The European Union (EU) has invested €4.6million (NZ$7.2million) to establish six EU Centres across Australia and New Zealand for the 2014-2016 period. The EU Centres, co-funded by their host universities, include a wide variety of partners from all sectors of the community.
“This is the largest public outreach program for the EU in Australia and New Zealand and expands the existing network from four to six centres”, said EU Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Mr Sem Fabrizi. “It shows the commitment of the EU to Australia and New Zealand and the reciprocal enthusiasm and engagement from the Universities and the broader community”.
The EU Centre initiative is part of the European Union’s public diplomacy strategy towards industrialised countries to promote a better understanding of the EU and its relationship with the host country and the region. The successful universities took part in a competitive tender process and will address the key challenges the EU, Australia and New Zealand have to face over the next three years.
The Centres are as follows: The European Union Centres Network New Zealand (EUCN) started in 2006 following the successful pilot project The Centre for Research on Europe and includes all 8 NZ Universities and will focus on the normative power of Europe, comparative transnational integration, and EU monetary and financial integration.
The Hawke EU Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations at the University of South Australia will focus on the global challenges caused by the increasing displacement of people and communities in the 21st century.
The EU Centre for Global Affairs at the University of Adelaide will focus on enhanced international trade and regional cooperation in the Asia and Pacific regions, promoting the multilateral rules-based trading system, and the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the EU, Australia and Asia.
The University of Melbourne EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges will focus on strengthening EU-Australia and international collaboration on challenges such as climate change, regional governance and business innovation through engagement across political, scientific and economic dimensions.
The EU Centre at RMIT in Melbourne, builds on its success of the last four years with a focus on governance and the Single Market, developing stronger science, technology, business and governmental partnerships and comparative regional policy.
The Australian National University Centre for European Studies (ANUCES) was the first EU Centre in Australia set up in 2001 and continues its success focussing on inter-government relations, policy development and capacity building.