EU Day 2016

Learn about EU Day and the keynote delivered by His Excellency Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the U.S. on the 14th Annual EU Day on February 29th.

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.

EUC Dimensions of New and Heritage Language Education

Dr. Liv Thorstensson Dávila discussed langauge education as a part of the EUC Faculty Lecture Series.

Whose Legacy? Museums and National Heritage Debates

Watch the online roundtable discussion sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

2015 recipient of the Larry Neal Prize for Excellence in EU Studies

Read about the 2015 recipient of the Larry Neal Prize for Excellence in EU Studies, Michelle Egan, and her book Single Markets

Videos of Previous Lectures

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Christian Lequesne Discusses Transatlantic Relations and Brexit - EU Studies Conference 2016

By Carlo Di-Giulio

The European Union Center at the University of Illinois had the privilege of hosting Christian Lequesne, Professor at the Center for International Research at Sciences Po, Paris, for the opening lecture of the EU Studies Conference “Researching and Teaching the EU: Best Practices and Current Trends in EU Scholarship.” Professor Lequesne’s lecture, titled “Future of Transatlantic Relations in a Post-Brexit Era,” offered a comprehensive overview of the context surrounding the British vote last June and possible developments in the aftermath of their referendum to leave the European Union.

The so-called “Brexit” has created a real earthquake in the EU institutions, and the implications go far beyond the EU's internal politics. Trade, for instance, is one of the main issues at stake. The weight of the United Kingdom in EU trade is significant. A strong signal that demonstrates this for instance is the Korean disappointment following the Brexit vote; their representatives have declared that a free trade agreement between South Korea and the EU (the recently signed KOREU) is less appealing without the UK. Yet, the UK cannot overestimate its trade power and should not be fooled by the illusion of entertaining special relations with external powers, such as the US, while being independent from the EU. President Obama delivered an important message on this issue stating that the negotiations with the EU are a priority, and the UK does not come first. Moreover, by observing the percentage of imports and exports between the EU and the UK, the existing divide would suggest a cautious approach for the Brexit negotiators.  This is especially important since the EU exports to the UK 19% of its total in goods and services, but the UK delivers to the EU more than the 45% of its national export.

Another important topic in the Brexit debate has been migration. Surprisingly, the refugee crisis has played only a minor role, and the main concern of pro-Brexiters was to impose limits on the influx of EU citizens into their country. British people, however, must be cautious of being under the impression of improving their welfare through methods that cut on EU migration; they might obtain an opposite result from the one expected. If we only think about healthcare, more than 25% of doctors in the UK are Polish citizens, and strong anti-migration policies could be devastating when the article 50 is activated.

It was an enlightening lecture on Saturday morning, and a great opening for an interesting day of presentations and discussion on the current status of the European Union, its challenges, and its future.
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Friday, October 28, 2016

EUC Staff Member Discusses the Relationship Between the EU and Africa

Image originally from European External Action Service courtesy of Flickr

Maxime Larivé, Associate Director and Director of Graduate Studies at the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, recently contributed an article entitled “Unlocking EU-Africa security tensions: the need for cooperation” as an entry in the Friends of Europe’s Discussion Paper “Europe, China and Africa: new thinking for a secure century” to be published in November 2016. The purpose of this paper is to foster collaboration among the Friends of Europe’s large network of scholars, policymakers and business representatives on the future of EU-China cooperation in the security field in Africa. Contributions seek to present an understanding of stakeholders’ views and recommendations as China moves to a security position in Africa.

In his article, Larivé analyzes EU member states and their relationship with Africa, especially in light of Europe’s stronger focus on migration and the situations that lead to migration. From there, he reflects on the steps EU has implemented to address unrest in Africa, such as the French Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Finally, he discusses potential next steps that can be implemented by the EU.

To read the article, please visit its page on the Friends of Europe’s “Europe, China and Africa: new thinking for a secure century” website.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Freedom of Speech in the Age of New Media and New Publics: France, Europe and Beyond: A Visit from Rokhaya Diallo, Director of "Networks and Hate"

On October 21, 2016, the European Union Center at the University of Illinois held a roundtable and screening event, "Freedom of Speech in the Age of New Media and New Publics: France, Europe and Beyond."  This event was followed by the EU Studies Conference on October 22, 2016.  One of the guests was Rokhaya Diallo, a journalist and filmmaker.  Here, MAEUS student Paula Jaime Agramon covers her visit and discussion.

By Paula Jaime Agramon

French public figure and activist Rokhaya Diallo came to the University of Illinois for a series of two European Union Center events. The first was a roundtable discussing freedom of speech in a delicate era on France, Europe and beyond. Rokhaya also served as a keynote speaker during the lunch of our regional EU Studies conference where she spoke about being a transatlantic activist.

During the weekend, Rokhaya touched on very interesting and relevant topics. She discussed the risk associated with the state of emergency law that is still active in France after the series of attacks that started with the Charlie Hebdo attack. This law has been associated with attacks on the freedom of speech in France and often most of these attacks affect minorities in France. She mentioned that even though France’s law dictates that there are no minorities in France, that there are only French citizens, she also discussed the disparities and the unequal treatment of “minorities” that has only been enhanced with the state of emergency law.

Rokhaya also talked about how social movements and activism seem to follow the same steps here in the United States as they do in France. She mentioned how some people seem to follow the activism movements here in the United States because they feel they carry more weight and also seem to be more legitimate. She talked about how she does not feel the same way, but at the same time, she recognizes how it is positive that movements can expand across borders to gain more strength.
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