kamil Augustyniak (European Studies, III year)

Hello Reader! My name is Kamil and I am proud to be a student of European Studies. This is a great opportunity to share with all of you my personal statement about this faculty and, hopefully, encourage you to join me the course. Few months ago while waiting for next class I met by accident young journalist from local radio. He came to interview university president and students due to celebration of 96 anniversary of our university. Since he waited and so did I, he asked me about few words related to studying in Lublin. I surprised him when I mentioned I study European Studies in English. He heard a lot about the idea of studying in English at KUL and took an advantage of interviewing me to ask some questions concerning this faculty.

My personal experience shows that people actually know this studies but are rather closed to it because of foreign language. I realize it is not bagatelle for everyone but there are some other benefits at our studies which surely attract young people. What interested me the most is number of extra-curricular courses which differ from each other. I do not mean only practical foreign language courses ending with certificates, currently so desired on international job market. There are numerous others. Starting from these strictly connected to European Union issues (e.g. Fundraising for international projects), through classes increasing our general confidence and real practice (e.g. Public speaking), and ending with economically directed (e.g. Introduction to economy and business). All of them and many other are free of charges thanks to European Union’s funds and provide students with valuable and practical experience which is now extremely important when looking for a job.

So many possibilities while studying European Studies made this faculty exceptional and worth trying.

Kinga Hodór

Kinga Hodór (BA in European Studies, II year)

Kinga Hodór (European Studies, II year)

My name is Kinga Hodór and I am a student of the second year of European Studies in English. As I’ve always loved meeting people from different cultures and learning languages in practice, I decided to take up this particular field of studies. From the perspective of two years spent at the University, I can say that it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my life! Having started with some fears connected with language barriers I used to have, I quickly adjusted to the lectures and tutorials led in English. Very soon, I found it very attractive and beneficial. Anyway, even though gaining knowledge and the above enumerated advantages are important, there is something much more appealing for me… This thing is contact with foreign students, mostly Erasmus people. I believe that the choice of the field of studies in English has been some kind of gate for me towards international friendships and experiences. Thanks to this, I’ve been broadening my horizons, shaping personality and developing language skills.

Since the beginning of this academic year, I’ve been so-called ‘guardian angel’ of one French girl who has come to Lublin on her Erasmus Exchange. We’ve become good friends and we share common interests. So far, I’ve made so many friends from different parts of Europe that I can’t simply imagine the situation of that not having happened. Thanks to these people, the time spent in Lublin has been much more interesting and funnier. I’m not only talking about attending the same lectures at the same University. It’s much more about the free time spent together, taking part in different events or going to various parties. All these elements create amazing memories.

Frankly speaking, spending time with foreign students somehow inspired me to experience Erasmus adventure on my own. And voilà, for the next semester I’m going on Erasmus Exchange to Cyprus. I’m sure it will be an amazing time. I know it will be as I’m going to enjoy every single moment!

baner_europeistyka

For more information on European Studies at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin please visit:

http://www.kul.pl/european-studies,24210.html

BA in European Studies:

http://www.kul.pl/bachelor-of-arts-in-european-studies-curriculum,art_28136.html

MA in European Studies:

http://www.kul.pl/master-of-arts-in-european-studies-curriculum,art_28137.html

Admission for the year 2015/2016:

http://www.kul.pl/admission-procedure,art_34687.html

APPLY NOW!

ECJ: no legal basis for biometric data in ID cards

Katarzyna Stachyra

What would you say if public authorities would ask you for providing fingerprints in order to issue ID card? Citizens from the Netherlands have refused. The Court of Justice of the European Union admitted they are right in judgement in joined cases C-446/12 to C-449/12[1].

Source: resources.infosecinstitute.com

Source: resources.infosecinstitute.com

Providing fingerprints – a serious breach of the physical integrity?

 

H.J. Kooistra, a citizen of the Netherlands, made an application for the issue of identity card. The Burgemeeste refused doing so because H.J. Kooistra did not agree for providing fingerprints and a facial image. He argued that fulfilling these duties constitutes a serious breach of physical integrity and right to privacy. Moreover, he was afraid of the security of his personal data, because they would be storaged in more than one medium, including decentralized database.

According to Netherlands law, providing fingerprints is one of the requirements in order to obtain ‘travel documents’, for example passports. Since ID cards allow EU citizens to move freely within the EU, the official authorities in the Netherlands apply law referred to ‘travel documents’ to them. The court in the Netherlands, before which this case was pending, decided to ask ECJ for preliminary ruling. The key point was to answer whether law concerning passports – at domestic law level as well as EU law – is applicable for ID cards.

Clear answer…

ECJ stated that ‘the fact that identity cards, such as Netherlands identity cards, may be used for the purposes of travel within the European Union and to a limited number of non-Member States, does not bring them within the scope of Regulation No 2252/2004’[2]. It means that according to EU law there is no requirement of providing fingerprints to obtain ID card.

Judgement of ECJ should remind us, that personal data protection, especially biometrics, is an issue that cannot be ignored. Public authorities, even they are acting on behalf of a state, are not allowed to demand providing data if there is no legal basis to do so. They have to act in compliance with law, which protect our fundamental rights. But those mechanisms will be useless without our care for security of personal data.

…and another issue

On the one hand, people’s awareness about their rights, such as right to privacy increase. Some of us are courageous and are ready to tell official authorities that their actions have no legal basis. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are fascinated by new technologies. They share information about themselves, including biometric data, with private companies delivering ‘necessary’ services that make life easier, for example fingerprints reader instead of using PIN code. Unfortunately, people do not think about potential consequences of mentioned situations. You can change your PIN code many times, you can prove during court proceeding that sign under agreement is not yours, but you cannot change your fingerprints, iris recognition or hand geometry. When it comes to processing these data by private company, our agreement is sufficient basis. Every time before we agree we must consider advantages and risks and decide, whether we really want to say ‘yes’.

[1] Judgment Of The Court (Fourth Chamber), 16 April 2015, In Joined Cases C‑446/12 to C‑449/12.

[2] Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 of 13 December 2004 on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States.

Let’s celebrate!

Magdalena Styrnik

Europe Day, in EU member states also known as Schuman Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. Council of Europe (CoE) member states celebrate it on 5 May (since 1964) to reflect the establishment of CoE in 1949, while EU has its separate day on 9 May- formally recognized as the holiday by European Parliament in October 2008- to commemorate Schuman Declaration of 9 may 1950.

Shuman Parade organized in Warsaw, Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Schuman Parade organized in Warsaw, Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

“National” day of EU

What we know now as a Schuman Declaration is French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman’s proposal of pooling French and West German coal and steel industries.

Robert Shuman (Source: chroniknet.de)

Robert Schuman (Source: chroniknet.de)

It was supposed to help maintain peaceful cooperation and development of European Countries. It is a common knowledge that European Coal and Steel Community was the very beginning of the EU, thus the Declaration is considered to be the act that created the EU. Celebrating such an important anniversary in EU member states is obvious, however it is worth to note that Europe Day is also a very special day in EU candidate countries such as Turkey. What is more, Ukraine celebrates Europe Day on the third Saturday of May, since 2003.

What is the Europe Day for?

Political nature of the day is indisputable. That is why it may be a reason for teaching people about, not only the history, but also about the importance of the EU. Also, it is a great opportunity to speak in support of European integration.

Each year’s Europe Day has a different theme. This year, the topic was Growing Stronger Together. The main idea was to promote solidarity between member states and EU’s citizens. Within the scope of 2015’ motto the EU institutions opened their doors to the public in Strasburg on 2nd May and on 9th May in Brussels and Luxemburg. Local EU offices in Europe (all over the world too!) organized a variety of events in cooperation with European Commission and European Parliament. For example in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, the Schuman Parade and Schuman City or European City are arranged annually on 9th May, however in 2015 it was also possible to visit European Parliament Information Office and buildings of Polish Parliament. Celebrating Schuman Day in Poland will last till 12th May and will end during the Museums’ Night.

Date confusion

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Countries which are member states of CoE, but not of the EU, celebrates Europe Day little bit earlier (5th May) and it is said that date is rather connected with a promotion of human rights, while Schuman Day (9th May) is an element of EU’ image. Europe Day together with EU flag are now commonly known symbols of the EU. It seems like May is an appropriate month for international celebration of peace, if we take into consideration the fact that 8th May is a Victory Day marking the capitulation of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe in 1945.

Someone may say that any reason is good enough to celebrate. With no doubt, the anniversary of the beginning of the EU should be recognized as a holiday. Isn’t over half century of peaceful development in Europe a perfect cause to incredible happiness?