Esztergom field trip

March 26, 2019

MA Students of the course “Europe in Crises: Integration under International and Internal Threat” taught by Professor Daniel Izsak visited the border town of Esztergom, Northwest of Budapest, and Sturovo/Párkány on the Slovak side of the River Danube to reflect on every day practices with the help of theories.

Students could explore how various concepts and policies on overlapping layers of integration (Schengen, the Customs Union, the Eurozone, and the Single Market) function in real life, and how they 'create integration' in previously split communities.

By interviewing locals on both sides of the border, students could get a sense of the extent to which EU integration is able to create, or in this particular case, restore a community. They also learnt how, despite all efforts, crossing from one jurisdiction to another is still very much different from simply crossing the Danube from Buda to Pest. They discovered that despite the presence of EU symbols, and the everyday benefits of integration (rebuilt bridge, dismantled borders, etc.), locals tend to take these achievements for granted, and do not associate them with the EU, confirming in-class discussions about Brexit and the limits of European identity creation. Students could equally observe the current limits of economic integration and the imperfections of the Single Market. By comparing similarities and differences in various products and prices in an otherwise closely integrated conurbation, they could reflect upon how the Single Market is still often nationally segmented at the customer level because of national distribution, and diverging customer tastes, while closely integrated at the firm level.

Read more about the field trip here