After one and a half year of intense preparations Alliance Europa, the new hub for research, training and innovation in higher education that brings together a large variety of actors in European Studies across the Pays-de-la-Loire region, was successfully launched on Friday 13 November in Nantes.
Based on the collective forces of its four partner signatories – the Universities of Nantes, Angers and Le Mans, as well as ESSCA School of Management, Alliance Europa encompasses over 120 researchers in 21 laboratories. Other founding members include institutions from civil society like the different Maisons de l’Europe of Western France or Euradionantes.
Alliance Europa is composed of two distinct entities: the Institute of European and Global Studies (IEEG), which aims at becoming an internationally recognised pole of excellence in its field of expertise, and the Factory of European Ideas (‘La Fabrique des Idées Européennes’), an original incubator of innovative initiatives involving actors from civil society and academia around joint projects.
The Institute wishes to stimulate cooperation between the different laboratories in four major thematic areas:
- Governing Europe in the age of globalisation
- Plural societies and construction of identities
- Europe and the World
- European cultures and inter-cultures
The four areas are now expected to organise a series of workshops in order to see joint research projects emerge that may benefit from substantial funding by the Conseil Régional of Pays-de-la-Loire, the regional body that had been at the origin of the new hub. Two call for proposals are scheduled to be issued in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The inauguration day not only included a general presentation of the new initiative and the launch meeting of the strategic committee, but also workshops of the different research areas. It was concluded with a public debate, in front of an audience of 400, on the current migration crisis that provided a lively exchange between renowned researchers in this field, former French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, and the well-known editorialist on geopolitics, Bernard Guetta.
The EU-Asia Institute has actively contributed to the setting up of Alliance Europa for over a year now and is looking forward to being involved in a variety of activities.