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The European Union Centre of Excellence was founded on September 1, 2006, as a joint initiative of the Université de Montréal and McGill University. It consists of the Université de Montréal-McGill University Institute for European Studies, the Jean-Monnet Chaire in European Integration (Université de Montréal), and the Jean-Monnet Chaire in the Law of International Economic Integration (McGill University).

The Institute for European Studies

The Institute for European Studies was founded in 2000, when the European Commission launched a competition for grants to establish academic structures promoting EU studies outside Europe. The Institute has received strong financial and material support from the Université de Montréal and McGill University since its creation. This support, combined with grants from the European Commission, has helped the Institute to fulfill its objectives and to generate quality research about:

  • The history of the European integration
  • European law
  • The political system of the EU
  • The EU's policies, especially its social policies
  • The languages and different cultures of member states

The Institute has gained a solid academic reputation in North America and Europe.

Professor Jane Jenson was the Institute's first director. She currently holds a Canadian Research Chair in Citizenship and Governance and is Vice-Dean for Graduate Studies and External Affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Université de Montréal. Professor Stephen Toope, who is currently the President of the University of British Columbia, was the Institute's first co-director.

The Jean-Monnet Chair in European Integration

The Jean-Monnet Chair in European Integration at the Université de Montréal was the first Jean-Monnet Chair created outside Europe. The Chair pursues two broad objectives:

  • Increase the interests of Quebecers and Canadians, especially their political and economic leaders, in the EU
  • Inform the public about recent developments in the EU

To reach those objectives, the Chair:

  • Disseminates information
  • Networks with communities outside academia
  • Provides a centre for documentation

Since its creation in 1993, the Chair has received support from the European Commission, the Gorvernment of Quebec, the Government of Canada, as well as from the private sector. Professor Panayotis Soldatos was the first holder of the Jean-Monnet Chair in European Integration; he currently holds a Jean-Monnet Chair ad personam in European Law at the Université Jean-Moulin in Lyon, France.


The Jean-Monnet Chair in the Law of International Economic Integration

Professor Armand de Mestral holds of the Jean-Monnet Chair in the Law of International Economic Integration. He teaches international law, international trade law, and the law of the European Community in the Faculty of Law at McGill University. Professor de Mestral's research interest is the law of international economic integration. He has published books, articles and studies in English and French about international trade law and comparative and Canadian constitutional law and international law. He has served on WTO and NAFTA dispute settlement and arbitration tribunals. He also served as president of the Canadian Red Cross Society from 1999 to 2001. He was made member of the Order of Canada in December 2007.

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