EU Day 2017

Learn about EU Day and the keynote delivered by David O'Sullivan, Ambassador of the EU to the U.S. on the 15th Annual EU Day on March 15.

Master of Arts in European Union Studies

The European Union Center at the University of Illinois offers the only Master of Arts in European Union Studies (MAEUS) program in the Western Hemisphere. Learn more here.

Language Shapes Opinion Towards Gender Equality

Dr. Margit Tavits discussed langauge and gender as a part of the EUC Faculty Lecture Series.

Conversations on Europe

Watch the collection of online roundtable discussions on different EU issues sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

Transatlantic Relationships after US Elections

Watch the EUC Sponsored Roundtable on Transatlantic Relations after the 2016 US Election with Moderator Niala Boodhoo

Videos of Previous Lectures

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blog Contest Winners Announced

Photo Credit: Jenelle Davis
The European Union Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 "Dispatches from Europe" blog contest! Students who study abroad in Europe over the summer are encouraged to submit blogs about their travels to our Across the Pond blog.

First place is awarded to Jenelle Davis, a PhD student in Art History, for her blog, "Pink Tanks and Rotten Cakes: A Research Trip to Prague."

Second place is awarded to Chris Jackson, an MA student in European Union Studies, for his blog, "Prishtina's Two Towers."

Congratulations to the winners!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Regional Wage Determinants: The Wage Curve Approach in Poland, Brazil, and the EU

On September 26, EUCE Scholar in Residence Bart Rokicki gave a lecture entitled "Regional Wage Determinants: The Wage Curve Approach in Poland, Brazil, and the EU" as part of the European Union Center lecture series.

From Dr. Rokicki's abstract:
We discuss the results of empirical research on regional wage determinants. In particular we focus on the wage curve approach and show recent findings concerning EU member states, taking as an example the Polish wage curve. Here we show the impact of new methods and approaches on results of analysis. We also compare the above with the results for Brazil – a country at a completely different stage of economic development. Finally, we discuss the possible extension of current research on EU countries, which takes into account different social systems that are existing in Europe.

A video of the lecture is available to view in the EUC's Video Library or below:


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Scottish Referendum: Results and Implications

On September 23, 2014, a video conference was hosted by the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh regarding the recent referendum for Scottish independence which took place on September 18. Faculty and students affiliated with the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois participated as members of the audience for this "Conversation on Europe" session, part of an ongoing series. Panelists included Alisa Henderson (University of Edinburgh); Guy Peters (University of Pittsburgh); and André Lecours (University of Ottawa). The conference was moderated by Ron Linden, director of the EUCE and Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh.

The video can be viewed on YouTube or below:


Monday, October 6, 2014

Title VI Grants Awarded to Six UI Centers

This blog was originally posted on the Illinois International Spotlight website on October 2, 2014.

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Six area studies centers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been selected to receive Title VI funding—support considered critical to the existence of many international programs in higher education. With a commitment of more than $3 million for 2014-15—and an expected total of more than $12.5 million through 2018—the news affirms the University of Illinois’s established and growing reputation as a leader in international public engagement and research.

“These awards are a testament to the depth and breadth of the international scholarship that we have at the University of Illinois,” said Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise. “Competition for funding for these center grants is intense and to win six of them speaks very loudly to the national reputation earned in these areas by our faculty, students, and staff.

The University of Illinois hosts a total of six federally funded U.S. Department of Education Title VI Centers in international and area studies, each focusing on a different world region or issue. More than 600 faculty from all colleges on campus are affiliated with one or more of these centers. This year’s recipients are a diverse group, both thematically and geographically, highlighting the wide range of international programs and studies at the University. They include: the Center for African Studies (CAS); and the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS); the Center for Global Studies (CGS); the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS); the European Union Center (EUC); and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC).

A seventh center received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program, a grant with similar aims, that will enable the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) to provide more South Asian language instruction, including in Sanskrit, Bengali, and Urdu.

“These centers and the scholarly productivity they catalyze are exactly why Illinois is a pre-eminent public research university with a global impact,” said Provost Ilesanmi Adesida. “The world is truly watching what we do at this university. All of those involved in this effort deserve the congratulations of the entire campus community.”

All of the centers are considered models of collaboration, with joint programs that help build bridges with other renowned universities. CAS, for example, received funding in part to support its partnership with the Program in African Studies at Northwestern University; CEAPS will work closely with partners at the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University; and CLACS will partner with the University of Chicago. The grants also encourage multidisciplinary cooperation at both the campus and international levels. The EUC, which recently renewed its EU Center of Excellence grant from the European Commission, will provide comprehensive support for faculty research, teaching, and public engagement in interdisciplinary EU Studies, a hallmark of the EUC.

“Title VI Funding has been vital to encouraging the development of a strong academic community that spans across multiple disciplines,” said David Cooper, Director of REEEC. “By supporting the kind of resources that attract top faculty and graduate students, the impact of Title VI funding can be felt in multiple academic departments across the disciplines and not just the area centers.”

The total amount awarded to the University of Illinois for 2014-15, the first year of the next four-year cycle, is $3,134,417, with the total commitment expected to reach $12.54 million through 2018. The university has been receiving funding from Title VI and its predecessors since 1959 and has consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally for the number of Title VI centers. The six National Resource Centers are jointly contained within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs and Studies (IPS).

Title VI was introduced as a part of the National Defense Education Act in 1958 as a means of promoting language development, with a focus on less commonly taught languages. Today, National Resource Centers, Foreign Language and Area Studies Programs, and International Research and Studies remain central programs for Title VI awards.

For more information about the recipients and the other international centers and programs at the University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign campus, please see:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Newcomer’s Language Battle in the European Union: French or English?

by Lindsay Ozburn

Taken by demuxxx. Brussels; June 6, 2009
Image Source
What is it like to be a newcomer? At the start of another school year, this question looms in our minds as many of us embark on new and exciting opportunities. On September 12th, I had the pleasure of attending an EU Center of Excellence lecture given by the 2014 Larry Neal Prize winner Dr. Carolyn Ban from the University of Pittsburgh. Her book entitled Management and Culture in an Enlarged European Commission: From Diversity to Unity? explores the impact of the 2004 and 2007 enlargement process on the European Commission. Dr. Ban has broken new ground addressing the culture inside the European Commission rather than its relations with the international community. In her lecture, she discusses the cultural atmosphere for newcomers recently recruited into the European Commission.

What is it like to apply for a job at the European Commission? Dr. Ban explains that after a grueling process of written tests, oral interviews, and assessments (all while competing with over 20,000 applicants) a qualified individual is recruited into the Commission. The types of people in the Commission, Dr. Ban explains, are a sophisticated group of people, well educated and often from privileged socioeconomic circumstances. However, she also notes that very few are of color, from African backgrounds, and almost none from a Muslim background. While the Commission staff may represent the nationalities, they do not necessarily represent different classes or religious variation (or, at least they did not in 2004). The recruits coming from Eastern Europe were concerned they would be seen as second-class citizens – not Europeans, but East Europeans. “Was their concern legitimate?” asks Ban. “Yes. In some cases.”

When you have a melting pot such as the EU, several issues arise upon integration, particularly in the case of Eastern Europe. When conducting interviews, Dr. Ban asked many senior Commission officials, “What has changed as a result of these newcomers?” The immediate response: “language use. “ Up until 2004, the primary language used for communication was French. However, these newly adopted member states, while multi-lingual, did not typically speak French – they preferred English and their native tongue as their universal modes of communication. While the younger newcomers were more receptive to learning French, the senior newcomers were not. According to Ban, this resulted in serious issues during meetings – i.e., the established member states purposefully spoke in French to provoke a linguistic battle. When Dr. Ban returned to Brussels after 4 years, she noted the language battle is still present. The senior staff members argue that the newcomers had been in the Commission for 4 years and should know French by now.

So, what are the broader implications of this language battle? I agree with Dr. Ban when she says it foreshadows the future organizational challenges of other enlargements, both for the EU and for Commission newcomers. Additionally, it sets a precedent for other international organizations looking to the EU as a model for organization and integration. The EU is often described as a ‘single voice’, standing together as a large supranational unit to externalize its model of governance. Does this mean that ‘single voice’ is in French or English?

Lindsay Ozburn is a Graduate Assistant for European Union Center at University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

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