Jean Monnet Chair
The Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration, Antidiscrimination, Human Rights and Diversity

On 1st September 2017 the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Union awarded Professor Giegerich a Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration, Antidiscrimination, Human Rights and Diversity (€50,000 grant) under the Erasmus+ programme. The project will end in March 2021. Over the three-year project period the chair holder and his academic staff members have conducted several research and dissemination activities on the protection of vulnerable groups (e.g., migrants, refugees, members of religious minorities and LGBTI persons) in national, international and supranational law. The project primarily aims at providing basic knowledge on European integration and its human rights components in order to generate societal sensitivity to the fact that unity in diversity is a core value of the European Union and any form of discrimination is unjust.

The chair, e.g., conducted lectures and seminars at the UdS with a focus on European integration, human rights and anti-discrimination. These theoretical formats were accompanied by workshops and case studies in antidiscrimination law at the Europa Institute’s European Summer Course and for the Refugee Law Clinic in Saarbrücken. A greater academic audience was brought together at the Symposium „The European Union as Protector and Promoter of Equality“ in March 2019 in Otzenhausen which resulted in a conference volume published by Springer in 2020. Other research contributions may be found on the chair's own Jean Monnet Saar Blog promoting scientific exchange on current problems and developments in European and international law.

With its activities the project, however, addresses not only the academic world but also the general public. In the light of increasing hostilities towards minorities (e.g., migrants, LGBTI persons) and nationalist tendencies, the promotion of human rights, particularly the equality of all humans, in society are of great importance. The dissemination activities mainly focus on children, schoolchildren and young adults. As part of the "Children's University" at the UdS, e.g., a child-oriented lecture was given by Professor Giegerich on European unification in April 2018. Due to the Corona Pandemic the second lecture on Children’s Rights could not take place. The chair has, however, prepared a “Do it yourself” lecture for teachers and parents including a PowerPoint presentation and a booklet with child-friendly explanations on the concept of human rights and antidiscrimination. Another activity was a series of annual “Jean Monnet School Days” giving pupils from various schools in the Saarland the chance to learn about European integration. Together with their teachers they visited the university for one day and were given an introductory lecture on EU law and antidiscrimination law by Professor Giegerich before deepening their knowledge in particular topic areas in workshops conducted by the academic staff members of the chair. A broader audience was reached through “Klartext geredet”: Professor Giegerich took part in several panel discussions open to the wider public discussing topics ranging from the freedom of religion in schools to Brexit and the PSPP judgment of the German Federal Constitutional Court and its implications for the European Union. Detailed information on all of these activities and many more may be found on the chair’s blog.

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By EI-Mag