European Union centre launched at UVic

The University of Victoria welcomed the opening of its new European Union Centre of Excellence (EUCE) Jan. 16.

The opening of the centre was announced by the delegation of the European Union (EU) to Canada, making it the fifth centre of its kind in the country. The EUCE is designed to provide awareness and knowledge about the EU as well as offer grants and opportunities to EU international scholars and other students throughout campus.

“At UVic we have a very strong collection of EU scholars,” Nicole Bates-Eamer, UVic’s project manager, said. “Really what we are trying to do is create a larger, stronger network of [these] scholars and showcase the work that they are doing and provide opportunities for students.”

Before the opening of the EUCE, UVic hosted numerous EUCE events with the University of Toronto from 2009 to 2012.

“The [EUCE] ties with the direction that we are taking at UVic to establish ourselves as the EU hub of the west coast,” Bates-Eamer said. “The centre complements and augments the other EU activities that are happening on campus through other initiatives or programs.”

Over the next three years, the EUCE will offer a variety of workshops, conferences, and speakers, ranging from NGO workers, government officials, and various faculties.

The centre is planned to be an across-campus initiative, breaking its more traditional political science EU focus by linking four faculties and 12 departments, according to UVic’s announcement.

In addition to an already existing lecture series, the EUCE will also create new EU courses and summer schools at the university, and provide students with the opportunity to do research and travel to the EU, the university announced.