Welcome to the newsletter of the network of European Union Centers of Excellence (EUCE) in the United States! The network of ten EUCEs, housed at major research universities, promotes the study of the European Union, its institutions and policies and EU-US relations through teaching programs, scholarly research, and outreach activities.
Since it was launched in 1998, the EUCE program has played a vital role in highlighting the importance of the transatlantic relationship and helped inform students and the public at large about the European Union.
The Delegation of the European Union to the United States funds this initiative as part of a broader effort to promote people-to-people ties across the Atlantic.
We've had a busy year of activities, and are pleased to share selected highlights with you. Our three-part mission serves as the framework for showcasing our activities in academic year 2011-12: teaching, research, and outreach programs. Each section also provides links to resources that can help further your knowledge of the European Union.
Many of the EUCEs fund the development and teaching of new courses on the European Union. The courses highlighted below are interdisciplinary, and range from "German for Social Scientists" to "Europe's Destiny" to a graduate seminar on "The EU-US Transatlantic Relationship," which includes videos of the lectures by visiting scholars.
German for Social Scientists
The EUCE/ESC at Pitt has sponsored the development of several new courses in a range of departments including German, Political Science, Linguistics, Anthropology, French, and Italian. Each of these courses was designed with the Center’s European Union Studies Certificate students in mind and enhance Pitt’s current course offerings in the humanities and the social sciences. For example, the new two-semester sequence called “German for Social Scientists” is aimed at those students with an interest in German Studies who are transitioning from the third- to the fourth- year language level. During the first semester of the sequence (which will be offered for the first time in Spring 2013), students will develop the semantic repertoire, i.e. specific social science terminology (state institutions, governmental forms, political systems, sociological and historical contexts) necessary to read the unedited conceptual-analytic and theoretical academic texts that will be at the center of the second course. German for Social Scientists II will be a fourth-year course. The course, currently under development, will be organized around the topic of the EU – its historical development, institutional integration, and current challenges. Students will complete a set of interview formats using social science methodology and conduct these interviews with German speakers in Pittsburgh. They will then write up their interview results with other research they are conducting in the form of a short (10-page) scholarly article in German.
In Spring 2012, EUCE Co-director and Adjunct Professor of Political Science Beverly Crawford taught a course titled “Europe’s Destiny” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Berkeley. The six-week course explored realities and myths surrounding the European Union – concerning its history, policy-making challenges and accomplishments, and power in the international realm. Ninety-four people attended the course.
The EU-US Transatlantic Relationship
Graduate students, faculty discussants, and organizers participated
in the interdisciplinary graduate student conference hosted by the Illinois EUCE
The Illinois EUCE offered a new, interdisciplinary graduate seminar course, “The EU-US Transatlantic Relationship: Comparative Policies and Approaches to Global Challenges” in Fall 2011. Coordinated by Illinois EUCE Associate Director Matt Rosenstein, the course provided a series of expert lectures offered by Illinois faculty and visiting speakers. The topics addressed US and EU global leadership on issues of climate change, democratic governance, conflict management and peacekeeping, cultural and national identities and languages, food security, and more. The course featured perspectives from diverse disciplines cutting across the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. Videos of the lectures are available on the web, as are student blog entries addressing course topics. The course culminated in an interdisciplinary graduate student conference, “The European Union in the 21st Century: Policies and Approaches to Global Challenges,” held on April 13-14, 2012, and featuring a keynote speech by Adrian Favell, Professor of Sociology, Sciences Po, Paris.
There are numerous educational resources available from the EUCE Network. Among our most requested offerings are course syllabi for college courses, other post-secondary materials, and K-12 lesson plans. In addition, we have a listing of online sites and features that explore specific EU political, social, and cultural issues.
The EUCEs support several kinds of innovative research. From working groups to conferences, seminars, and field-level projects, the EUCE Network advances peoples' understanding of the modern-day European Union and its member states. Common research themes this past year include European integration and, of course, the euro crisis.
Prize for Excellence in EU Scholarship
Katerina Linos of the Berkeley Law School was awarded the Spring 2012 Larry Neal Prize for Excellence in EU Scholarship from the EU Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Linos’ research interests include international law, comparative law, and European Union Law. She has published articles exploring the challenges posed by the EU’s efforts to harmonize the laws of member states, and comparing early race discrimination cases in the U.S. to early sex discrimination cases in the EU. Professor Linos received the Larry Neal Prize for her recent article titled “Diffusion through Democracy,” published in American Journal of Political Science (55, no. 3) in 2011. Read the prize announcement.
Securing Europe: The EU's External Relations in Troubled Times | April 12-13, 2012 | University of Washington campus
The EUCE of Seattle hosted a conference focused on the central question of how the EU's external relations policies are responding to new regional diplomatic and security challenges. A keynote lecture on day one by Professor Jolyon Howorth on “European Security Policy Post-Libya: Just Another Existential Crisis?" was followed by a full day of panel discussions and a roundtable discussion featuring distinguished scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. Presenters addressed the EU’s foreign policy priorities in ensuring stabilization and democratization in neighboring regions during a period of institutional change and economic austerity in Europe. Read more in Seattle's Winter 2012 newsletter (PDF).
The Debt Crisis of Europe's Peripheral Economies | October 28, 2011 | University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The Illinois EUCE hosted a conference, “The Debt Crisis of Europe’s Peripheral Economies.” At the beginning of the 21st century, it was thought that the peripheral economies of Europe would greatly benefit from being part of the European Union and the euro zone. There was the promise of resource transfers to modernize infrastructure, of inflow of capital for export-oriented industries, of price stability, etc. By 2010, these dreams had evaporated as these countries found themselves severely indebted and facing years of economic stagnation. Organized by Werner Baer, the Jorge Lemann Distinguished Professor of Economics at Illinois, the conference featured papers presenting country analyses of why the early promises of being part of the EU and the euro zone were not realized. Proceedings will be published in the Quarterly Review of Economics and Financ, ten years after the same journal published a similar special issue, “The European Union’s Impact on Europe’s Peripheral Economies” - vol. 43 no. 5 (2003), with pieces authored by several of the same scholars who participated in this year’s conference.
The State of the Union(s): The Eurozone Crisis, Comparative Regional Integration and the EU Model | February 24, 2012 | University of Miami campus
Dr. Manuel Santos, Chair, Department of Economics, UM; Dr. Leonidas Bachas, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, UM; Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, Head of the EU Delegation to the US; Dr. Joaquin Roy, Jean Monnet Professor and Director of UM European Union Center of Excellence
Miami-Florida EUCE, in collaboration with several organizations, hosted a scholarly seminar, "The State of the Union(s): The Eurozone Crisis, Comparative Regional Integration and the EU Model." The seminar provided an opportunity to share knowledge and intellectually explore the euro zone crisis, comparative regional integration, and the EU model.
The seminar featured presentations and remarks from prominent members of the EU, such as the Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States, Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, as well as distinguished academics and eight Jean Monnet Chairs, including MEUCE’s own Joaquín Roy.
Following the opening remarks given by the Ambassador, the first session analyzed concepts of European identity and solidarity. In the following three sessions, experts probed questions like whether the euro zone has proven to be a problem or a solution, whether the EU is a role model of regional integration and democracy, and how the EU has influenced Latin America. More information in MEUCE's newsletter (PDF; page 3). Seminar program here.
In October 2011, Pitt’s EUCE put out the first ever call for submissions for the Pittsburgh Papers on the European Union. The Papers, which launched its website this past January, is a unique, free-standing, anonymously refereed scholarly papers series devoted to European integration and based in the United States. Papers are submitted, reviewed, and published electronically utilizing the Open Source Open Journal System sponsored by the University Library System, a leader in digital publication. Having already received several high-quality submissions, the EUCE expects to publish the first issue of the Pittsburgh Papers in the summer of 2012. In conjunction with other annual research opportunities sponsored by Pitt's Center, including internationally-attended policy, faculty research, and graduate student conferences, the Papers further establishes Pitt’s reputation as a center of EU scholarship in North America. Visit the Pittsburgh Papers website.
Expert Survey Data
The UNC-Chapel Hill EUCE recently launched the 2010 Chapel Hill Expert Survey, releasing the 2010 survey data to the public. The Chapel Hill expert survey series (CHES) estimates party positioning on European integration, ideology, and policy issues for national parties in a variety of European countries. The first survey was conducted in 1999, with subsequent waves in 2002, 2006, and 2010.
Europe Day found EUCEs across the US celebrating the European Union. Other outreach ventures include visiting speakers from the EU Delegation, Ambassadors, the Euro Challenge competition, and more.
Ambassador Almeida delivers the 11th Annual EU Day
“State of the European Union” address at Illinois
The EUCE UW-Seattle hosted a series of events for Europe Day, including a public lecture on May 8, co-presented with the Consular Agency of France in Seattle and the Delegation of the EU to the US. The lecture “France Today” focused on France as a travel destination on the heels of its historic presidential elections. Steve Smith of Rick Steves’ Travel engaged the audience of over 150 participants with his wealth of experience over 25 years in the travel industry.
The Miami EUCE celebrated Europe Week with many events, including the Hispanic Journalists Breakfast Seminar: "Immigration in the US and Europe" and a Recognition Award Ceremony for FIU students in European Studies.
The Illinois EUCE hosted its 11th annual EU Day on March 29, 2012, highlighted by a keynote “State of the European Union” address (video) delivered by His Excellency João Vale de Almeida, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States. Additionally, Ambassador Almeida gave extended interviews to a local NPR radio show and the Illinois International television program. The Ambassador capped his Midwest regional outreach trip with a visit to Caterpillar headquarters in Peoria and delivery of the keynote address at the Peoria Area World Affairs Council conference on “The European Union and Germany.” This year’s EU Day activities also featured the 5th Annual Transatlantic Security Symposium, covering “Transatlantic Approaches in Addressing WMD Challenges” (videos), with a keynote talk by Ambassador Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); and a “Careers and Professionalism in Europe” workshop for students featuring Sharon Stead, Director of the West European Office of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Several Chicago consular corps officials representing EU member countries attended the Illinois EU Day.
Visitors from the EU Delegation and Slovenian Embassy
Silvia Kofler, Head of Press and Public Diplomacy at the EU Delegation in Washington, DC, speaks at UNC-Chapel Hill
The UNC-Chapel Hill EUCE hosted Silvia Kofler, Head of Press and Public Diplomacy at the EU Delegation in Washington, DC. Ms. Kofler gave a lecture titled “The EU Under Fire: The Delegation’s Perspective” on February 7, 2012. In an open public lecture, Kofler shared how the EU is dealing with the financial freefall facing Europe and why it matters to the US. That same day, Ms. Kofler toured Smith Middle School and delivered a presentation to students.
The UNC-Chapel Hill EUCE hosted Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn on April 13, 2012. His Excellency Kirn presented a lecture on “Slovenia and the EU in the Global World: Twenty Years Later”. The Ambassador discussed Slovenia, after 20 years of independence, shaping its role in the European Union and the global economy. The European Union Youth Orchestra began its US tour that night in Chapel Hill (videos and more info), with over a hundred of Europe's most gifted young musicians representing all 27 member states of the EU. These musicians are transcending cultural boundaries in a European ideal of community and working together to achieve peace and social understanding. Ambassador Kirn also participated in the pre-performance panel, “The EU and the Arts: A Panel Discussion.”
The Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence (MEUCE) invited Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, Head of the EU Delegation to the United States, to present the lecture, “Transatlantic Relations in Turbulent Times.” On February 22, 2012, the ambassador began his lecture by discussing characteristics and factors that aid in conceptualizing today’s world as “turbulent.” According to Vale de Almeida, in comparison to the past, “this is a relatively calm period in the history of mankind, yet these are still turbulent times.” Vale de Almeida points to the shifts and changes in power, the rise of China, free trade, and technological advancements as factors that altered the dynamics that shape today’s world. The ambassador stressed the importance of a US/EU collaboration. "These times require—even more than ever— cooperation among best friends and we [Europeans] are America’s best friends.”
Conversations on Europe Speaker Series
On February 22, 2012, Pitt EUCE Director Ron Linden (top left) was joined by Steven Sokol, President of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and an audience of Pittsburgh faculty and students on campus. Participating remotely were (in order from left to right on the bottom) the EUCE at UNC-Chapel Hill; the EUCE at the University of Texas Austin (with Professor Sabine Hake contributing); employees of Bayer Corp., Pittsburgh; Alexander Privitera at the AICGS in Baltimore; and Professor Gary Marks (UNC) in Berlin, Germany
In January 2012, the EUCE/ESC launched a new speaker series, Conversations on Europe, featuring some of the country’s top experts on the EU. Using interactive video-conferencing, the Center connects with other Centers of Excellence, local high schools, and corporations with interests in Europe (including Bayer Corporation) to facilitate a wide-ranging discussion of current events. Recent Conversations included “Is the Future of the Euro Zone the Future of Europe?” in conjunction with the EUCEs of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and “A New Germany in a New EU,” which brought the Center together again with UNC and with the EUCE of the University of Texas, Austin. The final Conversation of AY2011-2012, in cooperation with Florida International University (Miami-Florida EUCE), coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Falklands/Malvinas War, and featured experts on that conflict and on European-Latin relations since 1982.
Euro Crisis Seminar Series
Myra Marx Ferree (Director, EUCE), Menzie Chinn (UW-Madison), Arthur Goldhammer (Harvard University), George Ross (University of Montreal), Mark Copelovitch (UW-Madison), and Nils Ringe (UW-Madison)
In 2011-12, the UW-Madison EUCE organized a Euro Crisis Seminar Series spearheaded by EUCE faculty affiliate Mark Copelovitch (Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs). The seminar series, consisting of regular lectures given to various constituencies (alumni, K-12, community, and business groups), which had a combined attendance of more than 500 individuals - an indication of the interest in the topic and the timeliness of the seminars. The series culminated in a major public panel session on April 25, 2012, "Europe at the Crossroads: The Euro Crisis and the Future of European Integration" featuring George Ross, ad personam Chaire Jean Monnet at the University of Montreal, Arthur Goldhammer, Senior Affiliate of the Center for European Studies, Harvard University; and Menzie D. Chinn, Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The panel session was moderated by Professor Nils Ringe (EUCE faculty affiliate, Political Science) and Professor Copelovitch.
Selected event videos available:
Partnership with Environmental Policy Organization
- “The Euro Crisis: Greece, Ireland, and the Future of Single Currency” Mark Copelovitch. Wisconsin Alumni Association, Madison WI (11/18/2012)
- "The European Debt Crisis: Impact on US Business?" Mark Copelovitch. Madison International Trade Association, Fluno Center, Madison WI. (01/17/2012)
- “Europe at the Crossroads” (Panel session): Pyle Center, UW-Madison (04/25/2012)
The EUCE at UC Berkeley has had an ongoing partnership with Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC) since 2008. Funding from the EUCE has enabled the BCGC to develop into an active center of expertise on EU environmental policies relating to the regulation of synthetic chemicals and products, and a regional resource for investigating U.S. policy options through the lens of EU regulations. In 2011-12, the BCGC conducted extensive outreach to California’s policy-making and business communities along three fronts: 1) BCGC research scientists and EUCE affiliates, Megan Schwarzman and Michael Wilson provided expert testimony on EU Chemicals policy to groups actively engaged in public policy development in California and the United States, including those in state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and business and industry. These include but are not limited to Physicians for Social Responsibility, California Assembly hearing on the Green Chemistry Initiative, and Dupont Chemical Company; 2) On May 3rd, the BCGC held its 2nd annual conference in Green Chemistry: Collaborative Approaches and New Solutions. In the previous year this event attracted an audience of 250 stakeholders including representatives from industry, non-profits, and government. Conference videos and presentations; 3) The BCGC continues to develop the Plum Database, a searchable database that makes chemical information from multiple European sources, including the REACH legislation, available for the first time with a faceted search-enabled interface. These resources have been presented to Cal/EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control for use in implementing their chemicals policy and have assisted journalists in identifying whether particular chemicals are regulated in Europe.
Euro Challenge Competition
Regional First Place Winner at Miami-FIU:
Miami Palmetto Senior High School
For the seventh year, the Euro Challenge competition provided high school students with an opportunity to learn about the European Union, the euro, and the euro crisis. A program of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in Washington, D.C, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Moody’s Foundation, the Euro Challenge consisted of 86 competing teams from nine regions in the United States. The program is supported by many organizations, including several EU Centers of Excellence.
In the Florida Region, 12 high schools from three different counties competed in the first round of the local Euro Challenge Competition at FIU on March 20, 2012. The Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence at FIU has served as the regional recruiter and organizer of the competition for five years.
Each team, made up of 3-5 students, was asked to make a presentation that answered specific questions about the European economy and the single currency, the euro. After having worked diligently for months, each team presented their country (one of the 17 in the euro zone), and their issue to a distinguished panel of judges. These panels were made up of European Union scholars, diplomatic officers, and journalists.
Mr. Hunt, teacher from Gulliver Preparatory High School, commented on how beneficial the Euro Challenge has been for his students. “This has been a really exciting experience,” he stated. “The Euro Challenge has given the students an important introduction to economics, world affairs, current events, and economic history. They are young. They are only ninth graders. So this has been an especially growing experience for them.”
The three winning teams moved forward to compete in the Euro Challenge Competition finals in New York City sponsored by the Moody’s Foundation. Read more in the Miami EUCE Newsletter article, pg 10-12 (PDF).
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques Medal
Christine Caly-Sanchez of Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence was awarded the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques medal in May 2012. The honor was bestowed by the French government's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and represents recognition for Caly-Sanchez’s unswerving dedication not only in building the EU Center at FIU, but also in working as a liaison between the French—and all European—diplomatic communities and the EUCEs.
K-12 Educators Seminar on the EU and New Teaching Standards
The UNC-Chapel Hill EUCE hosted a workshop for K-12 educators on the European Union and the new educational standards in North Carolina. On June 2, 2012, North Carolina adopted the new Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and Language Arts, a state-led education initiative. In doing so, North Carolina is in the first group of states to embrace clear and consistent goals for learning to prepare children for success in college and work. The purpose of the Chapel Hill workshop was three fold: to provide teachers with a basic understanding of the workings of the EU; to explain the new Standards; and to explain how these standards could be met by incorporating EU studies into the K-12 curricula. To learn more about the new Standards, as well as how to integrate learning about the EU into a K-12 classroom, please see the PowerPoint presentation developed by Jennifer Ricks, Curriculum Consultant at the NC Department of Public Instruction.
2012 Outstanding Outreach Activity Award
The Outstanding Outreach Activity Award is an initiative of the European Union Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign aimed at increasing awareness of excellent outreach projects by the ten EU Centers of Excellence in the US. This year’s winner is the EUCE at the University of Pittsburg for its 2011 Model European Union program for high school students. More than 100 students in grades 9-12 from nine Pittsburgh-area schools participated in the University's day-long Model EU simulation. This is the most recent of these annual events, which provide students with an opportunity to learn about the workings of the European Union through role-playing activities. Students assume the roles of presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers and engage in intense negotiations over controversial issues facing the EU. Read the prize announcement here.
Group of teachers and staff from UT-Austin at the Plenary Chamber of the European Parliament
This summer, undergraduate students, secondary school teachers, and EUCE staff traveled to Brussels, Belgium to learn more about the European Union and witness its institutions first-hand. Eleven high school teachers and 11 undergraduates were selected to participate in the program, which provides an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the EU, its institutions, and current issues facing the member states. The group embarked on a full itinerary of briefings at the European Commission and Parliament, the Council of the EU, the European External Action Service, the think tank Bruegel, NATO, and the U.S. Mission to the EU.
Read reflections about the trip from Wisconsin teacher Elsa Banks (PDF). You can read more about other teachers' experiences and how the study trip enriches their teaching on the Wisconsin EUCE website.
We look forward to continuing the program next summer, and encourage undergraduate students and K-12 teachers to contact their local EUCE and apply to participate in the 2013 Brussels tour.
6. National Council for the Social Studies Conference
Sandi Auman, Gali Beeri, and Silvia Kofler at the NCSS conference
On Dec. 2-3, 2011, the EUCE Network Coordinator exhibited at the annual teacher conference of the National Council for the Social Studies in Washington, DC. Over 4000 educators attended, many of whom found our booth, with its wealth of educational resources on Europe (including maps and EU publications), at the International Alley alongside other internationally-focused exhibitors. We were joined at the exhibit by Sandi Auman, the Audiovisual & Cultural Affairs Officer at the EU Delegation to the US, and Silvia Kofler, the Head of Press and Public Diplomacy at the EU Delegation.
In addition to our exhibit table, EUCE Network Outreach Coordinator Gali Beeri presented a session titled A Teacher's Hands-on Guide to the European Union. This session included highlights of EUCE and Delegation resources, including the EUCE K-12 lesson plan database and the Delegation's series of lesson plans.
For more information about the next NCSS conference, Nov. 16-18, 2012, visit the NCSS website. Plan to join us later this year in Seattle!
The Network of European Union Centers of Excellence is funded by the European Commission in a grant program administered by the Washington Delegation of the European Union. Visit the EUCE About Us page to learn more about the United States EUCE Network, which consists of the following ten centers:
- American Consortium on EU Studies
- University of California - Berkeley
- University of Colorado
- FIU and University of Miami
- University of Illinois
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Washington-Seattle
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
To get in touch with a representative of the Network of EU Centers of Excellence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. UNC-Chapel Hill is serving as the Network Coordinator and produced this newsletter.