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Celebrating the Diversity of the European Union

Join the World Affairs Council for a unique opportunity to discuss the future of the European Union with members of the San Francisco Consular Corp. Consuls General from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal will share their perspectives on how a changing EU leadership affects relations both within and beyond its borders.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Antonio de Lecea, Principal Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs, Delegation of the European Union to the United States

SPEAKERS

Mauro Battocchi, Consul General, Consulate General of Italy

Nuno Mathias, Consul General, Consulate General of Portugal

Stefan Schlüter, Consul General, Consulate General of Germany

Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Consul General, Consulate General of The Netherlands

MODERATOR

Jeroen Dewulf, Director, Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley

WHEN

Wednesday, December 3, Reception: 5:30 PM; Program: 6:30 PM

WHERE

World Affairs Council

Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA

This program is presented in collaboration with the World Affairs Councils of America and the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, and in partnership with the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley.

IES News

IES Portuguese Studies Program Receives Grant by the Luso-American Foundation
The Portuguese Luso-American Foundation decided to renew its grant to the Portuguese Studies Program. This generous grant will make it possible for the Portuguese Studies Program to continue and expand its activities in Portuguese language and culture as well as in the cultures of other Portuguese-speaking countries around the globe.

IES Sponsors Icelandic Language Education
In cooperation with the UC Berkeley Department of Scandinavian, IES will co-sponsor a new program in Icelandic language education. Straddling both the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, Icelandic is a strategic language in the transatlantic connections between the US and Europe as well as between Europe and the Artic. With this new program, the Department of Scandinavian will be offering 5 Nordic languages: Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish. Via an Internet 2.0 Highspeed video-conference connection, these language courses are also offered to students at the University of California Los Angeles.

IES Welcomes the Dutch Studies Program
The Dutch Studies Program will organize events that focus on the Netherlands and Flanders. It will also pay attention to Dutch colonial history, the bilingual (Dutch/French) city of Brussels and the historic Low Countries, today's BENELUX. It will work closely together with the Dutch Studies Program at the Department of German.

The France-Berkeley Fund Returns to IES
After several years of separation, the France-Berkeley Fund is returning to its former office in Moses Hall as part of IES. Under the leadership of Prof. Larry Hyman, the FBF promotes scholarly exchange in all disciplines between UC Berkeley and all research centers and public institutions of higher education in France.

IES Sponsors Advanced Turkish Language Education
In cooperation with the UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department for Near Eastern Studies, IES will co-sponsor a new course in advanced Turkish in order to strengthen Turkish language education on the Berkeley campus. Straddling both the European and Asian continents, Turkish is a strategic language of national need with inadequate coverage in the US. It is also an official minority language in Cyprus and Greece, and a minority language in several other European nations. Germany alone counts about 3 million Turkish speakers.

IES Receives Title VI Funding
The US Department of Education decided to award IES four more years of Title VI National Resource Center Funding, including Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships. The Department of Education press release is available here. IES is looking forward to four more years of programming supported by Title VI funds.

Blog

Consul-General of Luxembourg Georges Schmit, Professor Sonja Kmec and IES Director Jeroen Dewulf

October 21: Lecture on Jean-Claude Juncker, the New President of the European Commission

On Tuesday, October 21, the Institute of European Studies hosted a lecture entitled “Europe's New Chief Executive: Jean-Claude Juncker’s Journey from Prime Minister to President of the European Commission.” The lecture, which was co-sponsored by the Consulate-General of Luxembourg, was a profile of Mr. Juncker, the third Luxembourgian politician to attain Europe’s highest position. The speaker for the evening was Professor Sonja Kmec, an associate professor of history at the University of Luxembourg who is currently a visiting lecturer at Department of German at UC Berkeley, teaching a class on the development of Luxembourgian identity in a European context.

The evening began with a short address from Consul-General Georges Schmit, who thanked the audience for its interest in and support for Luxembourgian cultural events and acknowledged the Institute of European Studies for its help in organizing the event. Professor Kmec then took the podium. Using the model of the mythological “hero’s journey”, she surveyed Juncker’s career from his beginnings in Luxembourgian politics, his journey to the post of Prime Minister, and finally his appointment as President of the European Commission. Starting early in his political life, she noted his rapid rise in the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) and the importance of the mentorship of the then-Prime Minister Jacques Santer. Following this she analyzed Juncker's term of nearly two decades as Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and how his efforts to modernize his party, the CSV, kept it in power throughout that time and profoundly shaped the country. She explained that government's many achievements while not shying away from certain controversies that dogged its tail end.

Finally Kmec described the complex situation which led to Juncker's attainment of the European Commission presidency, which for the first time ever was decided by the election of the European Parliament. Throughout his entire political career Juncker had been decidedly pro-European; he was, in fact, highly involved in the drafting of the Maastricht Treaty which created the European Union and implemented the single-currency system. In the wake of controversies surrounding other candidates for the position, then, and taken into account his senior status in European politics, he seemed an obvious candidate. His moderate views and close relationships with many politicians led some to denounce him as a typical "Brussels Insider", yet Kmec argued that instead they should be viewed as a reconciling figure; she noted, for instance, that he has taken a stand against strict austerity measures and during his time as prime minister formed alliances with both liberal and socialist parties. To conclude her lecture Kmec offered some opinions on the challenges facing Mr. Juncker in the coming months, including the residual effects of the European financial crisis, criticism of his home nation's tax policies, and the rising strength of far-right, anti-European parties in a number of member states. After finishing Kmec took questions from the audience, many of whom were members of the San Francisco Luxembourgian community.

With the lecture concluded Consul-General Schmit made a few closing remarks before inviting the assembled guests to stay for a reception, where they would be able to ask further questions of him and Professor Kmec. Catered food and desserts were provided and the Consul-General of Luxembourg supplied a number of bottles of excellent Luxembourgian white and sparkling wines from the country’s Moselle region. In an occurrence rare outside the Grand Duchy, the room was soon filled with the cheerful sounds of people chattering congenially in Luxembourgian. The Consul-General and IES Director Jeroen Dewulf agreed that the event was a great success, and expressed their hope for further cultural cooperation in the future.

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