The ambitious agenda of cooperation between the EU and the US is taken forward via constant, intensive dialogue. This dialogue takes place at various levels, from the annual summit meetings between EU and US leaders to technical work at expert level.
The European Union and the United States of America established diplomatic relations as early as 1953, but it was only in November 1990 that the cooperation was formalised for the first time with the Transatlantic Declaration . Since December 1995, the New Transatlantic Agenda has provided the foundation for the relationship.
In 1998, the European Commission launched an ambitious initiative to establish a network of EU Centres in American universities, providing information and education about the European Union. This is in line with the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) and its ‘people to people’ objective: building bridges across the Atlantic. The objectives of the EU Centres are to increase awareness in the USA about the political, economic and cultural importance of the transatlantic relationship, to promote greater understanding in the United States of the European Union and its policies, and to disseminate information and publicise EU views on issues of transatlantic interest within regional communities.
The European Commission now supports 10 such European Union Centres of Excellence [46 KB] in universities across the USA in recognition of the high quality, variety and depth of their EU studies activities, which promote the study of the EU and EU-US relations through teaching programmes, scholarly research and outreach activities in their local and regional communities. The US Network coordinator is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill EUCE.
The EU Centre of Excellence at Seattle is proud of its programme complementing learning options it has developed for students interested in the European Union. Their Model EU is the only major annual EU simulation in the Western US. The EU Studies Summer Program in Brussels are co-organised with the EUCE of Wisconsin and l’Institut d’Etudes Européennes at the Université Libre de Bruxelles is likewise one of only a handful of EU-focused programmes offered in Brussels and designed for US students. The Trans-Atlantic Studies Programme brings US and European students together to study key themes in EU and US politics and society at the UW and University of Bath. These programs are complemented by centre-developed EU simulation and EU as Global Actor courses, and a graduate research workshop co-developed with the EUCEs of Colorado and Berkeley.