EU Careers Student Ambassador – December

Natalia Wysocka

logo

 

Hi! My name is Natalia Wysocka and I have been chosen to take up the role of European Union Careers Student Ambassador, the very first one in the whole history of Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. At the beginning of academic year 2015/2016, along with students from European Studies Students’ Scientific Association. I embarked on promotion of EU institutions, internships and job opportunities. This column will be dedicated to my Ambassador’s activity. Once in a moth I will present my „diary” so you can see closer how is it to work for the EU. I am extremely enthusiastic about our further cooperation, and you?

So, in December…

9th of December

 chełmAnother great meeting with students of high school in Chełm, Poland. I ran double classes with extremely intelligent and curious youth. Some of the students even took part in national competition dedicated to the matters of European Union! I really liked what one boy said at the end: working for European Union must be a dream job. Well, indeed 😉

16th of December

16.12.2015That day I had the very last presentation in this year (2015). The meeting was provided for students of European Studies at The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. I found this session to be especially important as I had an opportunity to talk to people who, most probably, will be taking jobs connected with various aspects of European Union.

We had some technical issues but managed to discuss the most important topics anyway. It couldn’t be better!

 

Gentle reminder: You can apply for 5-months INTERNSHIP in European Commission.

Deadline: 29.01.2016

Face a bigger challenge!

If you wish to be even more up-to-date with current Lublin issues, please follow this Facebook profile:

http://on.fb.me/1lJrSqU

In case of any questions, feel free to contact me:

Natalia Wysocka

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

eucareers.kul@gmail.com

Reklamy

EU Careers Student Ambassador – November

Natalia Wysocka

logo

Hi! My name is Natalia Wysocka and I have been chosen to take up the role of European Union Careers Student Ambassador, the very first one in the whole history of Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. At the begining of academic year 2015/2016, along with students from European Studies Students’ Scientific Association. I embarked on promotion of EU institutions, internships and job opportunities. This column will be dedicated to my Ambassador’s activity. Once in a moth I will present my „diary” so you can see closer how is it to work for the EU. I am extremely enthusiastic about our further cooperation, and you?

So, in November…

5th of November

My radio interview in Polskie Radio Lublin where I presented EU Careers Student Ambassador program and EPSO as well. If you wish to listen to it, here is the link.

I hope you will enjoy it! 🙂

17th of November

kołątaj2Along with representative of Regional Centre of International Debate, we had a great meeting with students of Hugo Kolataj’s high school in Lublin, Poland. I was amazed by the knowledge of so young people! I had a chance to inform them about internships and job opportunities in the EU. They were especially interested in the subject of Erasmus+ students’ internships.

Meanwhile, I had a meeting with students from European Studies Students’ Scientific Association. We decided to work together on several projects. First of them, is my conference at the Catholic University of Lublin. It will be dedicated to students of European Studies. You can find details on our Facebook profiles:

EU Careers Lublin

Koło Naukowe Studentów Europeistyki EURO-KUL

Another great news: contact point has finally started! You can meet me for individual consultation on every Wednesday at Catholic University of Lublin. If you decide to come and discuss your career, please, let me know by sending an email eucareers.kul@gmail.com

If you wish to be even more up-to-date with current Lublin issues, please follow this Facebook profile:

http://on.fb.me/1lJrSqU

In case of any questions, feel free to contact me:

Natalia Wysocka

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

eucareers.kul@gmail.com

EU Careers Student Ambassador – October

Natalia Wysocka

logo

Hi! My name is Natalia Wysocka and I have been chosen to take up the role of European Union Careers Student Ambassador, the very first one in the whole history of Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. At the beginning of academic year 2015/2016, along with students from European Studies Students’ Scientific Association, I embarked on promotion of EU institutions, internships and job opportunities. This column will be dedicated to my Ambassador’s activity. Once in a month I will present my „diary” so you can see closer how is it to work for the EU. I am extremely enthusiastic about our further cooperation, and you?

So, in October…

15th of October

Photo: Komisja Europejska w Polsce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Photo: Komisja Europejska w Polsce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Yes, we have finally started! Since that day, I can officially act as EU Careers Ambassador. After great session in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Commission in Warsaw, I have gained an extra boost of energy and motivation. What will come next? We find out soon.

23rd of October

My first, short live interview as EU Careers Ambassador in Polskie Radio Lublin.    My speaker, Ms. Agata Koss, turned out to be extremely curious about EPSO and our project. Then, I realized how many things I need to do to familiarize Polish society with the subject of European Union career.

27th of October

Job Fair at Catholic University of Lublin. There was a great number of students who were asking current opportunities of work and internships in EU. I think it is a result of an intensive Facebook campaign run in both of EU Careers Lublin and Career Office KUL profiles. I could discuss my further conferences and stands with students and see what is expected. Because of that, I gained the general overview of the issues I need to talk about in the future. I received an amazing support from Careers Office at the University and from Europe Direct in Lublin as well.

Photo: RODM, Biuro Karier KUL, Kurier Lubelski

Photo: RODM, Biuro Karier KUL, Kurier Lubelski

 

If you wish to be even more up-to-date with current Lublin issues, please follow this Facebook profile:

http://on.fb.me/1lJrSqU

In case of any questions, feel free to contact me:

Natalia Wysocka

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

eucareers.kul@gmail.com

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!

1187259_584859021560457_598249768_n

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)

11301607_898054730240594_2085443540_n

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!

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!

Writing Competition – „Find it! Like it! Write it!”

cropped-18839403741a8a607fc20d62dda1fd52cee2b9fc.png

EUROpens BLOG is a student initiative created in 2012 which already gained a lot of support within the country and abroad. In March we were invited by the European Commission to attend European Innovation Convention 2014. Now we face new challenges and that is why we announce the first Writing Competition.

Choose one of four topics and write an Article of 400-800 words:

  1. Ukrainian crisis (an opinion article concerning chosen events or the crisis in general).
  2. How EU funds have influenced your region?
  3. EU Erasmus Programme as your personal experience.
  4. Opinion on one of the latest ECJ judgments.

If you want to take part in the competition, please submit your entry till November 17, 2014 to europensblog@gmail.com.

Remember to add your full name, title, faculty and year of studies.

Try yourself and become the editor of EUROpens BLOG!

COMPETITION RULES: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-fSkFSNGXUPRUhGRDQzYTZ2Tk0/view

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/383127881834910/

 EDITORIAL BOARD

Coming back to the European Parliament #2

Ewa Krakowska and Emil Wojtaluk talk with Professor Zbigniew Zaleski, Polish psychologist and Member of the European Parliament in years 2004- 2009.

Ewa Krakowska: Before the adventure in Brussels, you were successful scholar and lecturer at the Catholic University of Lublin (the job that you currently continue). Which occupation do you find more fulfilling?

Zbigniew Zaleski: Tough question. With the first one I feel stronger connection. I worked hard and I did all I could in this field. But it was pleasure, because I met many people posing questions. The essence of science is asking questions, those that are most basic and valid- they are still deep if we look at my profession, psychology. It interests me, I would not change my job. Throughout five years of working in European Parliament I slightly gave up my academic work, although I managed to write a book called: „Psychology of support for New Europe”.

Answering the question, what I value more I would say that science is deep, rich and also occupies our minds. Many generations add something to its development, especially in psychology. For many years it was my way and identity. I identify myself with work at the University, with students. It keeps me still so alive. I highly value this way of life.

It’s not bad to be politician. You became so called VIP, it’s really comfortable. This occupation is easier than being a scholar. You may fail. In the world of science you must confirm your talent and knowledge. Political world functions other way. But I remember the times when I took advantage of being Professor in European Parliament where there are many other professors. I got along with them. As the scholar I was asked to share my opinion on issues like: abortion, circumcision of girls or adoption by homosexual marriages. As we can see my academic formation was not abandoned at that time. Sometimes I could even gain something because of it.

Emil Wojtaluk: Do you observe the work of Polish representatives in the European Parliament Mr Professor? If yes, how you can assess it?

ZZ: If you are inside you live it. After the loss I have been replaced by Professor Kolarska-Bobińska. I do not know what duty she fulfilled there, I must just see it. When I will enter there, I will quickly learn what is the status quo and I will participate in this Parliament as before. For the moment I observe it from outside like every citizen through the lens of hits: “What will happen?”, “important voting, speech”. I am interested in speeches of people that I know, for example the President Shultz – is he still a tough guy. I noticed that the role of Nigel Farage – critic of the Union, has grown up. His presence is necessary, because he sharpens the feeling in the others. And because I was there, I feel the spirit of time, I know what values are important and who is with who. Recently I was delighted with the news how much money we will get from EU budget for our Polish affairs. It was a satisfaction, thanks to this support we can develop continually. For now, I cannot imagine ourselves not to be in the European Union, even though I know the Union is not easy. It is good that we are there and we have our say.

EK: Are you going to continue the work of Professor Lena Kolarska-Bobińska or to propose your own initiatives?

ZZ: I am going to find out what she has done in our region. Good practices I will eagerly continue. For me, as a scholar, especially appealing is activity connected with youth. It’s not my desire to overwhelm them with EU, but just showing how to exploit all the possibilities they have in offer from the institution. I want to promote communication, direct contacts, languages. Previously I organised the project „Englishman in the family”. Somebody from Great Britain was going to Poland and was living with the family, so the kids could pick up some language skills. Then such a person was like Polish ambassador in homeland. So I guess I will think of the activities I like, in which I have the experience and some successes.

Coming back to the European Parliament #1

Ewa Krakowska and Emil Wojtaluk talk with Professor Zbigniew Zaleski, Polish psychologist and Member of the European Parliament in years 2004- 2009.

Emil Wojtaluk: According to the latest news we know that you will replace Mrs Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, MEP from this region. Is it confirmed fact?

Zbigniew Zaleski: There are some formal procedures connected with this. Either Mrs Kolarska-Bobińska will renounce her mandate or The European Parliament will make such decision. Then it goes to the Electoral Commission that confirms who is next from the last election results. Afterwards it goes through the Marshal of the Sejm. The procedure will last some time, approximately one month. Probably it can start to function from January. It may happen, that the candidate will reject the proposition, I agreed on this stage.

Ewa Krakowska: The situation is rather unexpected. Did you think about such coming back?

ZZ: I didn’t have that attitude. Five years of mandate is not long time. We could expect that Mrs Kolarska-Bobińska will finish normally her tenure.

And in time I became lukewarm towards the institution that once I had very strong connection. The emotions are less intense. Now I know how things work there. For somebody who is there for the first time it must be a significant experience. This time I will find my place in European Parliament quickly, because I know to which party I will join.

EW: There are several months left till the next European Parliament election, have you ever contemplated to be a candidate Mr Professor?

ZZ: No, I did not have such thoughts especially. I was there already, I was happy to function inside this body for a five years, to get to know Europe and the possibilities of the European Union. According to my own assessment I was working intensively. But now it does not depends only on me but on Party chiefs, because they are decision-makers, they are deciding who will be put up to run for election, who deserves it. I do not have expectations to bet on me, not particularly. The future will show.

EW: You have been chosen the MEP during the first election to the European Parliament conducted in Poland – new Member State of the EU at that time. What you remember the best from that experience?

ZZ: It was essential for me that we are in the Union and we are entering as the Members of the European Parliament. There were different MEP’s in the first “toss”. From that time some attitudes has changed, healthy Euro-criticism appears.

The first thing that I remember concerns languages, that people did not speak any foreign language but they claimed that they do. They stayed only in their groups. It was sad for me. Maybe they could create something new if they could communicate with the others. The situation was that nobody knew them, let alone they did not know anyone. If I could decide on appointing such person for the office, I would do a test, to assess if a particular person communicates in any foreign language. It is very important.

The next issue has historical character, for I read Norman Davies’ book White Eagle, Red Star about Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920. In 2005 fell the anniversary of Katyń massacre, being the fresh MEP I tried along with deputy Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski from PIS to commemorate that fact by the minute of silence during the session. We arranged copies of the letter containing death sentence for Polish officers – signed by Stalin by his famous blue pencil. To my surprise, the President Josep Borrell decided that there will be no commemorating. This decision came to me earlier. I regarded this as a fiasco. However people made a fuss of it – in a positive sense that journalists from France and Germany started to question me about this. I explained that to them and many articles were published. It became quite famous case in Europe, in some circles. I cared about it so that the other people, elites in the West could find out about this.

The other experience is connected with South America. I have been frequently asked to fly on a missions, the electoral mission for example. Maybe because I did not need any translator. Once on such visit, “I did cost” almost 10 million. In Bogota, during the break of working as an observer I went for a walk, to talk with the local people. It turned out later on that in existing conditions it was risky, it is very easy to kidnap anyone. It is how the people earns money there. One of our guards terrified after that event, followed me around until I went on a plane back to Europe. As I found out later, in the case of kidnapping I would cost 10 million dollars. Maybe I was ill-advised that I did not tell I am going out. The fact that I could jeopardize the European Parliament really moved me.   

(To be continued…)

 

What is the European Social Fund?

Emil Wojtaluk

European Social Fund (ESF) is European Union’s main instrument to invest in human capital – namely workers. It assists by funding initiatives to help workers improve their skills and prospects for job. ESF is mainly desired for those Member States who have the lowest GDP compared to the EU average.

What are the most important priorities?

* Boost adaptability of workers with new skills, and enterprises with new ways of working (training opportunities, active career management, modernizing the institutions etc.),

* Improving access to employment (training and qualifications, helping women after pregnancy to get back to work by updating their skills),

* Helping people from disadvantaged groups to get jobs (minorities, immigrants, social excluded persons),

* Vocational training (improving the offer of companies and universities to be best suitable for individuals and to give more job prospects).

To whom it is addressed?

To Beneficiaries which are wide variety of organizations as: public administrations, workers’ and employers’ organizations, NGO’s, charities and companies.

And to Participants who are individuals who take part in ESF project like: young job seekers getting work placements, people seeking advice how to set up their own business, and many other projects.

How it works?

The fundamental point of the functioning of European Social Fund is partnership between the European Commission and national and regional authorities. Other partners like NGO’s and workers’ organizations are also taken into account in the creation of ESF strategy and monitoring its implementation. The European Social Fund strategy and budget are negotiated and decided by EU governments, European Parliament and The Commission.

There are two main principles constituting ESF. First is co-financing for private and public entities that vary from 50% to 85%, and in exceptional cases even 95% of the total project cost. The level of co-financing also depends on current economic situation of a particular region. And the second principle is shared management which covers preparation of ESF guidelines after consultations with stakeholders, and negotiating 7-year Operational Programmes between national authorities and The Commission.

Important numbers

* Every year EU gives over 10 billion € to the European Social Fund

* European Union will provide over 76 billion € in funding to the ESF for the period 2007 -2013 and 84 billion € for the years 2014-2020!

* Every year ESF supports and train more than 10 million people!

ESF – close to us

Summing up, I would like to stress our domestic example of using ESF in Lublin. John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin is realizing “Najlepsze Praktyki” project co-funded from the fund, which is aimed at: sending doctoral students for internships, English language course for research and teaching staff of the University, organizing lectures of visiting professors and finally – modern studies programmes with additional professional courses that are completely free of charge. Being a student of European Studies I was attending Public Speaking class co-funded exactly from ESF. There are also many other free courses to choose like: fundraising for international projects, project management, protocol and etiquette and much more. That is an example of improving of education that is covered by the main priorities of the European Social Fund.

We can find European Funds at almost every step, we just got used to them. Try to imagine – what if there would be no EU funds? I will leave our readers with that question.