EU Enlargement Lecture Series

20th Anniversary of the EU Enlargement
The European Studies Center/European Union Center of Excellence (ESC/EUCE) along with the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) offers a new lecture series to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the EU Enlargement. This virtual lecture series will be held on the last Thursday of each month. 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the biggest enlargement of the European Union in its history. Ten countries, mainly former socialist Eastern European states, almost doubled the EU from 15 to 25 member states. May 1, 2004, was the triumphal return to the European Family for many. But for some, it initiated a process of disenchantment with the EU and the West Each month, the ESC/EUCE together with REEES at the University of Pittsburgh, will focus our attention on a specific country or a group of countries in the EU by inviting experts and eyewitnesses to discuss the hopes and realities of the EU integration before and after expansion to address what hopes were fulfilled and what new hopes exist for the Union in the present.
Each session is recorded and later posted on the internet with suggested additional readings and further resources. 
We welcome your feedback on these videos and the Europe Enlargement series. Please take our survey.
Spring Term Sessions:
EU Enlargement- Spotlight on Hungary

Thursday February 29, 2024  at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM ET I REGISTER


Gabriella Lukacs, University of Pittsburgh 
Erica Edwards, University of Pittsburgh
Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Founding Director: CEU Democracy Institute Leadership Academy
Ms. Szelényi is a former politician from Hungary, foreign policy specialist, author and Founding Director at the CEU Democracy Institute Leadership Academy. She is conducting research about how autocratic politics is influencing and shaping the future of the European Union. In the framework of the Democracy Institute Leadership Academy her team develops curriculum supporting pro-democracy activists in Central and Eastern Europe.
Stefano Bottoni, Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI)
Dr. Bottoni is an Assistant Professor at the Department of History (SAGAS). Between 2009 and 2019 he was research fellow at the Institute of History, Research Center for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a visiting fellow at Imre Kertész Kolleg, Jena (2015). His main fields of interest are the political and social history of Eastern Europe under the socialist regimes, with a special focus on nationality politics in Romania and post-1989 political developments in Hungary. He is actively involved in the EU-Co-funded educational program "History in the Public Sphere" as member of the Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Committee.

EU Enlargement- Spotlight on Malta and Cyprus
Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM ET I REGISTER


European Studies Center
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
University Center for International Studies

EU Enlargement- Spotlight on Slovenia

Tuesday January  23, 2024 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM ET
Simona Kukovič, School of Advanced Social Studies in Nova Gorica
Dr. Simona Kukovič is Associate Professor of Political Science and works at the School of Advanced Social Studies in Nova Gorica, Faculty of Information Studies, and the University of Ljubljana. Dr. Kukovič’s area of expertise is political and administrative leadership at the local level. She also conducts research in the areas of leadership, comparative regional and local government, local democracy and participation, public administration, and administrative and political processes and institutions. She is Slovenian representative to the COST networks, a member of the executive board of the Central European Political Science Association (CEPSA) and general editor of the international scientific journal Journal of Comparative Politics.
Miro Haček, University of Ljubljana
Dr. Miro Hacek is Professor at the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences. He runs courses Introduction to Political System, Introduction to Public Administration and Local and Regional Government. From 2005 to 2007 and 2013 to 2017 he was the Head of political science department; from 2007 to 2011 he was also Head of policy analysis and public administration department at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana. From 1999 to 2009 he was General Secretary of the Slovenian Political Science Association, while in May 2009 he was elected President of the Association and in June 2011 for the vice-president of the Association. Between 2012-2018 he served as the Vice-President of Central European Political Science Association (CEPSA), and from 2018 he is current President of the Association.



EU Enlargement: Spotlight on Balti States (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia)

Daunis Auers, University of Latvia

Dr, Auers is Professor of European Studies and Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Latvia. He studied at the London School of Economics and defended his PhD at University College London. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley (2005-2006) and a Baltic-American Freedom Foundation Scholar at Wayne State University in Detroit (2014). His book on The Comparative Government and Politics of the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the 21st Century – was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. He is currently working on a monograph analyzing Nordic-Baltic integration and is a Fulbright program Visiting Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle during the fall and winter of 2023/2024.

Ivars Ijabs, PhD, Member of the European Parliament
Dr. Ijabs is a Member of the European Parliament, elected in 2019 from the electoral alliance “Attīstībai/Par!”. Before entering politics, he was a widely known political scientist, publicist, associated professor at the University of Latvia and a researcher at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute of the University of Latvia.  In the European Parliament, Dr. Ijabs is active in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), and the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA), representing the “Renew Europe” group. His priorities are with legislative proposals that would bring more EU funding for science, research, and innovation in Latvia.

EU Enlargement: Spotlight on Slovakia

Michal Vašečka, PhD, Bratislava Policy Institute
Dr. Vašečka is a sociologist by background and focuses his interests on issues of ethnicity, race, antisemitism, and migration studies. As an Associate Professor he operates at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA) since 2015, he is a program director of Bratislava Policy Institute. Since 2012 Michal Vašečka serves as a representative of Slovakia in the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe. He operated at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University in Brno in 2002-2017 and at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of the Comenius University in 2006-2009.
Miloslav Bahna, PhD., Slovak Academy of Science
Dr. Bahna is a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, where he currently serves as the director. His research focuses on international migration, quantitative comparative sociology and quantitative survey methodology. He is a long term representative of Slovakia in the International Social Survey Programme and the CESSDA ERIC pan-European infrastructure. His first book focuses on post-2004 EU enlargement migration from Slovakia (VEDA, the publishing house of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, 2011).

EU Enlargement: Spotlight on Czech Republic

Moderator: Pawel Lewicki, University of Pittsburgh 

Pavel Telicka, Czech Diplomat, Politician and Businessman
A former negotiator of Czech access to the EU and a former member of the EU Parliament (2014-2019), he contributed to the country’s integration into the EU throughout his career. He was elected as a Member of the European Parliament. Pavel Telicka was the 2nd Vice-Chair of the ALDE Group and, in the second part of his mandate, Vice-President of the European Parliament and coordinator of ALDE MEPs in the Committee on Transport and Tourism. Additionally, Pavel engaged in the Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy, where he was responsible for several pieces of legislation, especially on circular economy, cybersecurity, and energy policy. His other political interests and activities included the digital economy, better EU regulation, foreign policy, human rights, and democracy worldwide.
Carol Leff, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Carol Leff is Professor Emeritus from the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she was a long-term executive and former director of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Center. Her research and publications focus on Czech and Slovak politics, including EU relations and the post-communist transition. Additionally, she was the Editor (1991-1998), Board Member (2005)and President (2004-2008) of the Slovak Studies Association of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Her publications include Interwar Czechoslovakia - A National State for a Multiethnic Population, Interwar East Central Europe, 1918-1941: The Failure of Democracy-Building, the Fate of Minorities (2020); Building Democratic Values in the Czech Republic since 1989, Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989 (2019);Slovakia and the Making of Czechoslovakia: Controversies and Legacies, Kosmas: Czechoslovak & Central European Journal, New Series 2 (2019).


EU Enlargement: Spotlight on Poland

Anna Horolets, University of Warsaw
Dr. Horolest is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. Her research interests include discourse analysis, Europeanization and migration studies. She authored the monograph "Obrazy Europy w polskim dyskursie publicznym [Images of Europe in Polish public discourse]" (Kraków, 2006).

Janusz Reiter, Former Poland Ambassador to Germany
Janusz Reiter attended German studies at the University of Warsaw. In 1977, he started working as a journalist. Between the years 1990-95, Mr. Reiter served as a Polish ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. He was actively engaged in the rebuilding process of Polish-German relations. In 1996, he founded the Centre for International Relations (CIR), an independent thinktank, focused on foreign and security policies. He held this position for 11 years. In 2005, he became the Polish Ambassador to the United States, and in 2008 – a Special Emissary in regard of the climate changes and in this capacity, he participated in the preparations for climate changes conferences in Poznań and Copenhagen. Moreover, he was a deputy chairman of Presspublica Sp. z o. o. (Ltd.).