The François Duchêne travel bursaries

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The first François Duchêne travel bursaries were awarded in May 2008

Awards have been made each year since then


The François Duchêne Bursaries

The Bursaries set up in memory of François Duchêne aim to provide a contribution to travel and research expenses for Research Students of the University of Sussex in any discipline to:

blue_spot.gif (971 bytes)   Pursue field work in continental Europe connected with their thesis on issues of European Integration broadly construed or,
blue_spot.gif (971 bytes)   Contribute to a collaborative project in another European country and connected to their research.

This bursary has been set up with funding from Sussex European Institute, friends of François Duchêne and from members of the Sussex branch of the European Movement.  It is administered by the Sussex European Institute.

François Duchêne 1927-2005 François Duchêne who died in 2005 was an administrator, a policy analyst, an academic, a published poet, a keen musician and an enthusiast for a united Europe. He was present at the birth of modern integrated Europe as an assistant to Jean Monnet when he was setting up the European Coal and Steel Community, a precursor to and an inspiration for the European Union as we know it today.
He was director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, professor and Director of the Centre for European Studies and finally emeritus professor in the University of Sussex.

He was author of a hugely admired and influential biography of Jean Monnet
. He was an enthusiastic member of the European Movement and the Sussex branch in particular.

Jean Monnet - The First Statesman of Interdependence
   W W Norton & Co, New York 1995   ISBN: 0393034976

Fuller accounts of François Duchêne's life:
The Independent      The Guardian

Click a date to see
the awards in 2008, 2009, 2010
or 2011

The awards for 2012

The annual General meeting on 8 December 2012 heard from two of the most recent award holders and the work they have undertaken.

Gentian Elezi is from Albania
Albania is strongly committed towards EU membership despite the crisis within the Union. It's a long lasting dream since the country came out from 50 years of isolation of the communist regime. Actually, according to polls, the Albanian population is still the most europhile of the continent, counting about 92% of people in favour of EU. This pride of moving closer towards the EU is best manifested these days, because we are having the celebrations for the 100th Anniversary of the declaration of Independence of Albania (November 28th, 1912). So you can imagine all the joyful atmosphere of this week within the country.
The topic of my research is about the implementation of EU legislation in potential candidate countries, focusing on Albania as case study. Although Albania has benefited from extensive EU aid and attention, it is still experiencing many difficulties in terms of ensuring compliance with the EU’s policies and legislation. The country has maintained a good performance on tranposing EU directives into national legislation, but it has shown a negative implementation performance. My research tries to explore the role of factors that explain this performance such as administrative capacities, political will and involvement of non-governmental bodies. One of the most interesting findings of my research is related to the role of policy co-ordination in the implementation stage. Interaction between different public officers, differences in their understanding and interpreting of procedures and rules, co-ordination between policy-makers and street-level bureaucrats, are some of the variables and findings that I have explored in my thesis.

In order to reach these results, I had to carry out extensive fieldwork where I gathered information, explored documents and, most important, did almost 60 in-depth interviews in Tirana and Brussels. The François Duchêne Travel Bursary was an essential contribution for making this possible. The flights to Albania and to Brussels, accommodation, meals, etc. were covered in a substantive part by the bursary. Especially for the interviews in Brussels (which were very important for my research), the grant was the main guarantee for me in completing the whole set of the interviews and for collecting necessary materials in EU institutions.

I have started this year the last phase of my doctorate which is the writing part. I have already written two out of a total of seven chapters and I am aiming on finishing the whole draft on time, within this academic year. Once again, thank you very much for granting me the François Duchêne bursary and, therefore, for making this essential contribution for the development of my research. I’ve really appreciated all your kindness and support, and I strongly hope that we will be in touch in the future for updates and possible collaborations.
Satako Hari from Japan has been researching on the EU's external border agency Frontex. Her report will be seen here.
Mari Martiskainen, a PhD student at Sussex Energy Group, Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex, was awarded the François Duchêne Travel Bursary in 2011. Mari is now on her third year of the PhD study, titled the Innovation of community energy development in Finland and the UK. The Bursary allowed Mari to go back to Finland in June 2012 and complete a second round of interviews and build on existing data for her PhD.

More about these projects

Mari Martiskainen
Problems caused by climate change and rising energy prices have meant that people are increasingly thinking about their energy consumption. At the high-end policy level, the European Union has set a target to increase renewable energy generation to 20% and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Community energy, meaning renewable or energy saving projects initiated by groups of citizens, is gaining popularity in the UK. This PhD research compares the development of community energy in two European countries, UK and Finland. In the UK, community energy has flourished in the last five years. This research aims to find out why that is the case by reflecting the UK to Finland, which has similar energy generation mix to the UK, but much less citizen-led community energy.

Supported by the François Duchêne European Travel Bursary, a second round of fieldwork interviews was conducted in Finland in June 2012. The Finnish part of the PhD includes two community energy cases. Ylä-Kivelä is a 1980s block of 40 apartments located in Keuruu, central Finland. In 2009 it became the first apartment block in the country to replace an oil-based heating system with a combined pellet and solar thermal heating system. Motivated by expensive oil prices and the availability of local pellet supply, the blockҳ caretaker explored potential alternatives to oil. The residents at Ylä-Kivelä had little previous knowledge about renewable energy; however they trusted their caretaker and went ahead with the project. Payment for the heating system was arranged by a five-year payment plan guaranteed by the block (85%) with additional support from the Finnish Governmentҳ Energy Fund (15%). The residents were pleasantly surprised of how well the project turned out, providing them substantial savings in heating bills.

The second case is Kaakonoja Area Residents' Association, located in Valkeakoski. Kaakonoja area mainly consists of detached houses built in the 1950s and majority of which have oil-based heating. In 2008 several heat pump models were entering the Finnish market. Several of the Association's 250 members were interested in this technology, but they could not find trustworthy independent information about various heat pump models. In order to fill this gap, the Residents' Association ran a feasibility study on heat pumps, funded by EU Leader (90%) and aided by technical experts in Tampere University. 46 heat pumps were included in the study, out of which three pumps were recommended as the most suitable for the Kaakonoja are houses. By June 2012 around 120 pumps had been installed and residents who had done so, were pleased with the energy saving and increased living comfort they had experienced.

Both Ylä-Kivelä and Kaakonoja are pioneering cases of community energy in Finland. They involve technologies that were new to the residents and even though the projects were different in organisation, both shared similar reasons for success: 1) the projects had motivated and committed leaders who benefited from pre-existing community cohesion, 2) they had the ability to seek technical expertise and external funding, and 3) they had the willingness to learn from others and share knowledge.

The PhD aims to find out how the Finnish experience compares with the UK by examining a biomass-heated Community Centre in Lyndhurst, New Forest, and Hyde Farm Climate Action Network in Balham, London. The François Duchêne European Travel Bursary has allowed further study of this relatively niche, but clearly up-and-coming area of energy policy.

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