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Published on December 29, 2007

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BCCA Economic Forum 22nd September 2006, Turku Euro as a common currency in the BSR – BSR as a joint investment area How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Dr. Carsten Schymik Department for Northern European Studies Humboldt University of Berlin:  BCCA Economic Forum 22nd September 2006, Turku Euro as a common currency in the BSR – BSR as a joint investment area How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Dr. Carsten Schymik Department for Northern European Studies Humboldt University of Berlin How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region OR: ‘Bad food, everything else was excellent‘ How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin Outline How visible is the Baltic Sea Region for the outside world? Perceptions and misperceptions Achieving global visibility: challenges and perspectives How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (1) How visible is the Baltic Sea Region… … as a political entity? USA Northern European Initiative, NEI (1997-2003) Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe, e-PINE (since 2003)  focus on Baltic (and Nordic) affairs Canada Northern Dimension in Foreign Policy, NDFP (since 2000) Northern Strategy (since 2004)  focus on Arctic north Russia No explicit ‘northern dimension‘ in foreign policy  focus on relationship with the European Union How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (1) How visible is the Baltic Sea Region… … as an economic entity? Baltic Development Forum, BDF: »Despite all of its achievements, the Baltic Sea Region still has a somewhat unclear image and is little known in the global context« How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (1) How visible is the Baltic Sea Region… … as an area of education and research? Baltic Sea Region Studies Inside the region: Joint MA degree programme in Turku, Tartu, Riga and Kaunas Related programmes in, e.g., Copenhagen, Södertörn, Gdansk, Berlin Outside the region: Existing study programmes cut across the Baltic Sea Region: Scandinavian / Nordic studies German studies Baltic (states) studies Russian / Slavic / Eastern European / Eurasian studies How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin Conclusion: The Baltic Sea Region lacks global visibility: politically, economically and academically. It still is an uncharted area – a white spot on the world map. How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) Perceptions of European Higher Education in Third Countries (2006) Key findings: Europe is perceived as an entity in general terms and as an economic union but not with regard to culture and higher education Europe is generally seen as being elegant, clean, organised and modern… …but also as lacking innovation, tolerance and joie de vivre Knowledge of Europe is limited to a few big countries, namely the UK, Germany and France Smaller countries can only gain visibility as a group, e.g. the Nordic countries How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions ACA Study (2006) Perceptions of Europe in comparison with the US and Australia Advantages of Europe: Most traditional universities, most interesting cultural heritage, most attractive arts Safe destination, more accessible (visa) Cultural and linguistic diversity is mainly seen as attractive but also as confusing or as a barrier to communication How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions ACA Study (2006) Perceptions of Europe in comparison with the US and Australia Disadvantages of Europe: The US is ranked above Europe in most academic and labour-market related issues (quality of education; reputation of degrees) Europe‘s single major disadvantage: English is not the universal mother language Little knowledge of English-taught programmes in non-English speaking countries How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions BalticStudyNet – Network for Promoting and Developing Higher Education in the Baltic Sea Region (Erasmus Mundus) Conferences and workshops, e.g. Go North! (2005) Research, e.g. mapping BSR related study programmes worldwide Curriculum development and global promotion of a Joint Master Degree programme in Baltic Sea Region Studies Summer school in Baltic Sea Region Studies: Mare Europaeum (2006) How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions Mare Europaeum Summer School in Baltic Sea Region Studies Advertised around the world; >200 applications from 28 different non-EU countries Most applications from: Uzbekistan (35), Russia (34), and Ukraine (32) Greatest interest in territories of former Soviet Union, especially Central Asia Moderate interest in North America and Southeast Europe Little interest in South America, Africa, Asia (China), and Australia Selected for participation: 22 students from 13 countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, USA, Canada, Peru, India) How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions Mare Europaeum Summer School in Baltic Sea Region Studies Previous knowledge – expectations – images: General lack of detailed knowledge of the Baltic Sea Region as a whole Expectations mostly confined to specific countries: Nordic countries and Germany Specific interest in the Baltic states and their successful experience of transformation and integration into the EU and NATO Pre-existing images largely shaped by reputation / stereotypes of Norden How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (2) Perceptions and misperceptions Mare Europaeum Summer School in Baltic Sea Region Studies Experiences – impressions – reflections: Single most impressive experience: Øresund Region New insights: English as lingua franca of the Baltic Sea Region Thought-provoking: strong civil society; egalitarianism Reflecting on the existence of a single Baltic Sea Region: history and economy as crucial factors General evaluation: ‘Bad food, everything else was excellent’ How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (3) Achieving global visibility of the Baltic Sea Region Challenges After the end of the post-Cold War era: search for new aims and visions of co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region Competing notions of the region: Baltic Sea versus Nordic-Baltic versus EU inland sea Structural difficulty: how to integrate the ‘big three‘, i.e. Russia, Germany and Poland, into a single Baltic Sea Region identity How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin (3) Achieving global visibility of the Baltic Sea Region Perspectives Solid basis: the Baltic Sea as the European Sea Branding the Baltic Sea as a Region – signs of a common agenda in politics, the business community and higher education Connecting the Baltic Sea Region with the world at large: promoting inter-regional research and academic exchange How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin:  How outsiders perceive the Baltic Sea Region Carsten Schymik, Humboldt University of Berlin Thank you! Dr. Carsten Schymik Humboldt University of Berlin Department for Northern European Studies carsten.schymik@staff.hu-berlin.de www.balticstudy.net www.ostseekolleg.de

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