Inaugurated in June 2013, the newly formed European Union Centre of Excellence (EUCE) at the University of Alberta is part of an existing consortium of four other Canadian EU Centres of Excellence, 10 US-based EU Centres of Excellence, and 22 international EU Centres from around the world.
The EUCE’s mandate at the University of Alberta is to foster research in areas of common Canadian and EU interest, including multiculturalism and minority rights, energy and the environment and the North.
The Centre, led by Jean Monnet Chair Dr. Lori Thorlakson, aims to build a critical mass of EU scholarship through academic exchange, development of EU curriculum resources, promotion of research on the EU and, most importantly, development of EU related outreach activities in areas of the University of Alberta’s research excellence.
The University of Alberta EUCE generates multidisciplinary collaboration from the Faculty of Arts (political science, history, sociology, anthropology), the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies (humanities), the Institute for Public Economics, the Faculty of Law, Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative (science and engineering), and the Canadian Circumpolar Institute (natural and social science) to deepen and increase the visibility of EU related outreach, teaching and research at the University of Alberta.
Activities are linked to five policy themes:
EUCE activities will include visiting speakers, policy briefs and working papers across these themes. A visiting scholar programme and academic workshops will foster research in these areas, complemented by curriculum building and student exchange opportunities.
High-level policy seminars oriented toward government, industry, media and civil society hosted with the Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative will bring industry, government and scientists together into dialogue on climate change, energy and environmental policy, and Canada-EU relations, bringing the fields of science and engineering into important discussions on EU policy. With the Canadian Circumpolar Institute, a globally recognized leader on research on the Arctic, outreach activities on Canada-EU relations and Arctic strategy will take advantage of Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council starting in 2014.
Youth outreach activities will create sustainable, institutionalized and effective development of online EU integration curriculum materials through a process of working together with Alberta social studies teachers from the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education experts to collaboratively develop materials on the EU for use in grade 11 classrooms, creating both a set of resources and a process that creates a network of secondary school teachers committed to their use and ongoing development.