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UW Receives Large Grant from European Union for Center of Excellence

September 9, 2008

The European Union Center of Excellence (EUCE) at University of Wisconsin–Madison has received a grant for €300,000 (ca. $450,000) from the European Commission in Brussels renewing its funding through 2011.

“Since the establishment of the Wisconsin European Union Center, our University has emerged as one of the major centers of European Studies in the United States,” says Professor Jonathan Zeitlin, who co-founded the Center with Professor of Law David Trubek in 1998. “Our Center has supported a vigorous program of faculty research, graduate training, and public outreach together with a steady two-way flow of people, projects and ideas across the Atlantic. In some areas, such as the study of new forms of EU governance, we have become key players in European academic and policy debates.”

With the renewal Wisconsin remains within a select group of only eleven U.S. universities which can claim the designation EU “Center of Excellence.” Faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, the regional Midwestern media, the K-14 community and public policymakers will focus on a unique series of research projects on Europe from a trans-Atlantic perspective. Participation cuts across disciplinary lines, involving UW-Madison faculty ranging from Law, Journalism and Mass Communication, Engineering, Sociology and Medicine, who will research topics as diverse as energy security and product safety. The three core themes for 2008-2011 are “The EU as a Global Actor” led by Professor Jeremi Suri of History, “Transformations of European Law and Governance,” led by Assistant Professor Nils Ringe of Political Science, and “Exporting EU Governance, led by Zeitlin, Professor of Sociology, Public Affairs, Political Science, and History.

“This renewal strengthens our university’s position as a leading institution investigating the origins, contemporary manifestations, and future prospects of the European Union—and international society in general,” says Suri, incoming EUCE Director this fall. “The emergence of a strong, stable, and prosperous European Union at the end of the twentieth century is one of the most significant developments of our time. It will shape the next century in diverse and enduring ways.”

“The success of the EUCE is a testimony to the reputation, hard work, and creativity of the Center’s faculty and staff, and to the exceptional leadership of its co-founding director, Professor Zeitlin,” says Gilles Bousquet, Dean of the Division of International Studies. “The EUCE is a model for the way international education serves Wisconsin and the world.”

Contact: Elizabeth Covington, Executive Director, European Studies Alliance, (608) 265-4778, eecovington@wisc.edu

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