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Mendel European Centre
Lubor Lacina

Mendel University in Brno
Zemědělská 1
613 00 Brno
T: 545 131 111
F: 545 211 128
IČ: 62156489
DIČ: CZ62156489

About Project

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence -- Economic Logic or Political Logic? Is Fiscal Union Feasible for EU?

Think tank -- Mendel European Centre

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (Grant Decision No. 2012-2861).

Logo MEC


Aims and objectives of the project

While both the European Commission and the European Parliament point to the urgent need to increase the size of the EU budget there has not been any long term support to significantly increase it above 1% of the EU's GNI at the national level. However, the Eurozone debt crisis could -- and should - be used as an opportunity to improve the stabilization capacity of the EU budget according to fiscal federalism theory recommendations, moving the EU closer towards a political union. We argue that the current crisis opened a window of opportunity that needs to be fully utilised. In the proposed project, we will provide an economic analysis of the scenarios with respect to the most recent developments. We will also examine how the 'political power' of the EU's institutions (Parliament, Commission, Presidency) and member states can be utilized in securing favourable negotiations outcomes in the context of the new financial perspective negotiations.

The main objective of the project is creation of network of experts specialised in the subject of European integration through the creation of new independent think-tank and better usage of existing expert and research capacity both for improving teaching and research in the field of European economic integration. The envisaged impact of the project is to bolster pragmatic led argumentation about the positives and negatives of the process of European economic and monetary integration in the Czech society, which is according public surveys becoming more and more eurosceptical. Such a discussion will be counterpart to nationalist, protective and disintegrated tendencies, which always appear in times of economic recession with higher frequency and argumentation power. The ramifications of the global financial crisis for the European Union (EU) are likely to prove long-lasting. In spite of differences over how best to deal with the crisis, EU and member state policy makers have shown a strong sense of solidarity in making sure that no state is allowed to "fail". Yet the interventions have not only strained public support for the EU in member states financing the bailouts, they have also been coupled with severe fiscal austerity measures which are likely to slow down economic growth for years to come.

The main outputs and results are defined as follows: increased number of students enrolled to the courses with EU problematic, increased number of bachelor and diploma thesis with EU problematic, increased number of dissertation thesis with EU problematic, transfer of research outputs to policy makers via policy papers, newspaper articles, interviews in mass media, books, e-learning's, round tables, discussion evenings in public libraries and Centres of Europe Direct. Proposed JM Center of Excellence will concentrate on the explanation of discussions and position of main stakeholders (EC, EP, member states and EU citizens) toward negations of new financial perspective 2014-2020 and evolution of sovereign debt crisis.

Aims and activities of the organisation -- Mendel University in Brno

FBE, Mendel University in Brno

Mendel University in Brno (MENDELU) is divided into five faculties ( Presently the university has been accredited study programmes with 25 Bachelor fields of study, 12 study programmes with 27 follow-up Master fields of study, 13 study programmes with 17 5-years Master fields of study and 19 study programmes with 29 postgraduate fields of study. The university also offers courses within the Lifelong-learning scheme. MENDELU in Brno has also a strong competence to realize courses concerning general and special tasks of European integration (economic integration, regional policy, CAP reform, institutional framework, enlargement issue, external relation of EU).

The Faculty of Business and Economics ensures the teaching in the field of European integration in general for nearly 15 years. There are already 11 courses associated with European Union. Since 1996 the Faculty of Business Economics (FoBE) developing the programme of European studies at both bachelor and master level. The establishment of the programme was supported by TEMPUS PHARE project-- JEP No. 12364 -- 97: European Studies in Business and Economics which was solved during the years 1996 -- 2000. The teachers and researchers of the Department of Finance are successful in the Jean Monnet Project solving. There were already 6 Jean Monnet Teaching Modules solved. Since 2007 FoBE was participating at project called Network of European Studies (SENT - 134461-LLP-1-2007-1-IT-ERASMUS-ENW). SENT's main goal was mapping of European studies, to understand how EU studies developed in the different disciplines and the different countries, which directions they are now taking etc., in order to get a comprehensive review of the evolution of European studies over the last decades in the different disciplines and countries. The members of FoBE participated in two working groups: How to teach Teaching the EU in schools and Teaching to teach European Integration (

The faculty was actively participating on information campaign before the referendum on Czech republic membership in EU. The proposed prof. in charge of the JM Center of Excellence with his Ph.D. students became Certified trainers of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic (Phare Project CZ 9703-01-02-01-0015 -EU Training and Negotiation Preparation Training of State Officials in EU Affairs since 2001) and organised seminars for open public including disadvantaged groups like retired association, labour offices registered unemployed persons, unions of women's. Since 2001 members of the team are actively presenting their opinions in public media.

Since 2009 the Jean Monnet Chair Project (prof. in charge is Doc. Ing. Lubor Lacina, Ph.D.) is realized. Lubor Lacina is also Member of Euroteam of the Czech Republic -- Delegation of EC in CR and DG Ecofin (since 2010) where significant part of the activities are devoted to debating activities, communication with media a dissemination of European union integration ideas to general public.

Publication outputs and expert capacity of researchers and Ph.D. students in area of European economic integration are highly appreciated by both academic and public society. The members of proposed key staff already published several monographs, which are frequently used as principle teaching text for courses devoting European integration in Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Among them most successful is Textbook of European integration published by Barrister publishing whit already 3 revised edition and more than 6000 copies sold. Concerning the topic of proposed JM Centre of excellence the most relevant are two editions of monograph with title: EU budget and policies: time for change published by C.H.Beck and monograph Economic Performance of European Union: Trends and Policies published by Palgrave Macmillan Publishing.

Expected impact of the project

(Who is using project outputs / products / results and how the project reach them)

There are 4 main stakeholders (target groups) of the proposed project:

  • Policy makers -- both at national and European level
  • Other thin-tanks oriented at European agenda in Czech Republic (Europeum, Glopolis, AMO, Evropské hodnoty)
  • Teachers of European integration oriented courses at secondary school level
  • General public

The first group will be reached by standard methodology of writing and disseminating the results of policy papers which will be one of the main outputs of proposed JM Center of Excellence activities. The policy papers will be published in both Czech and English and will be distributed to stakeholders group in cooperation with EC Delegation in Prague and Czech representatives in EU Institutions.

The second set of stakeholders will be reached through institutionalization of the cooperation which was organised in past at individual -- expert bases. The newly established regionally based think-tank within JM Center of Excellence project (Mendel European Centre) will become a partner of other European agenda oriented think-tanks.

The main way how to guarantee the sustainability of the results of JM Center of Excellence beyond the financing through EU budget will be finished is establishment of independent think-tank. Most of the successful think tanks oriented on EU issue are based right now in capital of the Czech Republic -- Prague (Europeum, Evropské hodnoty, Glopolis, AMO). The regional based and regional expert capacity utilization think-tank is missing.

The third stakeholder group will be reached through network of teachers of European integration at basic and secondary school in all NUTS 2 region in the Czech Republic which was realised within the European social fund project during the years 2004 -- 2007. As reaction on increased need of new information after  Czech Republic membership in EU since May 1st, 2004 were realised 12 five days courses for 225 basic and secondary school teachers in the whole CR to improve their ability to teach attractively EU problematic.

The general public will be reached through already established network with public media, Centeres of Europe Direct and public libraries. The expert Roman Chlupaty was invited to participate in the team to coordinate activities toward general public.

The main output will be the the monograph providing the new argumentation for increased need for stabilization function of EU budget in times of economic downturn as an protective tool against disintegration tendencies in EU member countries.

Second important output will be participation of the proposed JM Center of Excellance in the Czech radio project AlterEKO which provides space for open discussion of different issue of European integration project and participation of the Czech Republic within this project.

The third set of outputs will be series of policy papers on different topics concerning the process of building fiscal union and the new role of EU budget during the following financial perspective 2014--2020.

Other EU grants realised at Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in previous years

Programme or initiative Reference number including year of award Beneficiary Organisation Title of the Project
Jean Monnet -- European module 06/0122 Mendel University Economic and Political Geography of EU
Jean Monnet -- European module 07/0173 Mendel University Public Procurements and PPP's -- instruments of achieve of the Lisbon strategy?
Jean Monnet Chair 154008
Mendel University Dynamics of European Economic and Monetary Integration in the times of economic downturns
Jean Monnet -- European module 175744-LLP-1-2010-1-CZ-AJM-MO Mendel University European Union after Lisbon treaty
Jean Monnet Multilateral Research Groups 530069-LLP-2012-CZ-AJM-RE Mendel University CEE banking sector stability after the reform of the European financial supervision architecture