Chair: Helen Callaghan

Discussants: Arianna Tassinari & Fabian Mushövel

Panel 4

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Kosovo’s Cultural Heritage: Social and Economic Importance


Greta Avdyli, University of Prishtina

This paper aims to present some common definitions of culture and cultural heritage, either from UNESCO or from other sources as well as its importance in the creation of civilizations. Cultural heritage is of special significance for its role on cultural, social, economic, and tourist progress. Cultural heritage is to be used as a tool for further development. Its entire concept does not only rely on preserving one nations heritage but rather to directly intertwine cultures so to strengthen the collective knowledge across differences. Indeed, a stronger exchange across nations can help overcoming detrimental modern day hurdles. For this reason, the European Union places great importance in cultural heritage. Indeed, it supports policies that are conducted to propel the integration of different cultures by implementing this structure in different areas of social circumstances such as economy with an emphasis on tourism. Through the years there have been many resolutions approved by the European Union Parliament that go in favor of culture heritage. As such, Kosovo is a clear example of a nation that has an abundance to offer, having a diverse culture and many cultural sites that have great archeological value to this day.

BREXIT: Its Impact on the Political Policies and Economy of the EU


Besnik Beqaj, University of Prishtina

The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union is expected to bring major changes for both sides after about a 50-year cooperation between the two. Considering the relevance of the UK within the Union, Brexit will surely bring a breakdown of the European integration. This brief research examines how EU exit is regulated by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as well as the impact of Brexit on the EU political system. For instance, the paper will shed light on party politics dynamics by asking a which political groups will be strengthened and which will be weakened as well as what will bring these changes what policies will be pushed forward with the strengthening of left-wing political groups and how will these policies affect the lives of EU citizens. The paper will also discuss France’s role as the second largest power in the EU after the United Kingdom exits and how much will it cooperate with Germany to overcome the current challenges the EU is facing. Finally, while looking at the general impact of the Brexit on the EU economy, the paper addresses how Brexit affects the member states’ system of contribution.

R&D Investments for Southern Europe: What Does “Brain Drain” and “Re-Brain” Mean in the Current 2020 Crises?


Karla Rodriguez, James Madison University

While the economic and fiscal disparities between North/West and South/East Member States are obvious, there is now a gap between these “sending” countries when it comes to their highly educated youth population. These disparities have led to deeper gaps in which Southern states are unable to develop as quickly as the Northern states. This, in turn, means that the South is not nearly as equipped to handle crises as swiftly as possible. While Portugal and Greece have made large improvements in regards to “re-brain” initiatives and research and development investments, there is still much more to improve. Meanwhile, Spain and Italy are only falling further behind, especially within the current pandemic environment. While this crisis is only one factor that helps show this gap, it serves to demonstrate how that gap is harmful for nations and can only worsen if the trend continues. Greece is notoriously known for its economic situation after the financial crisis and for its high numbers of brain drain, but the number of R&D increases between 2007 and 2017, have increased and changed 11 more than Spain and Italy. Portugal made a dramatic increase in R&D that specifically addresses underlying issues that facilitated brain drain and has therefore seen an improvement. For all Southern European Member States there needs to be further attempts to address foundational economic issues of the brain drain has led to change for the better.

Changes in the Energy Dynasty: Transitioning Away from King Coal. A Case Study of Energy Transitions in Germany and Poland


Sara Rzegocki, James Madison University

This paper examines the “3-i” framework and to understand energy transitions in the European Union (EU). The EU has prioritized environmental sustainability and declared that EU countries will transition away from coal towards renewable energy. The capacity and priority of transitioning away from coal varies across the EU. Germany and Poland were chosen as case studies to analyze the variables that affect energy transition speed. These two countries were chosen because they have the largest coal reserves in the EU but are drastically different in how they are transitioning their energy sectors. To understand the differences, institutions, interests and ideas are analyzed through the variables of Green party representation, the number of jobs in the coal sector and the cultural significance of coal. This paper draws upon previous literature to examine hypotheses based on these three variables. Specifically, by building on previous research as well as by analysing recent trends in Germany and Poland’s energy sector, the paper shows that Green party representation is the strongest variable that explains energy transition speeds. Jobs in the energy sector has a moderately strong argument while cultural significance has a weak argument. This paper considers all three variables and reflects on the future implications of the energy sector in Germany and Poland.