Email to a friend
for UI European Union Center renewed
Mitchell , News Editor
(217) 333-5491; email@example.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The
European Union Center at the University of Illinois has received renewed
funding from the Delegation of the European Union Commission.
The center, one of 10 established at U.S. universities and funded by
an initial grant from the Washington, D.C.-based E.U. Commission in
1998, will receive $175,000 over three years. It is among 15 centers
nationwide that have been awarded grants for the three-year period,
which begins in 2001. Eight of the originally funded centers received
grant renewals, and another seven new centers were established.
The university's E.U. Center is administered by International Programs
and Studies and includes faculty members from the colleges of Agricultural,
Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Commerce and Business Administration;
Communications; Engineering; Fine and Applied Arts; Law; and Liberal
Arts and Sciences.
"The E.U. Center is an important academic unit offering university
students, faculty and staff new opportunities for education, research
and public engagement related to
U.S.-European Union relations," said Earl Kellogg, IPS director
and associate provost for international affairs.
Urban and regional planning professor Kieran Donaghy, who succeeded
economics professor Larry Neal as director of the E.U. Center this fall,
said the E.U. Commission's renewal of the grant indicates that the center
is making progress toward the commissions original goal of making
U.S. citizens more aware of issues facing the E.U. and its member nations.
"We have succeeded in delivering on all objectives of the first
three-year period, and the E.U. Commission is interested in seeing us
continue to succeed," Donaghy said. "In the next funding period,
we seek to develop an E.U. concentration for undergraduates, and work
closely with K-12 educators to get more E.U. content into middle school
and high school curricula. We also plan to promote broader understanding
in Illinois of developments in the E.U., develop several research concentrations
in which we enjoy a comparative advantage, and make the transition to
being a self-supported, self-sustaining center."
Under Neal's leadership, the center focused primarily on graduate-level
programs, establishing an interdisciplinary graduate research seminar
on the E.U. and E.U.-U.S. relations. It also funded research travel
grants, conducted conferences and workshops on special topics, such
as the effects on agribusiness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs),
and the introduction of the euro, a common currency that will begin
circulating in E.U. countries Jan. 1. The center also hosted European
ambassadors and delegation representatives at an annual "European
Union Day," and promoted awareness of developments in the E.U.
to Illinois business leaders, as well as to the public at large.
Donaghy said it will become increasingly important in the future for
Illinois citizens to stay abreast of political, economic and social
issues affecting E.U. nations.
"The E.U. and the U.S. are roughly comparable in size of population
and size of economy," he said. "We share many vital common
interests and are more interdependent than ever before. Because we are
so interdependent, we must confront together many critical issues in
such policy areas as international security, economic stability, environmental
sustainability, and agricultural and industrial production and trade.
"Our ability to share in peace and prosperity will depend in large
part on our ability to achieve greater common understanding and cooperation.
E.U. centers such as ours help to prepare students, faculty and the
broader community to participate more fully and with greater understanding
in developments that affect both the U.S. and E.U."