Digital Single Market – dream that may come true

Katarzyna Stachyra

source: ec.europa.eu

source: ec.europa.eu

Last month European Commission presented its communication titled ‘A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe’[1]. Commissioner, who is responsible for this issue, is named Andrus Ansip. Introducing the next step in European integration is one of the most important priorities of the Commission. According to researches[2], only less than a half of EU citizens are confident during buying goods on-line from another EU state. This may be caused by many factors, for instance differences in shipping costs, standards of consumer protection – questions concerning returns policy or guarantees, doubts with currency exchange (in states which euro is not in use, such as Denmark or Poland). However, our comfort is not the only advantage which may be achieved after removing barriers. As European Commission highlights, introducing digital single market will have significant impact on development of trade and other areas. Jean Claude Junker argues that ‘By creating a connected digital single market, we can generate up to EUR 250 billion of additional growth in Europe in the course of the mandate of the next Commission, thereby creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, notably for younger job-seekers, and a vibrant knowledge-based society.[3]’ So it’s worth taking a look at Commissions proposals, isn’t it?

Andrus Ansip(left) and Gunther Oettinger hold a joint press conference on Digital Market

Commissioners Andrus Ansip(left) and Gunther Oettinger hold a joint press conference on Digital Market (source: brinknews.com)

Three points, many challenges

European Commission indicated three key points in Digital Single Market strategy. Firstly, online access to digital goods and services should be better. Secondly, infrastructure which is necessary for prospering of digital networks and services should be developed. Thirdly, digital growth should be as beneficial as possible for economy, industry and employment. Although those postulates deserves support, currently it’s too early to open champagne. On one hand there are problems with mentioned point two – infrastructure. Certainly, in some of EU member states this issue is just unknown because digitalization ‘reached’ the majority of residents. But we can’t forget that access to the Internet or even to modern appliances is not so obvious in every place in Europe. On the other hand, even if those complications will be resolved, there are still questions about legal regulations – for example standards of protection of consumers, personal data protection, different VAT regimes, copyright rules, geo-blocking, the Internet neutrality, or just how and where assert claims in connection with the contracts. Legislation procedure takes so much time, that it may be factor which will delay introduction of Digital Single Market.

Future that is late

European Commission’s strategy sounds optimistic. But it’s hard to deny it comes too late. Why Digital Single Market is something that doesn’t exist now? It’s additional prove that our administration and law are not following technological development. Maybe this is impossible and current barriers disappear in some kind of ‘natural’ way thanks to market mechanisms and e-society?

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/index_en.htm

[2] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-4920_en.htm

[3] Extract from the Political Guidelines for the next European Commission – A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change (15 July 2014)

Next stop: John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin – European Studies! #3

It’s already the third post about studying European Studies at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). This time we are to present the topic from the professor’s perspective. Check out what our professors: Anna Bysiecka-Maciaszek and Delaine Swenson want to tell you about European Studies at KUL!

Anna Bysiecka-Maciaszek, PhD

Anna Bysiecka-Maciaszek, PhD

Anna Bysiecka-Maciaszek, PhD

My name is Anna Bysiecka-Maciaszek and I am a lecturer at European Studies. I am in this programme from the very beginning and play an active part in its running. At the Institute we offer a wide range of courses in the field of European Studies – from more theoretical to practical ones, both in the area of humanistic and social studies as well as legislation and economy of the European Union. My courses provide students mainly with practical knowledge – linguistic and cultural in particular. I teach legal and business English, conduct lectures in Intercultural Communication and Cultural Aspects of European Integration and have a seminar in Migration and Identity. Since European Studies are popular with foreign students (also from the Erasmus Programme) every one can also get some practice after the classes, which I find especially attractive and encouraging for our prospective students.

European Studies are interdisciplinary studies that provide students with an opportunity to learn about the legal functioning of the European Union and familiarize themselves with the history, culture, politics and economy of its member states. Since the studies are conducted in English, we give a lot of attention to language courses (such as English for law and business or English for Academic Purposes), which not only help students benefit from the studies but, most of all, raise their possibility of getting an interesting internship abroad and have a better job after graduating from our university. The students can benefit from our cooperation with different institutions and serve an apprenticeship in the European Parliament, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other nongovernmental organizations. The skills which they acquire during their studies at KUL are indispensable on today’s internationalized labour market. I believe that with their knowledge, practical skills and experience each European Studies student can say: “The world is my oyster!”


Delaine R. Swenson, J.D.

„AN AMERICAN’S VIEW ON EUROPEAN STUDIES AT KUL”

Delaine R. Swenson, J.D.

Delaine R. Swenson, J.D.

 As an American lawyer and law professor who lives and works in Europe I am often asked a lot of questions about being in Europe verses being in America. My answer normally highlights the advantages to an American of the experience of living and working in a different culture. In a similar way I would recommend to interested students the opportunity to study European Studies at KUL.

European Studies offer several important advantages to students who want to graduate with knowledge and skills that they will find useful in a variety of eventual careers. First among these is the variety of studies in the program. With a multi-disciplinary approach that has studies in history, sociology, political science, economics and the law among others; graduates of the program have a broad based education. The diversity of professors, teaching styles and methods is also a strength of the program. In addition, through the selection of electives the students have the chance to learn more in their own areas of interest.

 Beyond the classroom experience European Studies have a large variety of opportunities to develop their skills before graduation, from social events, to professional and skills development, project planning and implementation, internships and public service opportunities. These important live skills are an integral part of the KUL European Studies experience and will be invaluable to the future careers of the students.

 As someone who has made hundreds of hiring decisions over the years it is precisely this breath of education and practical training, combined with language development that I look for in a good employee. Like an American who learns, lives and develops in Europe, others can learn, live and develop in European Studies at KUL.

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!

Next stop: John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin – European Studies! #2

It’s our second post about studying European Studies at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). Check what international students have to say about our studies!

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Seungchul Baek (European Studies, III year)

Seungchul Baek (South Korea)

My name is Seungchul Baek, and I am a third-year student of European Studies at KUL. I still remember that I was not able to understand the first lecture at all, because of my terrible English at that time and partially because of the professors’ Polish accent I had never heard before I came here, but now I have already finished my dissertation and nearly finished the whole degree programme. It has been a great experience to study and live here for three years. I have learnt many things and met a variety of people I would have never met if I did not come here. I am proud of myself not only because of finishing my Bachelor’s degree successfully but also because of coming here where completely different people speak completely unfamiliar language for me.

I have always been interested in Europe since I was a child. For that reason, European Studies sounded like a perfect programme for me. There are some South Korean universities that have European studies, but I thought it would be better to come and see Europe on my own as I study, and it was the best choice in my life.

Sometimes Polish higher education is said to be loose in terms of workload. Some students from other countries say that they study a lot less here than they did in their home country. For that reason some say Polish education level is not as high as other countries’, but I disagree with it. Not only was the workload here enough for me, but also a tough system or a huge amount of workload does not mean that the country or the university has a good education system. Moreover, you learn many things outside the university by travelling and socialising. As I have been studying here, I have learnt many things for my life as well.

Valerian Karchava (Georgia)

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Valerian Karchava (European Studies, II year)

My name is Valerian Karchava, and I come from Georgia. I am a 2nd year European Studies student at KUL. People often ask me why I chose this field of study and how I got know about KUL. Well, before coming to Poland I was studying Sociology at the Tbilisi State University. However, after a year of studying I began to realize that Sociology was not for me and decided to quit. My aim was to find some interesting course abroad that would be available to me but it seemed to be quite difficult. Since I was familiar with Poland and had also visited the country several times before I considered it would be the best idea to go there. After several days of searching I found European Studies course at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. When I read the description of the course I was very impressed and happy that I found exactly what I was looking for. Moreover, I knew from my Polish friends that KUL was quite well-known university in Poland. So, after passing certain recruitment steps I was accepted and started studying.

After 2 years of studying I can openly say that the European Studies programme is exactly what I was looking for. It is professionally oriented programme with a distinctly international character, preparing students for international careers in a wide range of fields. Through various types of lectures, exercises and workshops we become familiar with Europe and its many dimensions. This programme enables us to have a rich background in our European origins and development, it provides students with the opportunity to study contemporary European culture and society and its continuing impact upon today’s world. Furthermore, we learn about the European Union and its legal structure that is very useful for every European. European Studies programme provides the knowledge that I think is needed to have if you want to work in an international environment(such as European Union institutions), in the business community, a non-governmental organization or the civil service.

I would like to say that the study environment in the university is very good. Teachers are qualified, demanding and friendly at the same time and I am very happy with it.

So, if someone asks me if I am happy with my choice to study European studies at KUL, I would answer – yes! Yes because, I think, this field of study is very relevant to the time we live in now and it gives you many job opportunities in the future. So I encourage everyone who is interested in European culture, history, politics, functioning of the European Union and who dreams about working in the international environment to join European Studies at KUL!

Claudia Jacewicz (Poland/Germany)

Claudia Jacewicz ("Erasmus student" at KUL)

Claudia Jacewicz („Erasmus student” at KUL)

I am a third year European Studies student from Bremen, Germany(Universität Bremen) and I am currently in the final stage of my Erasmus year here at KUL in Lublin. Since my bachelor degree course provides its students to make a semester abroad in the fifth semester, I had to look for a good university and destination. I decided to look for universities in Poland, because I wanted to improve my Polish, as it is part of my language courses in Germany. The three destinations I chose were Wrocław, Lublin and Łódź, but in the end I was accepted at KUL in Lublin. At first I was a bit disappointed, because I really wanted to study in Wrocław, but the whole situation changed once the semester at KUL had started.

The university has a lot of different courses to offer. Especially the faculty of European Studies offers a variety of courses in the field of law, history and culture, though the main focus is still law. Even though I am usually not very focused on law in my studies, I enjoyed the majority of my courses; it was refreshing to focus on something different and new.

However, it was not only the courses that were different: The concept and structure of my university (and maybe German universities in general) is quite different to KUL. Even though my bachelor degree course in Germany consists of a small number of students (slightly more than 30 students), lectures and seminars let me feel a bit anonymous. A relation between the professor and students is hardly establishable. This is different at KUL, since most professors are encouraged to get to know their students. Most lectures and seminars seem to be a bit more like school classes, which makes them more interactive and therefore interesting.

All in all I enjoyed my stay at KUL. I actually enjoyed it so much that I extended my stay from one semester to two semesters, so that speaks for itself. This year abroad will definitely be kept in good memory.

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!