10 years of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies

The College of Europe is celebrating ten successful years of its EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies programme. Launched in September 2006, the study programme responded to a growing interest among students, scholars and practitioners in the EU’s external relations and in European diplomacy. 

In light of the Lisbon Treaty—and aware that international issues have become increasingly intertwined, while more and more domestic policies have acquired an external dimension as well—the College anticipated a growing demand for qualified professionals in this field, be it in national administrations and foreign services of the EU member states or of third countries, in the European Union and international organizations, but also in the private and civil society sectors.

From the very start, the study programme attracted an unexpectedly high number of applicants. As a result, the initial target number of up to 40 students for the academic year 2006-2007 was adjusted to a first intake of 62 students from over 30 different countries in the Copernicus promotion. Today, the Department aims to welcome around 90 students every year. In its first decade, EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies formed a network of around 770 alumni worldwide. Many of them are today working as diplomats, EU officials, national or international officials, but also in consultancies or other areas. 

On 27 October 2016, the study programme celebrated its 10th anniversary with a day of events, including a high-level EU Diplomacy Lecture by Dr. Javier SOLANA (former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy), an alumni roundtable and an honorary lecture of the founding Director, Professor Dieter MAHNCKE. 

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