European University Institute

The European University Institute (EUI) is an international postgraduate and post-doctoral teaching and research institute established by European Union member states to contribute to cultural and scientific development in the social sciences, in a European perspective. It is located in the small city of Fiesole, a suburb of Florence, Italy

For European Institute established in 1951 in Saarbrücken, Germany, see Europa-Institut of Saarland University, for other uses, see European University (disambiguation)
European University Institute (EUI)
Logo of the EUI
TypeIntergovernmental organisation
PresidentRenaud Dehousse
Secretary GeneralVincenzo Grassi
Annually 140 postgraduate researchers for four years
Via dei Roccettini, 9 - 50014 San Domenico di Fiesole (Italy)
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CampusSan Domenico di Fiesole

History and member states

The European University Institute (EUI) was founded in 1972 by the Member States of the European Community.[2]

The EUI finds its origins in the advocacy for a European institute at the 1948 Hague Conference and the European Cultural Conference the following year. At the 1955 Messina Conference, when the members of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) gathered to assess that organisation's progress, the German Secretary of State Walter Hallstein called for the establishment of a training centre for nuclear sciences.

The idea remained largely dormant until 1969 when European leaders met in The Hague and resolved to fund a European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. By this point the idea had evolved from a centre for nuclear sciences to one focused on the human sciences, promoting a cultural exchange between member states.

Plans were put into motion with conferences in Florence and Rome in 1970 and 1971, when it was decided that the institute would be reserved for post-graduate studies and not directly a Community institution.

The six member states – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – signed a convention in 1972 establishing the EUI as a pillar for research and development.[3][4] The EUI Convention entered into force in 1975, and the Instituted opened its doors to its first 70 researchers in 1976. Its mission, laid down in the 1970s, is to “foster the advancement of learning in fields which are of particular interest for the development of Europe”.

Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the European Community in 1973, and subsequently acceded to the convention establishing the EUI. In 1992, a new convention revising the 1972 convention establishing the EUI was signed by the then 12 Community member states.[5] It entered into force in 2007 when the last contracting state ratified the Convention.

As of February 2019, the EUI member states are:[6][7]

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

The remaining EU member states which are not EUI member states are: Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia.

Departments and centres

Department of Economics

The Economics Department provides teaching and supervision to PhD students. The research activities of the Department reflect the interests of the faculty and are concentrated in micro, macro and econometrics. Weekly research seminars are given by scholars from around the world. The teaching in the doctoral programme is based on formal coursework at a level which will allow researchers to pursue academic careers in universities or to follow professional opportunities in international organisations. In their third and fourth years researchers work on their thesis projects under the guidance of their supervisor while attending research workshops and seminars.

Department of History and Civilization

The Department of History and Civilization (HEC) offers a programme of transnational and comparative European history. The doctoral programme studies the construction of Europe's boundaries and the diversity and complexity of experiences within them.

The department's central concerns are the interlinking of European societies since the Renaissance and the complex cultural legacies that have shaped contemporary Europe. The HEC community is also committed to exploring the place of Europe in the world through the study of empires, global processes and institutions.

The variety of research approaches and themes, as well as the broad background of its professors, enable the Department to recruit high-quality Ph.D. candidates and to host outstanding research fellows.

Department of Law

The Department of Law is European and international in character. It is committed to the study of law in a comparative and contextual manner, with a special focus on European and international law.

Courses and seminars are interactive, research-oriented and designed to cover the main subject areas of the Department's work. Researchers gain experience in presenting their work, and are encouraged to participate in conferences, workshops and the Department's Working Groups.

Within the department, the Academy of European Law (AEL) offers advanced-level summer courses in Human Rights Law and EU Law. It also manages research projects and runs a publications programme.

The EUI Law Department also jointly hosts, with Harvard Law School, the Summer School on Law and Logic. This summer school was launched in 2012 and is also sponsored by CIRSFID-University of Bologna (Italy), the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), the European Academy of Legal Theory, and a grant from the Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme.

Department of Political and Social Sciences

The research programme of the Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) places emphasis on political and social change within Europe at the national, sub-national and transnational level. The research interests of the Department range across the four sub-disciplines of comparative politics, sociology, international relations, and social and political theory.

Courses in both quantitative and qualitative methods are available as options in the first and second year, while field work and data collection normally take place in the second and third year.

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies was launched by the European University Institute in 1993 building up on the experience of an already existing Policy Unit, created by Joseph Weiler. It is named for Robert Schuman. The first Director of the newly established Centre was Yves Mény (1993-2001), followed by Helen Wallace (2001-2006), Stefano Bartolini (2006-2013) and Brigid Laffan (2013-). The initial set up was rather modest: one director, one assistant and two secretaries, but over the years the Centre has grown into a large research centre pursuing interdisciplinary research into the key political challenges facing Europe and the EU today and bringing together academics and practitioners, in both policy dialogues and executive training. The Centre's mission is to “contribute to research on the major issues facing contemporary European society, including questions associated with the construction of Europe.” The Centre has several main programmes.

Global Governance Programme

The Global Governance Programme brings together academics, diplomats, public officers and officials from international organisations to connect the worlds of research and policy-making. It tackles a wide range of issues, including human rights, international trade, development, climate change, internet governance and regional integration.

The programme hosts a series of events, including High-Level Policy Seminars, where participants can exchange ideas.

Florence School of Regulation

The Florence School of Regulation (FSR) is a centre of excellence for independent research, training and policy dialogue. The FSR has been founded in 2004 as a partnership between the EUI's Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, the Council of the European Energy Regulators (CEER) and the Independent Regulators Group (IRG). The school also works closely with the European Commission.[8]

The FSR organises policy events dealing with key regulatory issues, provides academic training for practitioners, produces regulation research and promotes networking and the exchange of ideas in the areas of:

  • Energy and Climate
  • Communications and Media
  • Transport
  • Water

Policy and business decision-makers, regulators, regulated companies and academics from different countries are encouraged to share their experiences through the school.

European Union Democracy Observatory

The European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO), launched in 2006, is an independent and interdisciplinary academic organisation whose goal is to produce an assessment of democratic practices within the EU. EUDO gathers documentation and data, provides basic and applied research reports for EU institutions, and fosters dialogue between policy-makers, academics and EU citizens.

Migration Policy Centre

The Migration Policy Centre has been founded in January 2012[9] and conducts advanced policy-oriented research on global migration, asylum and mobility. It serves governance needs at European and global levels, from developing, implementing and monitoring migration-related policies to assessing their impact on the wider economy and society.

Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom

The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) was set up to raise awareness of media diversity and freedom issues in Europe. Co-financed by the European Union, it is composed of experts in legal studies, new media policies, media markets and economics, political science and political communications. Through its programme of research, debate, training and dissemination of results, the CMPF works with academics, policy makers, regulators, market stakeholders, journalists and others interested in the debate.

Historical Archives of EU

The Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) preserves and makes accessible the documents produced by the European Union's institutions according to the thirty year rule governing public access to archival material. The HAEU was established following decisions of the European Coal and Steel Community's (ECSC) and the Council in 1983 to open their historical archives to the public. An agreement between the European Commission and the European University Institute in 1984 led to the creation of the HAEU. The Archives are administered by the EUI and are operative in Florence since 1986.

Doctoral and master programmes

Doctoral Programme


The EUI prepares researchers for developing and defending a doctoral thesis in the fields of economics, history and civilization, law, and political and social sciences. Around 150-160 research grants are awarded annually by the EU Member States and other European national authorities to successful candidates. A Ph.D. from the European University Institute is an internationally recognised qualification.

While each department structures its own four-year programme, in all researchers are involved in seminars and other events where they are encouraged to participate and present their work. During their Ph.D. students may travel within the EU and further afield to conduct research, while there are also exchange opportunities.

Grants and fees

There are funding options available to researchers, with the majority of EU member states offering grants which cover living costs and tuition fees. There are additional agreements with non-EU member states, while the Italian and Spanish ministries of foreign affairs provide grants to a number of countries. Academics not covered by grants pay €12,000 each year in tuition fees and be able to guarantee at least €1,200 monthly to cover living costs, although fees may be reduced or waived for candidates from developing countries.

Masters Programme in Law


Since 1984 the European University Institute has offered law students a one-year programme leading to the degree of Master in Comparative, European and International Law (LL.M. degree level).


The majority of students and professors are multilingual; all are required to have a good knowledge of English although French and Italian are also regular working languages and the Institute is committed to accommodating other languages where possible.

Postdoctoral fellowships

The EUI has several post-doctoral fellowships in the social sciences

Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Max Weber Programme is Europe's largest postdoctoral programme in the social sciences and is funded by the European Commission.

Max Weber Fellowships are designed for junior post-docs who would like to pursue an academic career, concentrate on their own research and enhance their academic practice in a multidisciplinary environment. Max Weber Fellowships are for one or two years and are open to candidates who have received a doctorate in the social sciences (economics, law, political science, sociology, history and related fields) within the last five years.

Jean Monnet Fellowships

Through its Jean Monnet Fellowship Programme the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies offers fellowships to mid- and late-career scholars (while previously the Jean Monnet was a post-doctoral fellowship, it is now available only to those who received their PhD at least five years prior). During their stay at the RSCAS, fellows work on a research topic that fits well in the overall research profile of the RSCAS and participate in the academic life of the Centre and of the EUI. Jean Monnet Fellowships have a duration of one or two years and are open to candidates who have received a doctorate more than five years prior.

Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowships

Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowships provide a framework for established academics with an international reputation to pursue their research at the EUI. Fellowships last for up to ten months in one of the EUI's four Departments which in turn invite fellows to participate in departmental activities (seminars, workshops, colloquia, etc.).

Marie Curie Fellowships

The EUI (the Departments and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies) acts as a host institution for Marie Curie Fellowships which are awarded by the European Commission.

Canon Foundation Fellowships

The Canon Foundation and the EUI jointly award one Canon Foundation Fellowship each year for post-doctoral research at the EUI. The fellowship is open to candidates of Japanese nationality or permanent residents of Japan.

Academy of Finland Fellowships

The Academy of Finland awards fellowships for post-doctoral research at the EUI. A project to be funded shall serve Finnish research and society or international collaboration.

Australian European University Institute Fellowships Association Inc

The Australian European University Institute Fellowships Association Inc awards annually one six-month Postdoctoral Fellowship for the period January–June. The Postdoctoral Fellowship is available to those who have graduated with a PhD qualification within the last five years, and is open only to Australian citizens or residents employed in Australian universities.


The EUI is one of the leading social science research institutions in Europe, and with around 1,000 researchers at various levels in their careers also one of the largest graduate schools. The EUI Political and Social Science department was ranked first in Europe and fifth worldwide in the Hix ranking of such departments (which was published in 2004 and covered the period 1998–2002).[12] In November 2009, the same department was included in the Die Zeit 'CHE Excellence Ranking' for political science.[13]


The European University Institute is seated on the Tuscan hillside overlooking Florence and close to Fiesole. Many of the villas date from the Renaissance period and have been restored along with their landscaped gardens.


The main bodies are the Academic Council, the Research Council, the Budgetary Committee and the High Council (composed of the Member State delegates). The President of the Institute is Professor Renaud Dehousse, who is assisted in his duties by the Institute's Secretary General, Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi.

Institutional and research publications

Publications produced by the EUI are:[14]

  • EUI Life - a monthly newsletter, and EUI Times published four times a year.[15][16]
  • The President's Annual Report
  • Doctoral Grants & Postdoctoral Fellowships in Florence - an annual prospectus.
  • Robert Schuman Centre Brochure - published annually.

The EUI Research Repository Cadmus, EUI Research Repository contains the academic publications by the members of the EUI, where possible the Open Access full text-versions of publications (working papers, books, contributions to books, e-Books, articles, and theses). [17]


Many researchers who have taken doctorates at the EUI are employed as professors in leading universities, officials in European Institutions and international organizations, or hold positions in government administration. Approximately one third of EUI alumni work in a country other than their own.

Former presidents

Notable former faculty

Notable alumni


  1. See The President's Annual Report for 2015. Florence: European University Institute. 2016. p. 98. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  2. "European University Institute". Farnesina. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  3. "Convention setting up a European University Institute". Official Journal of the European Union. С (29). 1976.
  4. "Convention setting up a European University Institute". Government of the Netherlands. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  5. "Convention revising the Convention setting up a European University Institute". Government of the Netherlands. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  6. "A Brief History of the EUI". European University Institute. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  7. "Convention setting up a European University Institute as revised by the 1992 amending Convention" (PDF). European University Institute. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  8. Florence School of Regulation
  9. "New Migration Policy Centre". European Commission. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  10. Doctoral Programme
  11. Masters Programme in Law
  12. Simon Hix (2004) 'A Global Ranking of Political Science Departments', Political Studies Review 2(3) 293-313. Archived December 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  13. "CHE Excellence Ranking 2009". Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  14. Institutional and Research Publications Archived 2007-06-06 at the Wayback Machine
  15. EUI Life
  16. EUI Times
  17. "Library futures: European University Institute, Italy". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2018.

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