A new centre of excellence conducting research into global trade and affairs has been launched at the University of Adelaide today, Monday 25 February.
The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in International Trade and Global Affairs will foster research on the European Union (EU) and its relations with Australia, offer courses on European economic integration and sponsor study tours to Europe.
“At this time, when the political and economic landscape is changing in the context of Brexit, understanding of Europe has never been so relevant,” says the University’s Professor Richard Pomfret, Jean Monnet Chair on the Economics of European Integration, who will head the new centre.
“The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in International Trade and Global Affairs will conduct research and provide information on the European Union through a series of events and activities which will provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between academics, policy makers, local businesses, teachers, tertiary and secondary school students and others with an interest in the European Union.
The Jean Monnet Centre will sit within the University’s Institute for International Trade (IIT).
“The University has won more than $1 million from the EU to fund the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, the Chair of the centre and to coordinate an international network of academics specialising in trade research,” says Dr Peter Draper, Executive Director, IIT, the University of Adelaide.
“The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence is a further step in the University’s relations with the EU and will build on its history of signature research into the EU.
“Today, we have launched a new book Potential Benefits of an Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement: Key Issues and Options, edited by Professors Jane Drake-Brockman and Patrick Messerlin from the University.
“The book offers important insights from recognised experts in the field, from Australia, Europe and Asia, on the potential economic benefits and costs of an EU-Australia FTA. It is relevant negotiators, policy makers, academics, and business leaders in Australia and the EU.
Senator The Honourable Simon Birmingham, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment opened the new centre.
“The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in International Trade and Global Affairs will be a wonderful resource for South Australian academics, policy makers, local businesses and school students with an interest in the European Union.
Australia enjoys rich and historical ties with the EU, a relationship that will only grow stronger beyond Brexit.
With or without the UK as a member, the EU is Australia’s second largest trading partner and is a relationship that deserves every effort to take it from strength to strength.
I hope the centre will have an important role in developing new and innovative educational offerings that will stimulate public policy debate and contribute to the development of effective trade policy for many years to come.”