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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 30 September 2014

Jean Monnet Conference 2014: what's next for European Union studies?

The future of EU studies is the focus of this year's annual Jean Monnet Conference, which takes place in Brussels on 1 and 2 October. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Training, Multilingualism and Youth, will open the event. Some 350 experts, including Jean Monnet professors, other academics, decision-makers and representatives from international organisations and business, will take a fresh look at the core objective of the Jean Monnet Actions: promoting excellence in teaching and research in European Union studies worldwide, as well as new ways of delivering teaching in this area. The Jean Monnet Actions are part of Erasmus+, the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport.

"I am very glad that this year's conference is taking a new look at the content and delivery of European Union studies. The world is changing and so must our approaches. The contribution of the Jean Monnet community cannot be underestimated; during my mandate as a European Commissioner I have greatly appreciated the role of Jean Monnet professionals in contributing to a better Europe. I urge them to keep up the good work in the future," said Commissioner Vassiliou.

The conference will in particular consider the ways in which an EU studies background can contribute to improving European governance and policy-making, and how an EU focus can benefit areas of study and practice outside the 'classic' EU study domains of law, politics and economics. A greater awareness of European integration among partners outside Europe can also contribute to improving mutual understanding with partner countries throughout the world.

Conference participants will also hear from students and alumni, following an online survey promoted via the Jean Monnet network and social media. The conference can be followed live online, and it is possible to submit comments or questions via Twitter.

Background

European Union studies comprise the study of Europe in its entirety with an emphasis on the European integration process. The discipline also covers the role of the EU in a globalised world and in promoting active European citizenship and dialogue between people and cultures.

This year, the EU celebrates 25 years of support for the study of European integration around the world through the Jean Monnet Programme and Jean Monnet Actions, named after the French diplomat who was one of the founding fathers of the European Union.

The Jean Monnet Actions aim to:

  • enhance employability and improve career prospects for graduates, by including or reinforcing a European dimension in their studies

  • increase interest in understanding and participation in the European Union, leading to a more active citizen

  • support young researchers and professors wishing to carry out research and teaching on EU subjects

  • increase opportunities for academic staff in terms of professional and career development

  • increase the capacity for institutions to teach or research on EU matters:

Over the past 25 years, Jean Monnet activities have helped to create a community of
4 000 professors, 1 000 chairs of European studies, over 2 000 study modules and 200 centres of excellence. The programme supports professors specialised in European integration at universities in 78 countries on the five continents, reaching a quarter of a million students and researchers every year.

The Jean Monnet Actions will receive € 280 million in funding over the 2014-2020 period from Erasmus+.

The annual Jean Monnet Conference is a forum gathering high-level experts who debate European policy issues with decision-makers and civil society representatives from around the globe. Previous Jean Monnet Conferences have provided the launch-pad for significant EU initiatives such as the European neighbourhood policy and have focused on crucial policy issues such as how to address the economic crisis.

For more information

European Commission: Education and training

Androulla Vassiliou's website

Follow Androulla Vassiliou onTwitter @VassiliouEU

Conference website and background

Jean Monnet Actions in Erasmus+

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)


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