University of Pittsburgh
May 24, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 25 -- More than 400 senior academics, government officials and policy makers from 24 countries will attend the European Community Studies Association (ECSA) Sixth Biennial International Conference, June 2-5, at the Westin William Penn Hotel, downtown.

Hosted locally by the University of Pittsburgh's European Union Center, the ECSA conference is the world's largest gathering of specialists in European Union (EU) affairs. The conference is convened only every two years, and will not be on the East Coast again until 2003.

Among the conference highlights and noteworthy presenters:

• Michael Shackleton, a senior member of the European Parliament, who will participate in a panel discussion on institutional dynamics and can speak on the recent resignation of the European Commission after fraud charges were leveled by the Parliament.

• Hugo Paemen, the EU's Ambassador to the United States since 1996 and an EU-U.S. trade relations specialist. He will deliver the keynote address at 1:15 p.m., Friday, June 4.

• Randall Henning (American University) and Pier Carlo Padoan (University of Rome), both international experts on the EU's new currency, the euro, and its impact on the U.S. dollar, will deliver the plenary address at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, June 3.

• George Bermann (Columbia Law School) and Eric Stein (University of Michigan School of Law), internationally known scholars on EU law and its implications for EU-U.S. relations, will give a panel presentation at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, June 3.

• ECSA Founders Celebration and Scholarship Inaugural Dinner, 7 -10 p.m., Wednesday, June 2.

• University of Pittsburgh Conference Reception, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 3, Cathedral of Learning Commons Room.

Additionally, government officials from the European Commission will be present, as will a number of European security specialists who can provide insights on the Kosovo situation. Also attending are three scholars from Pittsburgh's Sister City of Sheffield, England who will give papers at the conference.

Visitors to Pittsburgh will experience the city and surrounding area during their stay, with groups attending the Pirates-Dodgers game Wednesday, June 2; "West Side Story" at Benedum Hall Saturday, June 5; and Fallingwater and a Gateway Clipper brunch cruise Sunday, June 6.

The conference also will introduce the new Network of European Union Centers in the United States with a panel discussion at 12:45 p.m., Saturday, June 5. ECSA coordinates this network, which is funded by the European Commission. Joining Pitt as members of the network are: The University System of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology; Harvard University; The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the University of Missouri-Columbia; the New York Consortium for European Studies; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Duke University; Scripps College, the Claremont Colleges and the University of Southern California; the University of Washington at Seattle, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Founded in 1988, ECSA is the only national organization in the United States dedicated to both promoting general public awareness and furthering specialized knowledge of the European Union. ECSA boasts more than 1000 members representing the social sciences, humanities, the business community, research institutes, the legal profession and government on both sides of the Atlantic.

For more information about the European Community Studies Association and its 1999 Biennial Conference, visit the ECSA web site at