15 June 2010
New European centre tackles complex issues
The centre will promote a better understanding of the European Union, whose flag is pictured above.
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A new European Union Centre (EUC) has been opened at RMIT University, aiming to promote a better understanding of the EU and EU-Australia relations.
Director Professor Bruce Wilson said the EUC would build bridges with Europe to tackle complex, difficult problems.
"Australia offers a footstep into Asia for Europe, to help address deep-seated challenges," Professor Wilson said.
"The Centre will use RMIT's strong linkages with Asia to enhance European understanding and engagement with the region, tackling vital issues such as the future of cities, people mobility, border security and climate change.
"RMIT offers Europe creativity, global connections, an urban base in Australia and engagement with industry across Europe and Asia."
The Centre's launch activities included two public seminars: one on the Lisbon Treaty and another on Europe and the global recession.
The Lisbon Treaty: Making Europe a stronger partner in the World was led by His Excellency David Daly, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Australia and New Zealand.
Ambassador Daly said the Treaty made the EU more democratic and transparent.
"It clearly delineates responsibilities between the EU and its Member States, and makes the EU more efficient by simplifying its decision-making procedures. It also streamlines how the EU operates internationally and will make Europe a stronger and more effective global partner."
The second seminar, Europe in Turmoil: The ongoing aftermath of the global recession, was run in conjunction with The Contemporary European Studies Association of Australia. It examined the UK elections, Greek deficit/debt crisis, the plunging Euro and globalising pressures in the European context.
The centre's active program over its first year includes developing and facilitating activities including seminars, academic qualifications, conferences, discussion forums, briefings, public lectures and collaboration with other centres.
"We will comment on issues about and affecting Europe," Professor Wilson said.
"We are currently watching the future of Britain's place in Europe following the recent UK election, as it's an issue with potentially significant consequences for the rest of the world, not least Australia."
Professor Bruce Wilson, Director, European Union Centre at RMIT.
His Excellency David Daly, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Australia and New Zealand.