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The Jean Monnet Programme: understanding European integration

30 November 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 30 November 2010

The EU Jean Monnet Programme stimulates teaching, research and reflection on European integration in higher education institutions worldwide.


As part of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme, Jean Monnet funds three main types of activities:

  • The Jean Monnet Action (support for university-level teaching and research projects in European integration studies) includes the creation of Jean Monnet Chairs, Centres of Excellence, Modules, information and research activities as well as support for academic associations of professors and researchers in European integration.


    Jean Monnet projects are selected on the basis of their academic merits and following a process of rigorous and independent peer review. Jean Monnet projects are run with strict respect for the principle of academic autonomy and freedom.

    Originally launched in 1989, these projects are present in 62 countries across the five continents. Between 1990 and 2009, the Action has helped to set up 141 Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence, 775 Jean Monnet Chairs and 1,137 Jean Monnet Modules and permanent courses. These projects bring together 1,500 professors, and reach 250,000 students every year.

  • Support for six specific academic institutions: the College of Europe (with campuses in Bruges [BE] and Natolin [PL]), the European University Institute, the European Institute of Public Administration, the Academy of European Law, the International Centre for European Training, and the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education.
  • Support for European-wide associations active in education and training and present in at least 12 EU Member States. There is a specific annual call for proposals for the selection of these associations.

High-level policy reflection

The Jean Monnet Programme has created an ongoing debate with the academic world to reflect on political issues of European integration, including the EU's role in the dialogue between peoples and cultures.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture organises this type of reflection through:

  • Jean Monnet Conferences that allow decision-makers to benefit from academic reflection, to promote the interaction between the academic community, policy-makers and civil society; and to stimulate new thinking on policy issues;
  • Jean Monnet Thematic Groups with a selected number of Jean Monnet professors and other intellectuals to discuss particular topics of political interest with European Commission officials and Members of the European Parliament;
  • Jean Monnet policy support on intercultural dialogue: the Commission’s Jean Monnet unit assists the work of the ‘High-Level Advisory Group on the Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area’.

Source: European Commission

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