Dr Natividad Fernández Sola on Bringing the EU to the World at HSE
Dr Natividad Fernández Sola teaches about the EU in the World at the HSE Department of International Affairs and is Professor of International Law at the University of Zaragoza (Spain). She is an expert on European Law and author of a new book 'Reasons for the Current failure of the European Union as an International Security Actor'. Dr Fernández Sola talked to the HSE English News Portal about her experience of being a foreigner teaching in Moscow.
— How did your cooperation with the HSE begin? What do you find most challenging about teaching in Moscow?
— The cooperation with the HSE began when the EU Delegation in Moscow got in touch with the HSE. As Jean Monnet professor*, they knew I was arriving in Moscow. Thanks to the interest of Professor Karaganov and Professor Bordachev it was possible to start my cooperation with HSE and get involved in its academic activities. They made every effort so I could teach in this presitigious and dynamic University.
The main challenge for me was the new environment, social and academic. I had previous experience of teaching in French and other EU Universities. I also had research and teaching experience in the US, but never in Russia. I had no idea about Russian teaching methodology, evaluation and so on. I found I had almost complete freedom to organise myself and to develop my academic skills.
European law is a good example for other integration experiences like the Customs Union promoted by Russia
— What are the rules for a foreign professor teaching in English in Russia? Do you have any motto or slogan which you follow in teaching?
— I would say there is no rules, just common sense. The students’ level of English is good but it would be useful to have some material supporting the teaching. No motto or slogan: In my opinion it is important listen to students and understand their previous experiences at the University,to gauge their level of knowledge, to know their main interests and try to bring out the best inall of them.
— How important is it to introduce the European law which you specialise in to Russia today?
— Everybody knows the EU is not currently living through its best moment. However, European law is a fact of life these days for business, in goods and services trading, for the free movement of people, for the movement of capital and so on. In this vein, European law is a tool for companies operating in EU countries and abroad. Also it is a good example for other integration experiences like the Customs Union promoted by Russia. EU Law represents 60 years of legal experience.
— What are your favorite places in Moscow?
I like the ability of Russian people to enjoy nature even in very cold temperatures
— Moscow is a city that one learns to love step by step. A foreigner gets a first impression but,given a few months, you can discover small or historical places not very well known by tourists but beautiful. I like the small old streets with ancient and beautiful buildings. Also I like very much the parks and the ability of Russian people to enjoy nature even in very cold temperatures. The theatres and the enormous offer of concert halls is super.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE news service
Dr Fernández Sola has just published: "Reasons for the Current failure of the European Union as an International Security Actor", in A. Boening, J. F. Kremer and A. van Loon (eds.), Global Power Europe.
Theoretical and Institutional Approaches to the EU's External Relations, vol.1, Springer Verlag, 2013.
*The Jean Monnet Programme, also known as the Jean Monnet Project, is a European Union initiative to encourage teaching, research and reflection in the field of European integration studies in higher education institutions. It is named for Jean Monnet (1888–1979), regarded by many as a chief architect of European Unity.
On February 5th, 2017, the national finals of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious law competitions for students, was held in Moscow. A team from the HSE Faculty of Law took first place for the second year running.
On February 7, 2016, the national finals of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious law competitions for students, took place in Moscow. The HSE Faculty of Law team took first place.
On the 27th May 2015 Professor Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum, of the University of Tubingen will lead a discussion at the HSE Faculty of Law on Current Problems in International Law. The discussion coincides with the launch of a second Russian edition of his authoritative textbook which describes the branches, institutions and fundamental concepts of international law and its development. The discussion is open to all and will be in English at 10.30 am in room 315, 17 Malaya Ordynka Street.
The winning team included students from the Jurisprudence programme in HSE's Faculty of Law: Yury Varlamov, Alina Gegamova, and Olga Kiseleva. The annual Martens International Humanitarian Law Competition is organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross with the support of the Russian Association of International Law.
On November 26, 2014 on the invitation of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs Professor Luis Moreno Fernandez of the Spanish National Research Council gave a talk on Stateless Nations in Western Europe. The lecture was part of the first session of the European Club launched by the Faculty this year.
Sergey Yakovlev presented at 'Joint Education Programmes between European and Russian Universities’ conference. The conference was organized in Moscow by the Delegation of the European Union to Russia.
On September 18th 2012, a delegation from the European Research Council (ERC) visited the Higher School of Economics. ERC representatives spoke about how Russian researchers can access the grant programme of the Council.
On the 18th of November, Professor Arnoud Boot from the University of Amsterdam gave a public lecture at the inaugaral ICEF International conference. Its title was ‘Banking at the Crossroads: How to deal with Marketability and Complexity?’