Jean Monnet Module on EU environmental policy titled ‘EU Environmental Policy: Internal and External Dimensions (EU ENVI)’ is held in term of 2016–2019 by Assoc. prof. Dr Ana Bojinović Fenko from the Chair of International Relations and the Centre of International Relations. The module is implemented as a course International Environmental Protection via lectures of the Module holder, the course holder, prof. Zlatko Šabič (also from the Chair of International Relations and the Centre of International Relations), and guest lecturers, via 9 May Round Table and a final research paper presentations-based Student Conference.
Prof. Zlatko Šabič lectured on the importance of the context for thinking about the environment. Students focused on International Relations disciplinary understanding the meaning of environment taking into consideration approaches explaining the environment as well as international institutions specified for this policy field. By watching the documentary The Inconvenient Sequel students also (critically) focused on prevailing discourses on international environmental protection and stressed their weaknesses.
Assoc. prof. Dr Ana Bojinović Fenko introduced the structure and purpose of the Module EU Environmental Policy: Internal and External Dimensions. She lectured on the general understanding of the EU as a polity, its policies and the politics. The central focus of the lecture was placing environmental policy into the EU’s Treaty framework and introducing the policy-making process in the field of environmental policy. The difference between actors, their competences and decision-making rules were highlighted for the internal and external dimension of EU’s environmental policy.
In the second lecture, assoc. prof. Bojinović Fenko shifted the focus to the research of EU environmental policy, highlighting policy analysis approaches (multi-level governance, policy networks, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation) and actor-based approaches (SWOT analysis, rational and meaningful choice and Europeanization).
Two guests have lectured in the JM Module course on 30 March 2018, both alumni of University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, International Relations and European Studies graduates. Polona Bunič, PhD, from the Slovenian Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Food lectured on the internal and external dimension of EU fisheries policy. She highlighted the perspective of policy formulation at the national level. Secondly, she addressed Slovenian participation in the AGRIFISH formation of the Council of the EU and interest-based formation of like-minded states in the process of formulation of fisheries policy at the EU level. In the external EU dimension of the EU fisheries policy, the most exciting aspect for her was the first negotiations on fisheries quotas to be held after Brexit takes effect during the Slovenian presidency of the EU in July-December 2021 term.
A second guest of 30 March was Jana Pavlič, MA, who works as Head of Government and EU Relations at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). EMBL is an intergovernmental organization seated in Heidelberg, Germany, dealing with research infrastructure in the field of Life sciences. Students were acquainted with large scale research infrastructure offered by this organization and types of international research collaborations in the field of Life Sciences. As Slovenia is not a member of this organization yet Ms Pavlič addressed aspects of EU-EMBL relations, especially the recent accession processes to EMBL by Central and East European states.
Students also gained from practical seminar work based on substantive lectures specialised in the currently EU hot topic of CCS. Taking into consideration the fact that heavy industry and electricity providers produce more than 60 % of all CO2 emissions, the weekend sessions on 6th and 7th April were dedicated to learning and analysing one of the rare technically feasible solutions to the problem of carbon emissions – the process of carbon capture and storage – better known as CCS. In the beginning of the first workshop Dr Marko Maver – a CCS specialist employed as project manager at Norwegian non-governmental organisation Bellona Foundation – thoroughly introduced the three phases of CCS process (capture, transport, and storage). Following that, the process and technology behind the CCS were analysed, with students learning how to differentiate between CCS and CCU – carbon capture and utilisation. While still recognising the interconnectivity of the analysed concepts and acknowledging the fact that CO2 is used not just in beverage industry, but also for enhanced oil recovery and production of cement.
Moreover, Dr Maver introduced the students to the existing European policies that regulate CCS. Impactful legal acts, such as European CCS Directive, adopted in 2009 in order to meet European environmental standards and goals were explained in detail. Therefore, students were able to better familiarise themselves with some more specific CCS projects from different perspectives. Especially European CCS projects, in which states like Norway, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany are recognised as trendsetters. Taking into account all existing risks connected with CCS (leakages, for example), students analysed why technologies aimed at reduction of carbon emissions may play a crucial role in meeting the requirements of Paris Agreement. Last but not least, the implications and possible benefits arising from re-usage of the existing infrastructure for transportation of CO2, such as pipelines, were also discussed.
On 20 April 2018, the Module profited from a guest lecture by Ana Grabnar, LL.M., lawyer in the field of corporate and environmental law in Law firm Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & partners. She informed students of sources of EU environmental law, namely the international legal basis in the Aarhus convention, the EU legislation and EU case law. She showed various aspects of public participation in different EU member states’ environmental legal proceedings in the form of access to information, participation in decision-making and in justice access. Students were able to critically assess the role of open public participation in a case study of acquisition of an environmental permit by a company in Slovenia.