After 3 years of activities, trainings and exchanges, the PONT project was successfully completed on 31 August 2018.
During its lifetime, PONT trained 109 young graduates and professionals and gave rise to a number of outcomes– including the publication of a policy brief series to give visibility to the work of young researchers, the publication of a Handbook of best practices for conducting skills trainings, the creation of a sustainable network of PONT alumni and the interaction of young graduates with leading academics and policy makers, first and foremost through TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences.
PONT aimed to enhance teaching and training activities on EU subjects by providing a bridge connecting young academics and EU practitioners (including policy-makers, academics and think tankers), thereby improving the employability of young graduates from various disciplines seeking a job in EU affairs. In order to reach these aims, PONT offered high-quality training on EU governance and on cross-cutting professional skills to MA students, PhD students and recent graduates.
PONT successfully implemented three core kinds of activities, flanked by innovative educational tools such as webcasts with EU professionals.
- Three Working Europe Seminars brought about a first-hand understanding of both academic analysis and everyday practice of EU decision-making by offering young post-graduates insights in the “real life” political processes of salient EU topics such as asylum and migration policies, climate and energy policies and trade policy.
- Three Career Skills Trainings enabled young academics to identify, acquire and improve their professional skills. The trainings offer a valuable complement to the education offered in universities by teaching skills required in a professional EU environment and thereby increasing participants’ employability.
- PONT participants were actively involved in six TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conferences (held in The Hague, Bratislava, Valletta, Tallinn, Sofia and Vienna respectively), that brought together policy-makers, academics, civil society and citizens in order to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming EU Council Presidency.
These face-to-face activities were complemented by an ongoing online presence that included webcasts with researchers, EU professionals, journalists and trainers; a dedicated webpage highlighting the project activities; dedicated groups on social media for each training activity; and the publication of papers produced during the seminars and trainings.
PONT training activities gathered participants from 36 different countries around the world. These included EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal); Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; the EU neighbourhood (Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine); EU candidate countries (Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey); Central Asian countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) and countries from other regions of the world (Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, USA, Venezuela).
The TEPSA Team would like to express its gratitude to Prof Johannes Pollak (Academic Coordinator of the PONT Project), Prof Hanna Ojanen (Academic Leader of the Career Skills Training) and Prof Jaap de Zwaan (Academic Leader of the Working Europe Seminars) for their invaluable contribution to the success of the PONT Project.