For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.
ACES has been awarded a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence grant from the EU’s Erasmus+ programme 2022-5. The Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence play a key role in reaching out to students from faculties who wouldn't otherwise engage in issues pertaining to the EU as well as to policy makers, civil servants, organised civil society and the general public at large.

The UvA ACES Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence builds on its accumulated 8 years of experience as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence to run a programme that will provide expertise and stimulate dialogue and research related to the six policy priorities defined by the European Commission 2019-2024: (1) A European Green Deal; (2), A Europe fit for the digital age (3) An economy that works for people (4) A stronger Europe in the world (5) Promoting our European way of life (6) A new push for European democracy

Specifically, the UvA ACES Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence aims to:

  • strengthen the visibility of European Union studies within the University of Amsterdam, the highly diverse and international community of Amsterdam, as well as nationally and internationally
  • to foster dialogue between academics and local, national and international communities and practitioners on a range of topical issues re-shaping Europe in a changing regional and global context
  • to stimulate excellence in interdisciplinary research, teaching and reflection on the EU and Europe that can support EU policy makers in taking crucial decisions on the future of Europe in a global context
  • to spread knowledge about the EU to the wider public through an innovative set of activities and outreach

With this grant, ACES will organise Summer Schools for Master and PhD students, Annual Conferences, Practitioner Engagement Series, Practitioner series, Visions of Europe lecture series.

  • Annual Conferences

    Our Annual Conferences – on ‘EU Health Governance’, on ‘Digital Sovereignty and Sustainable Digitalization in Europe’ and on ‘Decolonising European Studies’ will directly support key EU objectives for cohesive, greener and digitally fit societies. Bringing together leading scholars and policy makers from a range of disciplinary and national backgrounds, the Annual Conferences will not only contribute to producing innovative academic knowledge on these key topics but will also inform a much wider range of publics and stake-holders.

    The three Conferences – scheduled on an annual basis – will foster high profile debate on key EU objectives by bringing together academics and policy-makers, but also practitioners, business leaders and civil society actors, ranging from health care to the cultural sector. The outputs of these events will also span academic publications as well as blog posts and other openly accessible, ‘popular’ materials in order to disseminate the findings to as wide a range of publics as possible.

    2023: EU Health Governance

    The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to initiate a conversation between and among academics and practitioners about trust and solidarity as concepts pertaining to health-related policy issues to trace their evolution; contours, application, contestation, and adjudication in EU law and governance, and to start to uncover how these principles can be operationalized in a meaningful way for health governance in EU Member States, at the EU level, in the EU’s external relations.  

      Keynote speakers  

    • Barbara Prainsack (University of Vienna): Professor for Comparative Policy Analysis; Head of Research Platform Governance of digital practices; Chair of European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE). 
    • Heidi Larson (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London): Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is also Clinical Professor of Health Metrics Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. 
    • Tammy Hervey (City, University of London): Studied at Glasgow and Sheffield, and held academic posts at Durham, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield Law Schools, before joining The City Law School in 2021. She is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law ad personam.

    2024: Digital Sovereignty and Sustainable Digitalization in Europe

    Digitalization in Europe is in full swing and of increasing strategic importance for the European project. According to the European Commission “the twin challenge of a green and digital transformation has to go hand-in-hand”. The strategy is to a significant extent premised on Europe’s self-sufficiency in key digital technologies, such as European data spaces, artificial intelligence, 5G mobile communications, cloud and quantum computing. This conference will engage in the interdisciplinary space where digitalization and sustainability intersect in Europe. The conference will bring together academics, policy-makers, business leaders and civil society to upgrade our canon of conception, approaches and narratives on sustainable digitalization

    More information on this conference to come. Date TBC.

    2025: Decolonising Europe

    The Black Lives Matter movement that spread globally after the murder of George Floyd has made dramatically manifest how structural racism is endemic in our societies. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the multiple forms of discrimination and exclusion that continue to dramatically affect the lives, health, rights and opportunities of racialised groups of people.

    This conference will respond to the current conjuncture by placing Europe's (post)coloniality centre stage in order to analyse the workings of race and racism in Europe and beyond. The aim is to reflect on how race and racism shape public and private space and structure our relations and encounters, with a particular focus on knowledge production and cultural institutions such as universities. Decentring the European canon and essentialised conceptions of Europe as well as the solid geographies envisioned and implemented by traditional area studies is key to this aim

    More information on this conference to come. Date TBC.

  • Summer Schools

    2023: Amsterdam Summer School: The Coloniality of Migration Politics in Europe

    The UvA summer school The Coloniality of Migration Politics in Europe has invited PhD researchers to critically explore legacies and dis/continuities of coloniality in citizenship- and migration politics in Europe. In a series of workshops, lectures and intensive feedback sessions, participants will critically engage with the legacies of (methodological) whiteness and racism in migration studies, dis/continuities between colonial mobility governance and contemporary migration politics, as well as tackle their own positionalities and roles in knowledge production systems.

    The summer school provides a broad platform for reflection, through a co-creation workshop with The Refugee Academy (VU), a positionality workshop with Dr. Laura Kapinga, Dr. Rik Huizinga and Dr. Reza Shaker  (University of Groningen, Utrecht University & Leiden University), alongside lectures by prof. Rosalba Icaza Garza (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Dr. Joe Turner (University of York). The summer school includes excursions around Amsterdam, allowing participants to engage with questions of coloniality and migration in a multitude of settings, beyond academia. This Summer School is supported by the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, as well as by the Strange(r) Families Project.

    2024: Sustainable Global Economic Law Summer School: Law, Environmental & Social (In)Justice

    The Sustainable Global Economic bring together UvA researchers with colleagues from Maastricht, Open University and Tilburg to provide a space for interdisciplinary conversations on global economic law and sustainability in the context of accelerating climate change intertwined with socio-economic inequalities along gender, race, class and other divides. The school will feature methodological and substantive sessions on law, sustainability and just transitions, workshops on writing and career development, as well as activities in Amsterdam linking up the city to the global dynamics, such as colonization, trade, the fossil fuel economy and counter-hegemonic mobilisations.

  • Practitioner Series

    Our Practitioner Series will create multi-directional learning and capacity building opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students on UvA ACES’ two priority topic areas: ‘Europe in the World’ and ‘Sustainable and Green Europe’.

    Our practitioner series includes the following:

    a. EU Multilateral Diplomacy in Action

    Course Coordinator: Prof. dr. Luiza Bialasiewicz;  Course lecturer: Ambassador Thijs van der Plas.
    In this practice-oriented MA course, students examined how various forms of EU multilateral diplomacy work ‘in action’. Led by long-time Dutch diplomat Ambassador Thijs van der Plas, currently the Netherlands Ambassador to NATO, the course introduced a selected group of 15 students to a variety of concrete examples of multilateral negotiations in which the EU has been or is actively involved. Case studies included: the negotiations of the European Constitutional Convention, the Reform and Recovery Facility, the Strategic Concept in NATO and the Strategic Compass in the EU, and climate negotiations at the UN – all cases in which the Ambassador van der Plas has been directly engaged. 

    bSpeaker Series: A European Agenda on Corporate Sustainability

     This series will offer students the chance to engage directly with practitioners and policy-makers on questions of cooperate social responsibility, including debates on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, the European Circular Economy Action Plan. Speakers will include corporate leaders as well as EU Commission and NGO representatives.

    c. Global South Visiting Practitioner Fellowship

    The Visiting Practitioner Fellowship will enable one Fellow per year to be affiliated with ACES for 12 months. Fellows will be expected to engage in ACES activities remotely and in residence for a minimum of one-month (longer if they wish). The aim of the Visiting Fellowship is to create multi-directional learning and capacity building opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, scholars from middle-low incomes.

  • Public events and workshops

    Our series of Public Events in WP5 will focus predominantly on our highly successful ‘Visions of Europe’ public lecture series, together with hot-topic public round tables organised ad-hoc to offer a forum for public debate on emerging ‘hot’ issues. Our public events will include the following:

    a. EU in the Classroom

    Our series will directly address the mission of the European Youth Strategy and its aim to strengthen European identity and increase active citizenship amongst youth. Our initiative will target high-school curricula and pedagogy, to encourage high-school students and students to learn to engage in civic society, raising awareness about European Union and EU values. This will be facilitated through a range of informal activities such as quizzes and games linked, in part, to the European Year of Youth 2022.

    b. Visions of Europe Lecture Series

     The Visions of Europe lecture series will run in collaboration with SPUI 25 and will continue to bring prominent European policy makers and academics to Amsterdam to address urgent European and global issues. Each lecture highlights a different theme, like Brexit, Spanish Elections,  the rise of populism in Italy, that is discussed by a keynote speaker with a Q&A at the end of the keynote. The lecture series is organised in collaboration with SPUI25 and reaches a diverse public audience also from outside the university circles.

    Find out more about the Visions of Europe lecture series.