UCL European Institute


EI History

For 10 years, the UCL European Institute has drawn attention to the importance of Europe-focused research, collaboration, and public engagement in fields from politics to the arts.

Celebrating 10 years 

The UCL European Institute celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020. Look back at the past decade of research, collaboration, and engagement on Europe in our 10th Anniversary Review.

> View all annual reviews

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

Jean Monnet logo

Much of our work has been supported by our status as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, a grant from the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU. In 2019, we entered our second three-year programme of activities, and are focusing on the theme of Passionate Politics and the Future of Europe.  Click here for more details about the current project strands.


Challenging Europe

  • We designed a new strand for the UCL Global Citizenship Summer School, a two-week programme for undergraduate and postgraduate students to explore major global challenges. The new strand explores Europe in its many guises, including and beyond the EU. Participating students conducted research with London’s varied communities, developing skills in filmmaking and editing, ethnographic research, and using one of eight less-widely used languages in Europe, including Saami, Romanian, and Welsh. A blog on “European London” houses the students’ projects.
  • Led by Prof Anne White (UCL SSEES), this strand explored the practical and emotional experiences of EU migrants and their host societies. It produced a teaching module, “Migration in the EU”; an open-access book of interviews with Poles in the UK, “Invisible Poles”; and online resource guides focusing on migration from Central and Eastern Europe to the UK, and TV news in Eastern Europe.
LGBTQ Migration and Asylum
  • This three-year project examined the unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer individuals in the context of migration to Europe. Under the supervision of Dr Richard Mole (UCL SSEES), the project yielded two policy workshops and an international conference, and an online resource guide on LGBTQ issues in Eastern Europe.
  • This strand examined discourses of national and parliamentary sovereignty in Britain and beyond. We hosted a conference on “Revisiting Sovereignty in Europe,” which focused on the complexities of the sovereignty crisis in Catalonia by bringing together lawyers, political scientists and economists. The project also resulted in the UCL Brexit Hub and UCL Brexit Blog (now the UCL Europe Blog), sites collating research, academic commentary, videos, policy engagement, and resources on Brexit. 
  • This research-focused strand, convened by Dr Claudia Sternberg (EI), brought together normative ideas with the empirical study of what makes people accept something as legitimate or not. Its key outputs were an international workshop on political legitimacy and a book on denials and promises of mutual recognition in the Euro crisis.

Rule of law

  • The questioning of respect for the rule of law in a number of EU Member States is seen as the most serious issue facing the Union. Our work on these theme will include an academic conference, a research-to-policy roundtable, an international seminar on the Rule of Law led by Prof Piet Eeckhout (UCL Laws), and a new LLM module led by Prof Ronan McCrea (UCL Laws) aiming to bring together legal, political science and historical perspectives.
Left-wing populism
  • This strand, led by Prof Philippe Marlière, questions whether left-wing politics can ever be popular in Europe and will yield a major public event with a keynote speaker or expert panel, a one-day academic workshop with scholars researching populism, and a new academic volume.
Power vertical
  • Maria Mileeva, Michał Murawski and Denis Maksimov convene the seminar and event platform “Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East,” which explores illiberalism and resistance in Europe, and lessons from Russia’s authoritarianism. The EI will provide support for the publication of an edited volume, a performance/exhibition on the “Global East,” and an events series.
Scotland and the EU – Regional and small state influencing
  • This collaboration with the Scottish Centre on European Relations and led by its director Kirsty Hughes explores how smaller EU states develop and implement their strategies and priorities in today’s EU. It has already yielded a policy paper based on qualitative research on Scotland, and one of two planned events with a policy and discussion focus.
Britain and Europe 2.0
  • The second iteration of the Britain and Europe strand will continue our work on the UK’s contested future relationship to Europe and Brexit through a variety of events, podcasts and videos, and the UCL Europe Blog.

Accomplishments by year

Over the past 10 years, our work has spanned disciplines and brought together new collaborations within the UCL community and beyond. We have produced hundreds of publications and commentary pieces, facilitated dozens of influential research projects, hosted academic events and curated exhibitions.

  • Relaunch of UCL Europe Blog (formerly the UCL Brexit Blog)
  • Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE QC (David Anderson) appointed chair of Advisory Board
  • Institutional move to UCL Faculty of Laws
  • Team expands to seven, with appointment of three Interns, Avery Anapol, Annisha Jhatakia and Carina Vogelsberger
  • Publication of: EU-US Privacy Shield, Brexit and the Future of Transatlantic Data Flows
  • Institute hosts two student Laidlaw Scholars, Konstantin Shmarko and Yung-Hsuan-Wu, to research AI and data policy
  • Sir Ivan Rogers gives public lecture on Where did Brexit come from and where is it going to take the UK?
  • ‘Word Houses: Full day, interdisciplinary event with British Library
  • Publication of: Invisible Poles: A book of interview extracts
  • Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence status renewed (2019-2022)
  • Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, gives public lecture on AI, Privacy and Big Tech: Europe’s Response
  • Institute hosts student Laidlaw Scholar Will Chantry to research Brexit and data protection
  • Publication of edited volume: Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe
  • Publication of The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost?
  • Clement Leroy joins as Policy and Engagement Associate
  • Launch of the UCL Brexit Hub and UCL Brexit Blog
  • Launch of ‘Talking Europe’ podcast series
  • Dr Uta Staiger appointed as UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe)
  • Institute hosts two student Laidlaw Scholars, Anton Gromoczki and Jose Feio, to research Brexit negotiations
  • Oliver Patel becomes Institute Manager and Research Associate
  • Publication of Brexit and Article 50 TEU: A Constitutionalist Reading
  •  Institute hosts ground-breaking conference series on queer asylum and migration in Europe
  • Dr Hanna Baumann joins as Research Associate
  • Dr Uta Staiger becomes Executive Director
  • Piet Eeckhout, Professor of EU Law, becomes Academic Director
  • Designated Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence status, awarded three-year grant to support programming
  • Dr Benjamin Martill joins as Research Associate
  • Dr Claudia Sternberg becomes Senior Research Associate
  • Oliver Patel joins Institute
  • Publication of edited volume: Negotiating Religion: Cross-disciplinary perspectives
  • Dr Claudia Sternberg joins the Institute as Research and Communications Associate
  • First four Visiting Professors and Fellows appointed: Dr Ece Ozlem Atikcan, Professor Eva Hoffman, Dr Christiane Wienand, Luke Holland
  • Institute joins newly-established UCL Institute of Advanced Studies
  • Launch of the ‘In Search of Europe’ video series
  • Sir John Birch named chair of Advisory Board
  • European Film Day – film screening and workshops in schools, co-organised with Routes into Languages
  • Professor Mary Fulbrook takes over as Institute Director
  • Hosted a debate between Slavoj Žižek and Srećko Horvat on ‘What Does Europe Want?’, in collaboration with UCL SSEES
  • Publication: The Eurozone Crisis and the Democratic Deficit
  • Publication: Series of policy briefings on Britain and Europe
  • Hosted a workshop and delivered recommendations for the League of European Research Universities (LERU) on the new Joint Programming Initiative proposed by the European Commission
  • Delivered a Framework Agreement between the German Max-Planck-Society and UCL
  • First annual Sakharov debate, hosted annually from 2010-2019, in conjunction with European Parliament Office in the UK
  • First major policy publication: The Future of Healthcare in Europe
  • Institute founded by Professor Richard Bellamy and Dr Uta Staiger, with a steering group of 15 academic staff from across UCL

  • Sir Stephen Wall appointed first chair of Advisory Board