Culture(s), Civilisation(s) and Europe(s). - GovArt2022

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES - Department of Sociology
11 Jul 2022 to 16 Jul 2022

The title of the Summer School (11-16.7.2022) is " Culture(s), Civilisation(s) and Europe(s). "".

This summer school is organized by the Jean Monnet European Research Centre of the University of the Aegean ( from 11th  to 16th of July, 2022.

The summer school will take place in Oinousses Island ( and will offer a variety of teaching methods, consisting mainly of activities (seminars, workshops, round tables, etc.). Its main objective is to provide an in-depth analysis of the applications of European Governance and the Union's Political Strategy on Culture.

Coordinator: University of the Aegean (Laboratory of Social & Political Institutions, European Chair Jean Monnet "Citizen Europe")

Partners : 1. Universities : Nantes, Université Catholique de Louvain, Néapolis (Chypre), Lille (Master's Programme on Migrations Transnationales- MITRA), Paris 8, Ionian University

2. Region of N. Aegean Sea

3. Municipality of Oinousses Island


The main objective of the Summer School is about the reflection on EU governance and migration, with the democratisation of the decision-making process through the cultivation of an institutional, legal, political and social culture.

The 2022 Summer School programme will seek to link the multi-level governance of the European Union, and in particular the actors involved (institutions, Member States, non-state actors, public authorities, civil society structures) with culture and the through the creation of direct political institutions, which also contribute to its upgrading.

Since its first appearance in the 1950s, the Union has been a major global player on a number of issues of general interest. This position gives the European Union the opportunity to participate in the global dialogue on governance. The Union's participation is interpreted as an important contribution as it supports the creation of governance structures appropriate to the organisation of European society, fully responsive to the challenges of the 21st century.

It is in this context that EU cohesion is pursued, so that it can become a privileged area of common interest for the actions of the Union's partners.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the cultural dimension and on the various EU policies that support the cultural dimension of European integration.

The thematic strands of this year's Summer School will be as follows:

  • EU cultural cohesion through common European historical pathways.
  • Crises in the Union (economic, migration, health, health, energy) - cultural crisis.
  • EU identity and citizenship: cultural dimensions.
  • United in diversity : Political Myth or Cultural reorientation for Europe in the 21st century?

All colleagues who participate have an excellent teaching and research experience in this field, guarantee for the success of the objectives of the Summer School.

This Summer School offers 3 ECTS to participants who will complete the programme and the final examination procedure.


1. The Summer School will be held in English.

2. Of course, there are seminars, workshops, courses or symposiums organised all over Europe on the European crises and the European diversity that challenges the European unity. In our opinion, the specificity of our summer school is linked to the formation of a close relationship between crises and cultural diversity, all over the place. This orientation of our activity will help the participants to understand cultural diversity in Europe and talk about it using a common set of terms.  It aims to give young researchers the tools to resolve dilemmas that they may face in their everyday lives and in the future.


3. Description of the Summer School concept : It is clear that the serious crises that Europe has been experiencing since 2008 have multiple causes, and that the difficulty of overcoming them is largely due to the defects in the exercise of power at the level of the Union, in the dual dimension of its lack of efficiency and its insufficient legitimacy. At the root of this is the knot of sovereignty, a real stumbling block that risks blocking the Union's path towards a desirable future for its citizens.

The purpose of these few remarks is to point out the obstacles, both political and ideological, that have so far prevented Europe from reacting successfully to the challenges that threaten the very survival of the euro, which in turn is decisive for the survival of the Union. Τhe fundamental questions confronted in the debate on the future of Europe – democratic legitimacy, power relations, and European identity – have not lost their pertinence.

This is so not in the least because of the central, eastern European and Μediterranean enlargement of the European Union, which incorporated thirteen new member states in 2004/2007/2013, nine of which from former Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. The enlargement entailed not only a widening of the EU, but also a diversification. Different historical experiences and trajectories, multiple civilizational backgrounds, and culturally diverse and multi-ethnic societies constitute merely some indication of the diversity of the new Eastern European member states with regard the old ones. 

The ongoing enlargement of the European Union further adds to the substantial increase in diversity within the European project. The incorporation of the former communist societies or the eventual accession of Turkey implies that Europe re-addresses and in a way redefines its finalité and acknowledges persistent diversity as a structural element of Europe. Nevertheless, diversity and its implications have neither been at the centre of attention of European policy-makers nor of those implicated with the study of the emerging European order. Whereas among the first one can find both the evolutionary optimism of those that adhere to functionalist and federalist visions of Europe, which is to result in an ‘ever closer union’, an d those sceptic of Europe who tend to confine diversity mostly to the national level, therefore understood as without implications for Europe as such (‘Europe of the Nations’).

A major perception of the post-enlargement Union is indeed the question of political-cultural diversity, on the one hand, and the perceived need of a common European identity and set of values, on the other.  The necessity of a common identity is derived from several assumptions regarding European integration and its relation to democracy.

First, Europe is understood as some kind of answer to the eroding consequences of globalization for the nation-state and democratic decision-making. In this sense, the identification of a distinct set of European values would mean the demarcation of Europe as an sui generis institutional entity in the world and the defense of specifically European values in terms of democracy, human rights, and social democracy.

Second, a common set of values is deemed a conditio sine qua non for the emergence of a European public sphere and democratized European order. As the traditional classical  approach toward s European integration is increasingly challenged, the need for authentic democratic influence of the European ‘demos’ is seen as the only way of creating a democratic order on a supra-national level. But, in analogy with the homogenous political culture of the nation-state, in order to function European democracy is seen as in need of a common politico-cultural framework.

Third, the negative and dark experience with European nationalisms induces the European Union to endorse cultural diversity and mutual respect and tolerance within a common European framework.

Our main objective is to explore the increased possibility for meaningful participation and articulation of diversity within an eventual Convention on the Future of Europe, which would revise the Lisbon conventional system.

Even if the diversity of the new and prospective member states is widely acknowledged, it is mostly not deemed a fundamental challenge to the direction of the European project itself. It is necessary to open a debate on the idea if the future European enlargement constitutes or not a major challenge to Europe.

Crisis has historically been the making of the European Union. Through the crises that have attacked the European construction since 2008, there must be more room for differentiation and respect for cultural diversity. This is not simply the differentiation advocated by those who want all Member States not to participate in all EU policies. It is a differentiation that stems from the recognition that formally identical EU laws and policies will, because of their different circumstances, affect different Member States and their societies in different ways. It is right that their responses should reflect this, and that this should be balanced against the supposed gains from compliance.

Our Summer School will examine the misrecognition of the real challenge facing Europe. But, our priority will be the challenge of managing the relationship between Europeans and the currently stigmatized ‘others’ which it has attracted. We will discuss the perspective of a refounding of Europe built on the power of diversity and an ethos of hospitality rather than an institutional thicket serving the market.

This would take into account the view that the cultural system and the social system are the two components of society; a system is a combination of elements that together form a whole. Applied to society - at the level of the nation state or the European Union (EU) - this concept emphasizes the unity of the social and the interdependence of the elements  that make it up. An analysis in terms of a system starts from the assumption that the systemic totality -social and normative- has a higher degree of complexity than the sub-systems that compose it.


Selection requirements for participants

The prerequisites for participation are research (advanced level, postgraduate or doctoral level) or professional relationship EU Governance.

Selected candidates will present during their participation in the summer school and a research project (paper) of 3000 words in English.


Selection criteria

1. Language skills (excellent knowledge of English. Additional knowledge of French will be highly appreciated)

2. University degree, postgraduate or doctoral level

3. Research work on governance in the EU,

4. Professional involvement in governance

5. European and international studies in general should be the main research field of the candidates

6. Their specific academic involvement in migration and refugee issues will also be taken into account