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European Union Day to focus on post-Sept. 11 world

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Interrelated issues facing the United States and the European Union since Sept. 11 will be the focus of this year’s European Union Day activities on April 3 at the University of Illinois.

The annual event, hosted by the UI's European Union Center and International Programs and Studies, is intended to bring noted European leaders to campus to interact with faculty members, students and the public in an effort to promote understanding about the European Union and its relations with the United States.

A treaty-based institutional framework for the construction of a unified Europe, the European Union comprises 15 nations: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The focal point of E.U. Day at the UI is the state of the European Union address, which this year will be given by John B. Richardson, ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations. Richardson’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is to begin at 11 a.m. in Illini Rooms A, B and C of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. His main topic of discussion will be the role that the European Union has played in regional and world security as well as its challenges in the years to come.

Before being assigned to his current post, Richardson had been Minister and Deputy Head of the European Commission’s delegation in Washington, D.C., since 1996. Prior to that, he held various posts over the course of 23 years at E.U. headquarters in Brussels, where much of his professional career has been devoted to the cause of European integration.

Richardson began his career with the European Commission by working on economic aspects of environmental policy. In subsequent posts, he tackled issues related to international energy policy, relations with the Gulf States, and external aspects of the European Union’s Single Market. From 1983-89, he worked on international trade in services, for which he was E.U. negotiator in the Uruguay Round. In 1989, Richardson became head of the division for relations with the United States, then in 1993, for relations with Japan.

Following Richardson’s address and a private luncheon, the UI's E.U. Day will continue with two workshop sessions, also free and open to the public. The first, on "The Coalition Against Terrorism: U.S.-E.U. Cooperation," in Illini Union Rooms 405 and 406, will run from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The workshop will be chaired by Edward A. Kolodziej, professor emeritus of political science. Also participating will be Jeremiah D. Sullivan, head and professor of physics; UI mathematics professor Julian Palmore; and Glyn Ford, member of the European Parliament.

From 3:45 to 5:15 p.m., a workshop on "Global Security and Arms Control: The European Role," will be held at the same location. The chair of that workshop will be Clifford E. Singer, professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering, and director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security. Participants will include Sullivan; Col. David LaRivee, ACDIS’s U.S. Air Force National Defense Fellow; and Malcolm Savidge, a member of the British Parliament.

The UI’s E.U. Center, directed by urban and regional planning professor Kieran Donaghy, is one of 10 established at U.S. universities and funded by an initial grant from the European Union in 1998. The center was awarded a new three-year grant in 2001, and was among 15 such centers funded during that period.

At the UI, the center is administered by IPS and includes faculty members from the colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Commerce and Business Administration; Communications; Engineering; Fine and Applied Arts; Law; and Liberal Arts and Sciences.