On May 10, 2017, the Department of Political Science and International Relations held a conference on the EU-Azerbaijan relations in the framework of Europe Day celebrations in cooperation with the European Union Delegation in Azerbaijan.
Prof. Hamlet Isakhanli, the founder of Khazar University, the Chairman of its Board of Directors and Truestees, welcomed the conference participants and highlighted the international cooperation projects of the university.
Mr. Denis Daniilidis, theFirst Counselor of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, stressed the positive trend in bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan boosted by the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Brussels in February 2017 and spoke about the launch of negotiations for a New Comprehensive Agreement. He informed the audience that the first draft text of negotiations originated from the Azerbaijani government which reflects the principles of differentiation and mutual respect between both sides. Mr. Daniilidis also welcomed the resumption of the inter-parliamentary cooperation between the European Parliament and Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan.
Mr. Orkhan Zeynalov, Head of Division for Cooperation with the EU at the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, talked about the prospects of bilateral cooperation in areas such as education and science. Mr. Zeynalov also underscored the progress on the Southern Gas Corridor. In his capacity as the Key Negotiator for the part of the agreement on sectorial cooperation, Mr. Zeynalov informed that the first round of negotiation that took place in Baku in late April, 2017 was very constructive and reflected the political willingness of both sides to enhance cooperation in new areas.
Ms. Vusala Gurbanova, Senior Adviser of the Department of Science, Higher and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education, highly appreciated the support of EU for the internationalization of the higher education in Azerbaijan. She noted that Khazar University is particularly active in international cooperation projects. Ms. Gurbanova also informed the audience about the activities carried out to improve the university study programs.
Dr. Mukhtar Hajizada, Jean Monnet Chair and the Head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations informed the participants about the EU-related courses and research at the department. He informed that the department regularly hosts a series of events, including the one titled European Seminars, delivered by authoritative experts, practitioners, scholars and professors in EU matters to share their expertise with the Azerbaijani audience. Dr. Hajizada highlighted the necessity of promoting the understanding between the communities in the EU and Azerbaijan and welcomed the activities carried out to improve the existing sufficient conditions for it. He mentioned the importance of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the facilitation of the issuance of visas which came into effect in 2014. He drew attention to the importance of EU`s increasing its influence and peaceful intentions in Azerbaijan. Unlike many countries in the neighborhood, there is no EU Resource and Information Centre in Azerbaijan. Therefore Dr. Hajizada mentioned the need for more quantitative interactions and more qualitative communications.
The conference followed by the Model European Union simulation on “Negotiation and Decision Making in the European Council” by the students of departments of Political Science, International Relations and European Studies on energy cooperation and TAP project.