21st October 2005



A professor from one of the oldest and most respected universities in Hungary is giving the first in a series of seminars on law, justice and democracy in Europe at the University of Lincoln next week.

Professor Emese Fay, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and head of Department of Economics at the University of Western Hungary, is giving a talk entitled, ‘Democratic Accountability and Economic Reality: Hungary's Membership of the European Monetary System’.

According to the university’s principal lecturer Professor Pam Barnes the ending of the Cold War in 1989 caused many political, legal, economic and social changes to Europe and its many countries. The results of these changes have brought profound challenges into the lives of all of those who live in the region.

Professor Barnes explained: “The values of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the rule of law were considered to be pre-eminent characteristics of northern and western European states.

 “They were enshrined in the founding treaties of the European Union but now are being more widely disseminated as models of stability and growth for the whole of Europe. Yet the EU has sometimes been castigated for a lack of democracy. Some commentators claim that if the European Union were a state and it applied for EU membership it would not fulfil its own conditions of respect for democracy and the rule of law.”

The papers to be presented during the Jean Monnet series will analyse the operation of democracy and law in the European Union and why it appears to provide a model for other states that are not planning to apply for membership if there is a lack of respect of its own basic values, goals and ambitions.

Anyone with an interest in the European Union is welcome to attend the seminars, the first of which will be held on Wednesday 26th October in the Cargill lecture theatre in the main building from 2.30pm.

For more information contact:

Kate Strawson, Assistant Press Officer

(01522) 886244

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