Uniwersytet w Katanii - EUMedEA Jean Monnet Chair (IT)

Stefania Panebianco, PhD in International Relations, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Catania. Teaches: Mediterranean Politics, EU and Global Trade, Migration in the Mediterranean. Holder of the Jean Monnet Chair EUMedEA (EU Mediterranean Border Crises and European External Action). Main research interests: Mediterranean migration crisis, EU foreign policies, EU relations with the Middle East and North Africa. Most recent books: Sulle onde del Mediterraneo: cambiamenti globali e risposte alla crisi migratoria (editor) (EGEA, 2016), L'Unione Europea 'potenza divisa' nel Mediterraneo (EGEA, Milano, 2012), Winds of Democratic Change in the Mediterranean? Actors, Processes and Outcomes (edited with Rosa Rossi) (Rubbettino, Soveria-Mannelli, 2012). She has also published: ‘Intercultural dialogue across the Mediterranean troubled waters: Challenges to the Anna Lindh Foundation’, in: R. Gillespie and F. Volpi (eds), Routledge Handbook of Mediterranean Politics, 2018, chap. 33; ‘When responsibility to protect ‘hits home’: the refugee crisis and the EU response’, in: Third World Quarterly, 2018, vol. 39, issue 1, pp. 1-17, with Iole Fontana. Her academic research relies mainly upon qualitative analysis. She is fluent in English.

More info on the Jean Monnet EUMedEA Chair: http://www.dsps.unict.it/EUMedEA

A Brief Report on the EUMedEA Jean Monnet Chair activities

The EUMedEA Jean Monnet Chair (JMC) offered advanced teaching on the EU external action to address crises affecting the Mediterranean area. The scientific debate on the EU international actorness is currently at a stalemate, therefore this JMC departed from the analysis of the nature of the EU action - either normative, idealist or realist, and addressed the more substantive essence of European external action to face EU Med border crises. The JMC focused on the relevant actors involved in the crises and identified the emergence of new practices to address old and new security challenges affecting the Med area (political instability, institutional fragmentation, maritime security, food security, cybersecurity, etc.) paying specific attention to migration.

There is a continuous demand of specific information and more qualified knowledge on crises at EU Med borders with a direct impact on society. The JMC has responded to this need and provided innovative, in-depth multidisciplinary teaching on EU external action to face regional crises. The JMC has involved in the teaching professors of political science, law and economics. Since the Mediterranean is experiencing turbulent times, the JMC has explored content and outcomes of EU strategies and initiatives to face Med border crises with specific attention to migration. To achieve this goal, the JMC has involved in its activities an international group of high qualified academics and practitioners. The JMC has also fostered research at junior and senior level and has promoted expertise on crisis management.


The EUMedEA JMC has achieved the identified objectives. Namely, it has:

  • provided specialized teaching, research and training on EUMedEA, applying also innovative methodologies and tools. A group of more than 20 international lecturers zoomed on specific aspects of EUMedEA related topics. The active involvement of EUMedEA students implied individual and/or group presentations and simulation exercises. Social media (FB, twitter, Instagram) were used as every-day working tools
  • increased the awareness of European citizens on specific Med crises. Seminars, conferences and round tables, alongside the ad hoc EUMedEA elective course were attended by CSOs' civil servants, journalists, bureaucrats of the local public administration


The EUMedEA JMC has:

  • provided new and existing teaching on EUMedEA
  • set up a high qualified academic network on EUMedEA topics putting together professors with 20 different academic affiliations and BA/MA/PhD students coming from more than 20 different countries, including China, USA, Morocco and Turkey. Also citizens and a wider public attended EUMedEA events
  • trained BA, MA and PhD students thanks to experts, NGOs' civil servants and relevant stakeholders


  • In-depth teaching and research on EUMedEA
  • JMC website
  • Open Educational Resources (OERs)
  • Alumni database
  • Publications (EUMedEA working papers, book chapters and articles in academic journals)


  • Close interaction between civil society and the target groups
  • Support to PhD students and young researchers


  • Improvement of students’ oral and written skills
  • Increasing of students’ complementary skills (e.g. team work, simulation games)
  • Socialization of students to CSOs and practitioners' activities in crisis management

All JMC activities have been assessed via specific performance indicators. Anonymous Questionnaires were distributed to assess students’ degree of satisfaction with organization, chosen topics and their general satisfaction. Overall, students’ interest was very high and they would recommend these activities to their peers. Participants' evaluations are available online at the EUMedEA JMC website. An ongoing analysis of questionnaires has been made to improve JMC activities during the life-span of the project.