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Possibilities and limits, challenges and obstacles of transferring CEE EU pre-accession best practices and experience to Moldova’s and Georgia's pre-accession process

Final Report Summary - EU-PREACC (Possibilities and limits, challenges and obstacles of transferring CEE EU pre-accession best practices and experience to Moldova’s and Georgia's pre-accession process.)

The project “EU-PREACC: Possibilities and limits, challenges and obstacles of transferring CEE EU pre- accession best practices and experience to Moldova’s and Georgia’s pre-accession process” (Grant Agreement Number: PIRSES-GA-2012-318911) and project-related research focuses on structuring the CEE states’ reform experience in the EU pre-accession process. The project analyses situation in Moldova and Georgia and suggests benchmarking opportunities best suitable for the two countries. As the main activity of the project is to support academic mobility and knowledge sharing, the project results in thematic workshops, lectures, publications and EU-related curricula development in the participating universities. The deliverables of the project are divided into four work packages, each with a different objective, and published at the project webpage: To attract more attention from the stakeholders, scholars and other universities, accounts in social media (i.e. FB) were created where information relevant to the project is disseminated.
The consortium of four universities leads the 48 months long project: University of Tartu (UT, Estonia), University of Vilnius (VU, Lithuania), Moldova State University (MSU, Moldova) and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU, Georgia) involving 129 different people (experienced and early stage researchers, and administrative staff). Each partner is responsible for one or two work packages assigned according to the area of research and expertise. Thus, academic and administrative staff have been seconded to the partner universities (UT, VU, USM, TSU) to lead seminars, workshops and networking meetings, deliver lectures and do a field work for academic research in the areas specified in the project objectives. Collected data and research is reflected in publications (i.e. academic journals, periodicals, online publications and blogs), scientific conferences, PhD theses and curricula analyses (where appropriate), depending on the content of the work packages (1-4). The project activities considerably enhanced the scientific cooperation between the researchers of the consortium as well as improved the curriculum development knowledge and experience of the participating universities.
The major areas of research are political science, international relations, cultural studies, economics, agriculture, law, IT and communications. With special dedication to curricula development such disciplines as history, ethnography and languages have been also included to the work packages. In the second reporting period, the area of humanities was expanded, enabling the semioticians, anthropologists and linguists to take part in the project. The involvement of these disciplines helps to better understand the peculiarity of each country. Recent research of the current situation of the transition countries on the border between EU and Russia showed the necessity to enhance research in security studies, conflict resolution, third sector management and human rights as circumstances for policy developments.
Resulting in enhancing of academic capacity, the project has clear impact on:
• Development of human capital and knowledge transfer;
• Cooperation and networking between higher educational institutions;
• Increasing of quality of teaching and learning in the target countries;
• Enhancing the research capacity and language proficiency;
• EU policies development through proposals and working papers for internal use of political, social and economic policy making actors and stakeholders;
• Mediatisation and visibility of the EU and FP7 programme in particular.
The cooperation between stakeholders, that are involved into the project implementation directly and indirectly, is far beyond the four consortium members. The follow-up projects are seen and acknowledged as raising visibility for the EU and EU related studies in Georgia and Moldova. Curricula development and structural reform of higher education based on Estonian example were introduced to several institutions in Georgia that are in urge of restructuring the higher education in the region. Networks were created to develop quality of teaching and learning in the partner and relevant institutions. An issue of social-economic development that lately raised by the project participants and stakeholders is the current political situation in Eastern Partnership where target countries playing certain roles or have concerns. At the same time, the project itself supports international cooperation between target countries (from economic to cultural issues) and therefore is of high value.
By the end of the project the objectives are fully achieved, all initially planned activities implemented and sustainability of follow-up projects assured.