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J. Joksimović awards certificates to students for best papers

September 24 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović awards certificates to students for best papers

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has awarded certificates to students for the best papers on the EU at a competition that not only strengthens intergenerational dialogue but also opens opportunities for engagement at the line ministry.

Among 12 submitted papers, Miloš Vulić has earned the first prize for his paper ‘The meaning of solidarity in European integration – Schuman’s vision and challenges of crises’. The second and the third prize have been awarded to Milica Stjepanović from the Faculty of Philosophy and to Jelena Jeremić from the Faculty of Law, respectively.

Their papers discussed Contextual aspects of the concept of solidarity in the EU in the 21st century and the EU’s key reasons for supporting Serbia in achieving the goals of the environmental component of sustainable development. 

At the ceremony organised at the Government of Serbia, Joksimović has recalled that the competition was established in 2017, when the ministry was formed, adding that it represents an innovative and pioneering form of communication with the members of the academic community – students and post-graduates, concerning various aspects of EU accession, processes and changes both in Serbia, during its preparations and negotiations for membership, and in the EU, which all shape the process in a two-dimensional way.

According to her, the competition represents a debate on the European path, advantages and shortcomings, developments in the EU, and the enlargement policy that has been significantly changing not always to the benefit of Serbia.

“Those are all phenomena that require attention, particularly of those who will be the bearers of future reforms as well as of achieving sustainable development in the political, economic and any other sense,” said Joksimović.

The Minister has said that it is important to hear the voice of a generation that has a different view point, even from the middle generation, adding that intergenerational dialogue is crucial in the context of European integration and reforms. 

The topics of the competitions follow the current developments, particularly the solidarity that emerged during the pandemic and everything else that happened, which is that, despite the initial confusion, the EU has unequivocally demonstrated solidarity primarily with itself, i.e. with its 27 members.

Joksimović has added that all of the above also reflected on the budget, on the Recovery Fund, particularly regarding candidate and potential candidate countries.

“The EU has helped a lot by approving the reallocation of unused IPA funds and through numerous other activities, medical equipment, while the most important are the large funds intended for the post-pandemic economic and social recovery,” said Joksimović.

The Minister has stated that solidarity should be a fundamental topic, adding that it is good that solidarity is functional and existing, despite the member states’ divided interests.

“As a candidate, Serbia has shown solidarity towards EU members; Serbia is a country that can contribute to the revitalisation of the EU, and, as EC President Ursula von der Leyen said – we need a revitalised and empowered EU,” noted Joksimović.

The Minister has underlined sustainable development, climate change and environmental protection as important topics that are now gaining full traction through the Green Agenda and new funds for the Western Balkans, adding that she expects a large investment package in early October.

The author of the winning paper, Miloš Vulić, who is a master student at the programme ‘Religion in society, culture and European integration’ at the University of Belgrade Rectorate, has expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the Serbian Government wants to hear the voice of youth through MEI.

“This is very important with regard to European integration, which is a number one topic for the state and society,” said Vulić, adding that, through their papers, they strived to show that the European integration is not a project only reserved for a small circle of people, for experts, but that it is a topic that carries a specific philosophy.

According to him, that is why, through Robert Schuman who established solidarity as a key principle 70 years ago, he tried to show how important it is to renew it and to move the focus from the talk of funds to that particular political philosophy.

The decision on the three top-ranked papers was made by a committee composed of Jelica Stefanović-Štambuk, a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Vladimir Vuletić, a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, and Maja Lukić Radović, associate professor at the Faculty of Law. 

The Minister has added that the awards also include a financial prize: the first prize is worth RSD 85,000, while the second and the third amount to RSD 55,000 and RSD 35,000, respectively.

Source: Tanjug