Tuesday, August 7, 2018

European Union Awards Prestigious Research, Teaching and Outreach Grant to the European Union Center at the University of Illinois


Champaign, IL, August 7, 2017

The European Union Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois (UI) has been awarded its second Jean Monnet Center of Excellence grant. This program funded by the European Union (EU) promotes greater study and understanding of the EU and transatlantic relations in the US. The competition was quite high with only nine Centers in the U.S. receiving this prestigious designation out of 344 eligible applicants worldwide.

The EU has designated the EUC as a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence for 2018-2021 for its project “Re-imaging Identities and Institutions for a Stronger Europe (RIISE).” This prestigious designation acknowledges excellence in the EUC’s teaching, research, and outreach programs. The EUC will use the funds to continue to serve as the campus focal point for outreach, research, and teaching related to the EU. The EUC will also reach local, regional, and national communities through strategic outreach activities.

In particular, the grant will strengthen transatlantic dialogue by building on UI expertise and international partnerships through delivering seven research projects including a scholar-in-residence program; six new courses; refereed publications and an e-book; unique virtual platforms for transatlantic dialogue among educators; extensive academic and outreach programming, including conferences, speaker series, a European journalist-in-residence program, competitions for high-school and college students; and impactful high-visibility public events. The project will explore historical roots of European populism; the EU as an actor in international institutional order; legislative careers in EU institutions; European parties and elections; EU cultural programs; social inclusion and the linguistic integration of migrants in the EU; gender politics focusing on Eastern Europe; and EU enlargement.

The EUC, under the leadership of the Center Director Carla Santos, will administer the program in collaboration with distinguished project faculty from across disciplines: William Bernhard, Jake Bowers, Xinyuan Dai, Carol Leff, Konstantinos Kourtikakis (Political Science); George Deltas (Economics); Zsuzsanna Fagyal and Emanuel Rota (French & Italian); and Zsuzsa Gille (Sociology, Global Studies).

Prior to becoming a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence in 2015, the EUC was the only American institution to have simultaneously coordinated two successful Jean Monnet Modules to teach team-taught courses on “Europe and the Mediterranean: Transnational Spaces and Integration,” awarded in 2011 and completed in 2014, and “Eastern Europe and European Integration,” awarded in 2013 and completed in 2016. Besides the course offerings, the Jean Monnet Modules reached other EUC stakeholders through conferences, lectures, publications, radio/TV broadcasts, webcasts, and workshops. In addition, the EUC previously secured three Getting to Know Europe grants from the EU (2008-09; 2011-12; 2015-17) to explore the multi-faceted economic, social, cultural, and environmental connections between the state of Illinois and the EU through study tours, conferences, lectures, competitions and digital media.

The University of Illinois European Union Center (EUC) was established in 1998 with support from the European Union, as one of the ten original EU Centers in the United States. In 2003, the US Department of Education designated the EUC as a Title VI National Resource Center, a title the Center has held successively. In 2011, the European Union recognized the EUC as a European Union Center of Excellence. In 2015, the European Union recognized the EUC as a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence for the first time.

For more information please visit the EUC website at europe.illinois.edu
Contact: Dr. Sebnem Ozkan, EUC Associate Director; 217 244 0570; asozkan@illinois.edu


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