Last modified: Monday, November 21, 2005
IU Bloomington receives grant to establish European Union Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 21, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Delegation of the European Commission in Washington, D.C., has selected Indiana University Bloomington as one of 10 sites in the United States where it is establishing European Union Centers of Excellence.
The network of centers will promote the study of the 25-nation European Union, its institutions and policies, and EU relations with the United States through teaching programs, scholarly research and outreach activities. The European Commission funds the initiative as part of a broader effort to promote people-to-people ties across the Atlantic.
IU was awarded 299,000 Euros -- or $351,055 in U.S. dollars -- to establish the center, which will be directed by Fritz Breithaupt, associate professor of Germanic studies and director of West European studies, and David Ransel, the Robert F. Byrnes Professor of History and director of the Russian and East European Institute.
IU's selection is consistent with its historic emphasis on international studies. The Bloomington campus is home to broad disciplinary expertise in European studies and specializes in the teaching of more than 20 EU languages, including several which are less commonly offered by American universities.
"IU Bloomington has already recognized the growing global importance of the EU with a series of initiatives, ranging from new degree programs such as an undergraduate major and minor in EU studies to research initiatives and conferences," Breithaupt said.
Ransel added, "Our extraordinary faculty resources and record of national leadership since the 1940s in the study of the peoples and polities of East Central Europe was a key factor in winning this European Commission grant for IU. No university in America matches IU's coverage of the languages, history, and politics of the new and candidate countries of the EU. Combining these assets with the strengths of our West European studies programs convinced the European Commission that Indiana University had to be one of the premier centers for the study of the EU."
Breithaupt said the mission of the new center housed in Ballantine Hall will be to train future generations of scholars and professionals in advanced, interdisciplinary EU studies on such issues as membership enlargement, trans-Atlantic understanding of legal and medical issues, and policies on immigration, education and the agro-environment.
It will emphasize competency in the least commonly taught languages of the EU member and candidate countries, support activities of a core group of IU faculty and their doctoral and master's-level students engaged in EU studies and research, and furnish accurate and timely information about the EU to K-12 teachers, post-secondary faculty, government officials, businesses and other civil society groups.
More information about the centers is available at http://www.eurunion.org/infores/eucenter.htm.