Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer School in Montenegro: an excellent forum to exchange ideas

Marko Grujicic will be studying at SAIS Europe in 2014-15. Earlier this month, he attended a summer program organized by Justin Frosini, professor at SAIS and director of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD), and his colleagues at the University of Belgrade. Below he tells us about his experience.

The Summer School was the perfect chance for me to gain additional insights into Europe. 

Every year since 2003, the CCSDD and the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Law have collaborated on the “European Union and Legal Reform Summer School” in Igalo, Montenegro. This year, it was held from 13 – 18th July, and hosted 29 fellows from all over Europe.

Marko (third from right in the back row) with the Summer School's organizers and classmates
We dealt with the legal, political and economic issues relating to the EU. More precisely, during lectures and roundtable discussions with professors and fellow participants, we learned more about the consequences of the EU’s enlargement towards the Western Balkans, as well as the experience of different European countries hoping to join the EU.

We observed in detail the current crisis in Ukraine; analyzed potential consequences of the referendum in Scotland; examined the role of constitutional courts in the process of transition towards democracy; looked at the role of the Venice Commission in Tunisia; and discussed the common market under the current economic crisis.

Attending the Summer School helped me look at topics that I will cover in my SAIS studies from a different perspective.

The perfect balance between an academic and social environment made the experience special and distinct from other similar events. We were given the opportunity to visit cultural sites in Montenegro (Podgorica, Tivat, Kotor, Budva), Croatia (Dubrovnik) and Bosnia (Trebinje), while continuing to be intellectually engaged.

Moreover, the fellow participants added to the value of the experience. They were brilliant conversation partners. The diversity of ideas and experiences made the program an excellent forum to exchange thoughts and views.

The icing on the cake was the opportunity we were offered to publish an article covering the topics analyzed during the week.

Marko Grujicic (SAIS EUROPE 2014-15)

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