The Department of Political Science and International Relations became Member of the EU-Middle East Network in Action (EUMENIA). EUMENIA is a Jean Monnet Network co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union for a duration of 3 years from 2018 to 2021 and in Greek it means good will and favourably disposed attitude towards someone or something. It is led by Dr. Dimitris Bouris (University of Amsterdam) and encompasses seven more institutions namely the University of Peloponnese – Greece, Istituto Affari Internazionali – Italy, Roskilde University – Denmark, BirZeit University – Palestine, Yasar University – Turkey, American University of Beirut – Lebanon and University of Jordan – Jordan.
The rationale of this interdisciplinary partnership is to encourage exchange of academic best-practices, bridge the gap between policy-making and academic world and create a thematic transnational research group. EU-Middle East relations constitute a cornerstone of the EU’s external relations and engagement with its neighbourhood. How has the EU been constructed in the Middle East debate and how has the Middle East been constructed in the European debate? These interlinked fundamental questions will guide the work of the network as they have a direct impact on how the EU and the Middle East are constructed, taught and understood by the European and Middle Eastern societies, students, academics and policy makers.
EUMENIA has three interlinked objectives following a bottom-up approach. Firstly, it aims to bring scholars into the different classrooms of European and Middle Eastern Universities thus fostering exchanges between academics and students. Secondly, it aims to facilitate cooperation with civil society stakeholders and thirdly it aims to engage with national and EU policy makers through public events and online platforms, which will contribute to the dissemination of this knowledge and deepen the understanding of this complex relationship.