The European Commission granted a Centre of Excellence Jean Monnet to the University of Lleida in 2012. That fact acknowledged the wide and intense experience of the UdL concerning teaching, research and dissemination in European and international matters.
The Centre, which I have the honour to lead, has enabled the task launched in 2008, when the European Commission has granted a Jean Monnet Chair: “Law and External Relations of the European Union”. This Chair has carried out many activities related to the European integration process as well as to current international issues. The Centre is composed of an Academic Committee, consisting of UdL professors and also professors from the University of Zaragoza and Valencia. Our team members include professor with a strong academic career as well as young professor in an early stage of their career.
The main aim of the Centre of Excellence is to become an “integrating element” of EU studies at the UdL. Moreover, it is opened to the participation of the city and the province of Lleida, without any prejudice of its Catalan, Spanish and international dimension. Taking into consideration this idea, the programme of activities is addressed to obtain an extensive participation of different segments: university students and civil society.
Another objective of the Centre is to promote the interdisciplinary research; therefore, the team has conducted projects of research (local, autonomic, state and European level), published books (five in total) and chapters and articles in specialised journals. In line with the Jean Monnet Chair and the Centre of Excellence, an I+D+i Project was granted: “EU-Mediterranean: the impact of the Arab spring in the Euro-Mediterranean relations and in the interests of Spain in the region”. This year, it was granted the European Project: “Challenges of the European Union: an approach for Senior Students (CEUSS)”.
Finally, and within the promotion of interdisciplinary research, it has to be underlined, that the Group of Research: ”United Nations and the EU before the current challenges and risks: reform of the global governance system, security, cooperation and human rights”, was recognised in 2014 as a “Grup consolidat” by the Generalitat of Catalunya. This Group is composed of twenty professors from Spanish, Italian and Chilean Universities.