University of Pittsburgh
October 5, 2008

Pitt's European Union Center of Excellence Receives Redesignation Award From the Delegation of the European Commission

The 2008-11 grants total 3.42 million euros to 11 universities throughout the United States
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Pitt's European Union Center Excellence (EUCE) has been redesignated a European Union Center of Excellence. In recognition of the award, the Delegation of the European Commission in Washington, D.C., recently presented grants totaling 3.42 million euros to 11 EU Centers at U.S. universities. The grants will fund center activities from 2008 to 2011.

Pitt's EUCE, directed by Pitt Professor Alberta Sbragia, the Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair and Jean Monnet Chair "ad personam," was established in 1998-the year the EU centers program was launched and the University won a national competition to host an EU center.

The network of EU Centers of Excellence in the United States promotes the study of the EU, its institutions and policies, and EU-U.S. relations through teaching programs, scholarly research, and outreach activities in their local and regional communities. The European Commission funds the initiative as part of a broader effort to promote people-to-people ties across the Atlantic. Visit the Web site www.euce.org for more information about this program.

Ambassador John Bruton, Head of the EU Commission Delegation to the United States, welcomed the announcement:

"I wish to offer congratulations to the successful applicants to the most recent cycle of the EU Centers of Excellence, selected from a very strong group of competitors," said Bruton. "This underlines the continuing tremendous interest in the EU and EU-U.S. relations within American universities. The EU Centers of Excellence have the crucial task of preparing students who will take a leading role in the future of the transatlantic relationship, and play a vital role in educating their local communities regarding those developments. These centers also will continue to produce high quality scholarly research that informs the policy community. As in the past, I aim to visit as many of the centers as possible during my tenure in Washington." Bruton visited Pitt in April to celebrate the University Library System's acquisition of the European Union Delegation Library.

The EU Centers program has helped create a foothold for EU studies in U.S. higher education and served as an information resource for a broad U.S. audience, with extensive outreach to regional audiences and the policy community. As in 2005-08, the recipients of awards in that cycle have been designated "Centers of Excellence" in recognition of the high quality, variety, and depth of their programming.

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