A consortium comprised of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and four partner universities has been designated one of a select number of Centers for European Union Studies in the United States.
The 15-nation European Union awarded this designation to the American Consortium on EU Studies, or ACES, a new partnership of five Washington-area universities--Johns Hopkins, American, George Mason, George Washington and Georgetown. Affiliated partners will include Catholic, Gallaudet and Howard universities; the University of Maryland, College Park; and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution.
ACES will be housed at SAIS' Center for Transatlantic Relations, a new institute dedicated to a modern European-American agenda keyed to the challenges of a globalizing world. Daniel Hamilton, director of the Transatlantic Center, also will serve as the ACES executive director. The consortium will work to improve the understanding of the European Union and U.S.-EU relations throughout the Washington-Northern Virginia-Baltimore metropolitan region.
"Given the close nature of the transatlantic partnership, it is tempting but wrong to believe that the level of expertise on the EU and U.S.-EU relations in Washington must be high," Hamilton said. "In fact, Washington-based expertise on the EU seems to be shrinking as fast as the role of the EU has been growing."
ACES will address this gap by actively engaging students, scholars, legislative and executive branch officials, media, private sector and NGO leaders in three areas: education and research, media outreach and education, and policy outreach.
In the area of education and research, ACES universities will develop special graduate certificate programs in EU Studies; launch a Young Scholars Network of graduate students throughout the region; conduct regular seminars among senior scholars; offer pre-dissertation fellowships and research seed grants; and support academic conferences, symposia and workshops on EU and U.S.-EU issues.
In media outreach and education, ACES universities will develop special "transatlantic" editions of the nationally syndicated "American Forum" series on National Public Radio; offer programs on EU-related issues at George Washington University's radio station, WRRC; sponsor an EU Update program at George Mason University's GMU-TV; and present an EU Perspectives series of lectures and seminars as part of the Pew International Journalism Program at SAIS.
For policy outreach, ACES universities will engage administration officials, congressional leaders and other opinion-shapers in policy-oriented "strategy groups" to tackle current challenges; publish ACES Papers on critical transatlantic policy issues; provide opportunities for European visiting scholars and practitioners-in-residence; design a Web site to inform the scholarly and policy communities of EU-related activities in the nation's capital; and develop an Internet database on EU-related economic, legal and foreign policy case studies.
The EU award is supported by a grant of 150,000 Euros for the 2001-2002 academic year. Increased support is anticipated over subsequent years and will be supplemented by individual, corporate and foundation donors.