Teaching CIVICA

CIVICA Students' Concrete Responses to the EU's Challenges

, by Tomaso Eridani
Three crosscampus teams of the CIVICA alliance have been awarded for their capstone projects in conclusion of the Multicampus course

The EU faces some concrete challenges – ranging from economic shocks to threats to democracy – and students from across the CIVICA alliance worked together during the Multicampus course 'The Future of Europe' to come up with equally concrete policy proposals to face these challenges.
The course is one of the flagship initiatives of CIVICA and is designed and taught jointly by a team of professors from the different alliance members. This 3rd edition, coordinated by Bocconi's prof Carlo Altomonte, was delivered simultaneously across CIVICA campuses in the Fall 2023 semester, with live online lectures integrated with local activities. Around 120 master's students participated, representing six CIVICA partners, and examined EU policy-making in four critical areas: Globalisation and Economic shocks; Democracy, Governance, and Populism; Environment, Sustainability & the EU Green Deal; Digitalization and Innovation.
The final evaluation of the course was based on a group capstone project developed by 30 teams of students from at least three campuses – giving students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real-life, practical challenge, guided by supervisors. Each project had to address and develop in detail a concrete policy challenge that the EU faces.
In February, the three best projects were awarded a monetary prize funded by the Fondazione Achille and Giulia Boroli, which funds a Chair in European Studies at Bocconi University. The ceremony was held during the annual Bocconi-Boroli Lecture in Milan.
"We delved into the topic of digitalization in the EU – in particular at the increasing role and impact of AI. We looked at EU law on AI and analysed ways of making it more efficient regards the critical challenges and issues, for example that of security," explains Veronika Zadernivska, Master in Public Policy student at Hertie School, member of one of the winning teams. "It was a great experience to bring together the different backgrounds and perceptions within our team and also our supervisor was a great help with his feedback."
"In our policy brief we aimed to respond to the growing challenge of disinformation in the digital age - especially that surrounding EU-related topics, which fuels divisive narratives and undermines trust in the European project. Our proposal centered on the development of an AI-driven toolkit that could identify and debunk misleading content about EU policies and matters on social media," explains Fabio Schettino, a Master in Management student at Bocconi, also on a winning team. "The Multicampus course provided me with a great opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world challenges. Working alongside students from different universities helped me refine my communication and teamwork skills and ability to find common ground to achieve our shared goals."
"Our project focused on the EU's Green Deal Industrial Plan (GDIP) – in particular on its Just Transition Fund (JTF). We developed some recommendations to help Poland through its coal phase-out, with the hope they could be applied also to other regions of the EU that struggle to meet European climate targets. We included aspects regarding improving transparency, an emphasis on reskilling and upskilling and including all stakeholders in decision-making," highlights Clarissa Bernabè, Masters in International Security student at Sciences Po. "We benefited from the expertise of professors across Europe and it was enriching to collaborate with students across Europe with insightful perspectives that allowed us to write a well-rounded policy brief. I saw the importance of fostering EU integration also through academic collaboration."