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Beyond Erasmus Training and Lecture Programme (2021-2022)

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Beyond Erasmus Hybrid Training and Lecture Programme (2021-2022)

The European Neighbourhood Council (ENC), in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) office in Turkey has recently concluded a hybrid educational programme titled “Beyond Erasmus: Education, Exchanges and Employment opportunities for youth in the EU and Turkey”. The project promotes Erasmus+ student mobility, youth exchanges, internships, training courses, networking, access to funding for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), free market entrepreneurship and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).

The project created exchanges with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, further training and career prospects for youth in EU and Turkey. Participants from Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Turkey gained skills in the private, civil society and public sector, while staying anchored to EU legislation, strategies and new priority topics. Throughout the programme, participants were encouraged to support each other and develop their professional networks. Against the current context of Turkish isolation, the project had a strong focus on establishing lasting friendships and exchanging ties as well as instilling skills, instruments and future financial options within the participants to support liberal universal values and cementing ties between the EU and Turkey.

The Beyond Erasmus was divided in three phases:
I) October-November 2021: 40 participants – mainly young graduates – from Turkey, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands – attended a series of six online training sessions engaging with inspiring and talented professionals from Europe and Turkey working in media, audiovisual, think tank, Civil Society, European Commission, Academia and private sector.

II) February 2022: Seven finalists from the 1st phase participated in a networking fellowship trip in Brussels during which they had the opportunity to meet with diverse people, among others, the liberal VP of the Renew Europe party, MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk, the MP from Brussels citizen’s assembly, Pepijn Kennis, and the senior European Commission officer Bernard Brunet (DG NEAR). The group also had the chance to exchange ideas and engage with cultural institutions, journalists and entrepreneurs while bonding with one another.

III) March-April 2022: The seven Beyond Erasmus fellows were called to share their views and experiences during three lectures in public academic institutions across Turkey. They shared their Erasmus exchange experience, explained the benefits of such programmes – including networking opportunities – and the rationale behind their participation in the Beyond Erasmus project with students from Çukurova University (Adana), Eskisehir Osmangazi and Anadolu Universities (Eskisehir) and Ondokuz Mayıs University (Samsun).

The continuous support by local academic institutions in Turkey coupled with high volume formal and informal exchanges among student, our experts and our fellows, showcases the importance of exchange programmes and the need to stay connected, to work together, to share knowledge and ideas at the academic, political, economic and societal level.

Learn more about our hybrid training and lecture programme by watching the short video below in which ENC Managing Director, Samuel Doveri Vesterbye and the Head of the FNF office in Turkey, Beate Apelt share the key features and the rationale behind the Beyond Erasmus programme:

ENC In-Depth Podcast – Armenia and Turkey: Unpacking Negotiation Strategies and Political Conjunctures

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ENC In-Depth Podcast – Armenia And Turkey: Unpacking Negotiation Strategies And Political Conjunctures

This ENC In-Depth podcast is dedicated to the recently published ENC Analysis: “Armenia And Turkey: Unpacking Negotiation Strategies And Political Conjunctures” by our Academic Council Member Dr. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan. In his recent article, Dr. Ter-Matevosyan provides a short analysis of how the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has shaken the Armenian internal political landscape. The author also examines the present relations between Armenia and Turkey, with the latter being a firm supporter of Azerbaijan during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, the recent attempts by the two sides to appoint diplomatic envoys in order to normalize bilateral relations, and the Armenian government’s handling of the fragile situation.

The discussion was moderated by Andreas Marazis, ENC Head of Research for Eastern Europe & Central Asia, and features the comments and insights of ENC Academic Council Member Dr. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan who is Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Affairs Program at the American University of Armenia.

You can listen and watch the in-depth interview here:


ENC In-Depth (Mediterranean Series) with Maria Chalhoub – The Syrian Conflict: What role for the EU?

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Launching of the ENC In-Depth Mediterranean Series, dedicated to developments in the countries of the ENP South, in the fields of security, foreign policy, economy, democracy and education with experts and academics based in Middle East and North Africa.

For the last seven years, the conflict in Syria caused up to 470,000 lives. Now, hosting multiple actors in the region, country’s fate is being written by influential actors and civil society. But where exactly do we stand in the negotiation talks? What is the current position of the EU in the political process?

Maria Chalhoub, Researcher at Common Space Initiative (CSI), Syria Initiative spoke about the current situation of the conflict in Syria and the latest developments.

From climate change to trade and values; Future of Europe

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The European Neighbourhood Council (ENC), in cooperation with Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Turkey, the Swedish Consulate in Istanbul and the Economic Development Foundation (IKV) have organised a lecture series in different Turkish Universities on future cooperation between the EU and Turkey, as well as various themes on the future of Europe.

Based on lectures about the Customs Union, digitisation and funding, climate change, and EU values, ENC shows a glimpse of the fruitful experience of the Turkey training Programme. Medeni Sungur talked about the importance of peace in Europe as one of the most treasured and modern socio-cultural values. Next, Emre Ilkan Saklica highlighted the sustainability of democratic institutions in history. Melis Bostanoglu underlined that increasing barriers to trade is not a solution for social inequality issues. Finally, Dr. Tugba Agacayak talked about the increased use of renewable energy in Turkey.




ENC In-Depth discussion on Eastern Partnership with Boris Iarochevitch and Natalie Sabanadze

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This time on ENC In-Depth, we invited Mr. Boris Iarochevitch, Head of Division Eastern Partnership (EaP), Regional Cooperation and Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) at the European External Action Service (EEAS) and H.E Natalie Sabanadze, Georgia’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU to discuss the prospects and challenges in the EaP area.

Despite the positive developments in many of the countries in the area, there are issues to address. The overall security situation and the reform process are perhaps the most prominent ones. The Eastern Partnership summit is taking place in Brussels on the 24th of November this year.

ENC In-Depth (EaP Series): Rise of Militaristic Sentiment and Patriotic Discourses

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ENC In-Depth (EaP Series): Rise of Militaristic Sentiment and Patriotic Discourses

Following the launching of the second hard copy issue of the Caucasus Edition: Journal of Conflict Transformation entitled “Visions and Strategies for Conflict Transformation: Dominant and Alternative Discourses on Gender, Militarism, and Peace Processes” by the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation in partnership with the Center for Independent Social Research – Berlin, ENC set up a series of In-Depth discussions dedicated on the presentation of the report.

The first (out of three) in-depth discussion focuses on the role of the militaristic sentiment and patriotic discourses in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey with Dr. Sergey Rumyansev, who is the co-founder of the Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR) and editor of the report, and Dr. Andrey Devyatkov, Senior Researcher at the Center for Post-Soviet Studies of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Associate Professor of the Department of Regional Problems of World Politics at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The In-Depth discussion is part of ENC’s EaP Series of interviews and podcast meetings dedicated to developments in the Eastern Partnership area in the fields of Security, Foreign Policy, Economy, Democracy and Education.

ENC In-Depth (EaP Series): The role of development cooperation in the areas of protracted conflicts

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ENC In-Depth (EaP Series): The role of development cooperation in the areas of protracted conflicts

Prior to a conference dedicated on the strategic advantages and limitations of the EU, UNDP, donors and development partners vis-à-vis protracted conflicts that was hosted by the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union in cooperation with UNDP, ENC Head Researcher for Eastern Europe & Central Asia Andreas Marazis met with Ms. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova and Mr. Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia. Emphasis was given on the role of development cooperation in the areas of protracted conflicts and more specifically in Georgia and Moldova.

Following faithfully the guidelines set up by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNDP is involved in various capacity building projects together with other donors such as the EU in an effort to strengthening the collaboration of opposite sides in both countries. It encourages dialogue between Moldova and Transnistria, and between Georgia and South Ossetia and Abkhazia, while emphasising on the engagement of youth and women in peacebuilding initiatives.

The In-Depth discussion is part of ENC’s EaP Series of interviews and podcast meetings dedicated to developments in the Eastern Partnership area in the fields of Security, Foreign Policy, Economy, Democracy and Education.