European Centre of Excellence, University of Alberta

The EU Centre of Excellence at the University of Alberta will begin its preparatory phase in June 2013 and launch programming across a range of research, outreach and exchange activities in October 2013. 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:

• Multiculturalism and minority rights policies

• Sovereignty, governance and citizenship policies

• Democratic development and stabilization in the post-communist member states and the Western Balkans

• Energy and the environment

• The North.

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 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.