March 21, 2018

CCBS Director was a keynote speaker at the “Castle Talks on Cross-Border Cooperation”

Ruth Taillon, CCBS Director, was a keynote speaker at the “Castle Talks on Cross-Border Cooperation” held in Strasbourg on 19-20 March.  The seminar was the last in a series under the auspices of the University of Strasbourg’s Jean Monnet Project and is held at the historic Chateau de Portales in Strasbourg (hence the Castle in Castle Talks). Concerned primarily with Eastern borders of the EU, the first two sessions on day 1, focused on the German-Polish border and the Polish-Czech border, with presentations by academic experts  and cross-border practitioners. These were followed by a roundtable discussion on the seminar theme, “Do Borders help to foster intercultural understanding?” Opening the second day of the seminar, Ruth’s presentation was titled: “Fostering Inter-Cultural Understanding through Cross-Border Cooperation:  Lessons from Ireland-Northern Ireland”.  An important element of the Castle Talks are the presentations by working groups of international students from programmes at University of Strasbourg (Intitut d’études politiques); Cultural and Educational Programmes Abroad (CEPA) Foundation; and Heidelberg University (including students from the University of Southern Mississippi studying at Heidelburg). Ruth was one of a number of discussants from the Transfrontier Euro Institute Network (TEIN) who along with other speakers, gave the students feedback on their presentations.  A book edited by Prof. Birte Wassenberg, Castle-talks, Cross-Border Cooperation: Fear of Integration? The Pertinence of the Border —ISBN 978-3-515-12008-1 — has recently been published by Franz Steiner Verlag. Based on the proceedings of the Talks 2012 – 2016, the book contains contributions from Ruth Taillon and former CCBS Director Andy Pollak. (The book will be reviewed later this year in the Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland).