EU Center Hosts Annual Conference

The 11th annual Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union, in which 49 students from 26 institutions participated by submitting papers on various topics related to contemporary European or transatlantic politics, took place at Scripps College April 11 and 12. The top students received a summer study opportunity in Brussels. 

Four students from Scripps, two students from Pitzer College, and one student from Pomona College participated in the conference. Best paper winners included John Ray PZ ’13 for his paper “Market Integration, Soccer, and the EU: Changes in the Game’s Core Territories,” and Julia Markham-Cameron SC ’13 for her paper “The EU and the Rights of the Roma: How Could the EU have Changed the French Repatriation Program of 2010?”

The conference was hosted by the European Union (EU) Center of California, a 5C resource that has brought numerous prestigious speakers to campus this month as part of its regular speaker series.

Last week, former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent Nicholas Kralev spoke about his experience with high-level United States diplomacy. In the span of four days earlier this month, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, former Czech Ambassador with the United Nations Karel Kovanda, and former French prime minister Lionel Jospin all spoke at Scripps.

Administrative Director Zaynah Rahman said that participating in the conference gave students firsthand knowledge into how conferences work and said the experience would help in future academic endeavors.

“We’re trying to familiarize undergraduate students with the conference process and give them an advantage for those who want to move on to graduate school. It’s structured like a professional conference,” Rahman said.

Associate professor of politics and international relations David Andrews, Director of the EU Center at Scripps, stressed the opportunity this conference gave to 5C students.

“Students at other colleges would love the opportunity to have an undergraduate conference on their own campus. 5C students have the benefit of having it right here,” he said.

“The EU Center is an ace in the hands of every student at the Claremont Colleges, and if they don’t put it to good use, that’s their fault,” Andrews added. “Students should be particularly aware of internships at EU institutions, think tanks, and other European institutions.”

The center dates back to 1998, when the European Commission ran a competition in the United States to choose 10 institutions of higher education that would be the sites of European Union Centers. Scripps, on behalf of the 5Cs and in partnership with the University of Southern California, was the winner of one of two centers on the west coast, the other located at the University of Washington in Seattle. The competition was based on finding institutions that had broad confidence in EU institutions and could mount sustainable programs on their campuses. Scripps received the only EU Center on an undergraduate campus.

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