On Wednesday, December 20, 2017, the Institute of International Studies (IIS) of the Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) participated in the annual workshop of the Indonesian Community for European Studies (ICES) organized by the Department of International Relations, Universitas Islam Indonesia UII). In addition to UGM and UII, the Bina Nusantara University (BINUS), Bosowa University, Budi Luhur University (UBL), Satya Wacana Christian University (UKSW), Jenderal Soedirman University (UNSOED), Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), and Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR) also sent their representatives to the workshop. As a lecturer of European Studies courses in UGM, Muhadi Sugiono, MA and Dr. Siti Muti’ah Setiawati also took apart on the agenda.
In the first session on “Contemporary Europe: Agenda and Challenges”, lecturers from various universities shared the academic materials which they taught at the European Studies class. In UGM and UNSOED, the Eastern European topics also being included in the European studies curricula because it was misrepresented in the Western European-centric EU’s discussions. BINUS and UII provide interdisciplinary courses of European studies, with the courses of Information Technology and Business at BINUS, and with International Law studies at UII. Meanwhile, Muhadi Sugiono shared their plan to conduct a research on analyzing the evolution of EU by looking at the transformation of its treaties. He expected that the output of this research could be a promising resource in the field of EU studies, in the form of teaching materials or even an academic book.
The next session discussed the achievement being done by ICES members in 2017. UMY started the talk by shared their achievement by became one among only two universities in Indonesia – another one is Indonesia’s Christian University (UKI) – who won the Jean Monnet Activities grant competition to develop an academic module entitled “European Studies Teaching to Improve Indonesia’s Public Understanding about the European Union”. UMY now in the process of developing academic websites as a platform for digital library consisted EU-related articles. Currently, UMY was also preparing a teaching material about “EU Supranationalism: Institutions, Policies, and International Relations”. UMY invited all ICES members to also support the development of the website and teaching materials.
While BINUS representative, Paramitaningrum, Ph.D. had submitted an article entitled “The Role of the EU Development Assistance to Address Deforestation Issue in Indonesia” to the Asia-Pacific Journal of EU Studies. She also added that currently, the Department of International Relations of BINUS was in a cooperative agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, following the reorientation of Eastern European countries foreign policies to focus on ASEAN member-states. Meanwhile, Muhadi Sugiono conveyed the implementation of EU-Indonesia Update program at UGM by conducting a series of ambassadorial lectures, presented the Indonesian Ambassador to the European Union and the EU High Representative for Indonesia. He also received a chance to attend the annual meeting of the EU Studies Association (EUSA) in Tokyo. According to Muhadi Sugiono, EUSA is a potential and strategic partner for ICES in the future. However, to actualize that cooperation, ICES must have a legal base, first.
The debates overs should ICES maintain its form as an academic community of transform itself into legal-based professional association became the main topic of discussion on the last session. At one side, the transformation of ICES into legal-based association would ease its effort to actualize cooperation with EUSA or other strategic partners. But it also would complicate ICES relationship with the Association of International Relations Studies in Indonesia (AIHII), where ICES already being included in AIHII’s structure and that association also already have its own legal standing. Therefore, members of the forum decided to postpone the decision until the next ICES meeting.
As for the results of this workshop, in 2018 ICS would undertake the following activities: (i) ICES would arrange the biennial European Studies Convention on July-August 2018 with Bosowa University as the host university; (ii) The annual workshop specifically discussing the European Studies academic structure would be organized during AIHII’s annual workshop at the end of the year; (iii) ICES would intensifying policy briefs and opinion articles production to cover the contemporary issues in EU-Indonesia partnership; (iv) The topic of ICES’s research agenda in 2018 would focusing on ‘Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade and Voluntary Partnership Agreement’ (FLEGT-VPA) case with Muhadi Sugiono lead the research team; (v) UGM implemented its Massive Open Online-Course (MOOC) with “International Relations in Europe” as the subject, would involve students from UBL and Paramadina University as the participant; (vi) Established Muhadi Sugiono as the Coordinator of ICES in 2018. Photo session with all participants ended this annual workshop. [ARY]