Thirteenth Annual EU Day Announced

The European Union Center is pleased to announce the Thirteenth Annual EU Day event on March 12, 2015.

Videos of Previous Lectures

Missed an EUC-hosted lecture? Our blog's video tag has archived previous EUC-sponsored lectures.

Studying the EU at a Distance

MAEUS students Ilias Boralis and Simone Kaiser and EUC Senior Associate Director Matt Rosenstein talk about the benefits of studying the EU from afar.

Five Illinois Scholars Awarded NEH Fellowships

EUC affiliated faculty member Antoinette Burton was one of five Illinois scholars to be awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities scholarship for 2015.

Five Illinois Faculty Members Named CIC-ALP Fellows

EUC-affiliated faculty member George Czapar was one of five Illinois faculty members to be awarded the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s Academic Leadership Program Fellowship.

"Dispatches from Europe" Blog Contest Winners

The two winners for the 2014 Blog Contest have been announced!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

MAEUS Alumna Offered Fulbright Grant

This excerpt appeared on the University of Illinois News Bureau on June 18, 2015. The full article is available on the News Bureau website.

by Steve Witmer and David Schug 
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Sixteen Illinois students and recent alumni are among the 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-16 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The U. of I. has consistently been among the top producers of Fulbright recipients in the U.S. The 16 University of Illinois applicants offered Fulbright grants include graduating seniors, master’s candidates, doctoral students and recent alumni from the colleges of Social Work; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering; and Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. 

“This is the largest number of Illinois scholars to ever take part in the program,” said David Schug, the director of the National and International Scholarships Program at Illinois. “And I’m proud to say we’ve matched quality with quantity. We look forward to the future successes and accomplishments of these extraordinary students, both in their international studies and beyond.”

“Through the intensive cross-cultural experience it offers, the Fulbright program plays an incredibly important role in helping students become citizens of the world and in promoting international understanding,” said Ken Vickery, the director of the Office of External Fellowships at Illinois. Applications are open for students interested in pursuing studies, fine arts, research or English teaching assistantships under the Fulbright for the 2016-17 academic year.


Michelle Asbill, of Los Alamitos, California, is a doctoral candidate in social work. She will conduct dissertation fieldwork in Bulgaria to uncover factors that help at-risk girls avoid going into prostitution. She developed her research interests during the four years she spent in Bulgaria as a community development worker with Greater Europe Mission, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to education and community development. She also worked with the Smile Bulgaria Foundation, an organization that serves institutionalized and orphaned teenaged girls. Asbill earned her MSW from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She also earned a master's in European Union studies at Illinois and a master’s in European social work from New Bulgarian University.

The full list of recipients are available on the News Bureau website.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Transatlantic Lessons: Why the European Way is STILL the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

On April 17, 2015, political author Steven Hill gave a lecture entitled "Transatlantic Lessons: Why the European Way is STILL the Best Hope in an Insecure Age." Mr. Hill is a writer, lecturer and political professional based in the United States with two decades of experience in politics. He currently is a Senior Fellow with the New America Foundation. Mr. Hill is a frequent speaker at academic, government, NGO and business events, speaking on a wide range of topics related to politics, economics, climate change, global complexity, and future trends.

From Mr. Hill's book description:
A quiet revolution has been occurring in post-World War II Europe. A world power has emerged across the Atlantic that is recrafting the rules for how a modern society should provide economic security, environmental sustainability, and global stability. For a decade Steven Hill traveled widely to understand this uniquely European way of life. In this talk, he explains Europe's bold new vision.

A video of the lecture can be viewed below or on the EUC's video library:


Friday, May 1, 2015

Effective Practices of International Volunteers in Disaster Relief: Implications for the EU Aid Volunteers Program

On April 10, 2015, Professor Ben Lough (School of Social Work, UIUC) and Chris Jackson (European Union Studies, UIUC) presented a lecture entitled "Effective Practices of International Volunteers in Disaster Relief: Implications for the EU Aid Volunteers Program."

From the abstract:
This presentation explores results from pilot stages of the EU Aid Volunteers (EUAV) program, and how lessons learned have enhanced the roll-out of the full program in 2015. The presentation first sets the context of EUAV within the larger EU humanitarian aid and development agendas. It describes the history of the program and some of the immediate and intermediate implementation challenges encountered during the pilot phases. The presentation then provides an overview the role of volunteers in different phases of disaster management, and how EUA Volunteers intend to intersect at these various phases. Emergent concerns about creation of the EUAV program are then presented, including issues of labour replacement, access and fairness, and how the program interfaces with EU member state policies. The presentation ends with a discussion of initial implications and the potential benefits of the program—particularly for EU13 states.

Professor Ben Lough earned his BS in Sociology in 2000 and his MSW in 2003 from Bringham Young University, and his PhD in 2010 from the George W. Brown School of Social Works at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to working as a clinical social worker in the past, Dr. Lough has extensive international research experience, serving as consultants for the United Nations in Germany, the Department of Human and Social Services of American Samoa, and many others.

Chris Jackson is in his second year in the MAEUS program. Prior to the University of Illinois, Chris earned a BA in history from Centre College in Danville, KY in 2012. His research interests include the EU foreign policy, ethnic relations, and rule of law structures. His current project involves primary research on the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.

A video of the lecture is available to view below or on the EUC's video library:


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Before There Was Ebola: European Responses to Diseases in Africa - Past and Present

On April 14, 2015, The European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh held a roundtable discussion entitled "Before There Was Ebola: European Responses to Diseases in Africa - Past and Present" as part of their Conversations on Europe series. Panelists included Mari Webel (University of Pittsburgh), Guillaume Lachenal (Univeristé Paris Diderot), Jessican Pearson-Patel (University of Oklahoma) and Deborah Neill (York).

From the abstract for the roundtable:
U.S. and European news coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa highlighted the urgency of the public health crisis, focusing often on the need to contain the outbreak to prevent its spread to “our shores.” Implicit (and often explicit) in these stories, however, were long-standing xenophobic and racialized attitudes toward African diseases that can be traced back to European imperial and pseudo-scientific ideas of the nineteenth century. This installment of Conversations on Europe asks historians, political scientists, and public health experts to discuss the extent to which contemporary European and U.S. representations of Ebola borrowed from representations of earlier diseases occurring on the African continent and to speculate on the possible implications that such representations had and continue to have on mounting an effective response to an ongoing public health crisis. How much has news coverage contributed to what one political scientist described as the “long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place” and what can be done about it?
A video of the conference can be viewed below or on YouTube: