Ben Gurion University
Ben Gurion UniversityIsrael news photo: BGU

The European Union has chosen Ben Gurion University to create Israel’s only National Jean Monnet Center of Excellence in European Studies.

It is the first time in history that an Israeli university has been honored with a National Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, named after one of the founders of the European Union.

The program was launched by the EU in 1989 in Monnet’s memory, to encourage excellence in research and teaching of European studies in institutes of higher education around the world. 

Israel’s center – one of 162 such initiatives -- is the result of a joint effort by the Center for the Study of European Politics and Society, and BGU’s Department of Politics and Government.

Dr. Sharon Pardo, Jean Monnet chair in European Studies and a member of the department, was appointed to head the new center.  Funding is being provided by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission.

EU Ambassador to Israel Andrew Standley called the award “a great achievement, the result of the consistent commitment that you and your team have always demonstrated.” He warmly congratulated Pardo and university officials on the establishment of the national center.

Israel is considered an associated state of the European Union, with relations between the two framed in the European Neighborhood Police (ENP), the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean.