Students and staff attending Europe Day back in May 2017

Centre for European Studies Launches New 'Spinelli Season' Activities

Kickstarting the new academic semester at Canterbury Christ Church University, the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), based in the Politics and International Relations Programme is proud to announce the launch of its ‘Spinelli Season’.

‘Spinelli Season’ takes place between October 2017 and March 2018, with three different types of activities designed to promote enhanced awareness of Europe: accessible media outputs, innovative university-based activities for staff and students at CCCU, and informative community-wide engagement for Canterbury as a whole.

Hosted by CEFEUS in conjunction with university and municipal partners, the Spinelli Season represent activities separate from the regularly-scheduled Jean Monnet outputs of CEFEUS and the Jean Monnet Chair held by Professor Hadfield, representing CEFEUS’ submission to the inaugural ‘Altiero Spinelli Prize 2017’.

Named after the Italian diplomat regarded as one of the founding fathers of the European Union, the Altiero Spinelli Prize has been established by the European Comission, and seeks to:

“reward outstanding contributions that communicate the EU -its founding values, history, action and key benefits- to wider society, enhance citizens' understanding of the EU, broaden the ownership of the European project and build trust in the EU.”

The prize has four objectives: promoting knowledge of the EU, enhancing understanding of European integration, designing approaches for decision-makers and citizens alike to understanding the EU in a more positive light, and finally myth-busting to counteract misinformation and intolerance.

In explaining the decision to bid for the Spinelli Prize, CEFEUS Director Professor Amelia Hadfield said:

“we are proud to launch our ‘Spinelli Season’ here at CCCU in conjunction with this exciting new competition. Doing so allows the Centre to enhance its role as a provider of genuinely innovative and informative activities promoting enhanced knowledge of Europe. Building on our foundation of outreach to the university community - the range of Spinelli activities we’ve designed are both engaging and timely. As the EU begins to tackle the challenges of Brexit, the ongoing migration crisis, and Eurozone governance, we are confident that our Spinelli activities will highlight the very real benefits of continuing connections with the EU, dispelling historical inaccuracies, thereby promoting a fairer appreciation of Europe as a whole.”

Students and staff attending Europe Day back in May 2017The specific events comprising our Spinelli Season are found below. For more information on the events that will be carried, please contact CEFEUS at For more information on the Altiero Spinelli prize, please visit their website.


1. Accessible Media Outputs

Radio: “Politics in Action’ show: aired on CSR.FM. Hosted by 3rd year student Ned Watkinson and CEFEUS Director Professor Hadfield, and featuring CEFEUS’ Christian Turner & Noora Virtanen. This 1-hour show will be broadcast at key points throughout the ‘Spinelli Season’, allowing for detailed but engaging discussions of Europe and the EU, in connection to current local, regional and national events.

TV: KMTV’s regular Friday 5pm Politics Show will feature Professor Hadfield on 2-3 separate occasions between October 2017-March 2018. This 30-minute show goes out live to the entire county, combining pre-filmed news packages on local issues with 2 studio guests. Professor Hadfield will use her sessions to explore UK-EU relations regarding higher education, R&D, juxtaposed border controls, healthcare, transportation, and future inter-regional options. 

Online: Expert comments and blogs reviewing key EU events feature across CCCU’s website, as well as on the various Jean Monnet and CEFEUS pages, authored  Professor Hadfield, as well as Jean Monnet Scholarship and Studentship winners (2017-18), helping to inform the general public on a European issue of local relevance, and/or answering specific questions put by local citizens regarding the specifics of Brexit.

2. Innovative University-Based Activities at CCCU

The Spinelli Essay Competition: CCCU students – undergraduate and graduate alike – are invited to take part in this Spring 2018 essay competition. In 1000 words, students are invited to examine the role of the EU in the world, or the benefits of any facet of EU integration. Winning entries will be placed on the new Spinelli website.

Weekly EU Watchdog: Across two academic semesters (2017-18), students in third-year honours modules on European foreign affairs are assigned a specific UK-based media forum for one week (e.g. The Times, The Guardian etc.) keeping track of its coverage of all EU-related news by detecting inaccuracies, examining insights, testing analysis, and promoting myth-busting where needed. Their ‘Watchdog Blogs’ will be posted on our new Spinelli website. This supports the “Myth-busting” exercise of December 2017 hosted at the Sidney Cooper Gallery.

The Spinelli Video Competition: This Spring 2018 competition is aimed at either Undergraduate or Graduate CCCU students. Students produce a 2-minute film on any aspect of the EU, including public or foreign policy, the relevance of EU institutions, or UK-EU relations post-Brexit. Winning entries will be placed on the new Spinelli website.

“Early” Europe Day: CCCU Staff and students are welcome to a day of events in March, to conclude our Spinelli Season by celebrating Europe Day early with activities, food, blogs, tweets, photos all celebrating our shared European identity.

3. Informative community-wide engagement (Canterbury and Kent)

“Why Labour Won”: Large public event held at CCCU on 5 October to help launch Spinelli Season, featuring local political activities and Canterbury M.P. Rosie Duffield examining the shock Labour win in the General Election.

“Making a Modern Parliament”:  Large public event at CCCU held on 30 November to continue Spinelli Season, with a speech/ Q&A with the Hon. John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons on the role of Parliaments in the 21st Century.

The European Olympiad: 1-day event (January 24th) gathering 75+ post-16 school students from across the county to undertake Olympic-style events stimulating knowledge on EU institutions, geography, personalities, policies, ending with a simulation game on European security and defence. Gold, silver and bronze prizes awarded.

The Spinelli High School Essay Competition: Aimed at 16-18 year-olds in local high schools, invited to explain in 1000 words the relevance of the EU for them personally, in an age of Brexit. Announced during the (above-mentioned) European Olympiad, prizes will be awarded to the top three essays, including an opportunity to meet John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons when he visits CCCU as part of another Spinelli event.

Spinelli Townhall Events: CEFEUS, in connection with the East Kent European Movement held a townhall event in Canterbury to meet the new Labour MEP for South East England, John Howarth, to discuss the continuing relevance of the European Parliament for British citizens beyond Brexit. To be confirmed: January 2018, CEFEUS in cooperation with Whitstable Sceptics will hold a townhall event in Whitstable, Kent, examining the damage of anti-EU populist myths.

Engaging in Europe: Hosted by the Sidney Cooper Art Gallery (Canterbury), CEFEUS organised a myth-busting event on 13th December 2017 featuring posters from Undergraduate and Masters students. Most featured on inaccurate portrayals of the European Union; from the shape of bananas to paying migrants to come to the UK, but there was also posters on Donald Trump and general myths in politics. The posters can be seen here:

Spinelli Unspun: Making use of the Quiz App - UK Data Service built by the University of Essex, the app features verifiable EU facts and statistics; the app will be featured in our European Olympiad, and during European modules taught in Semester 2, 2018, to promote evidence-based knowledge rather than misinformation on the EU.

Spinelli Season Webpages: A series of engaging and publicly accessible webpages to Inform all audiences about CEFEUS’ Spinelli Season project, its objectives, goals and impact.


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Last edited: 29/01/2018 15:32:00