KU-KIEP-SBS EU Centre and Nordic-Benelux Center co-hosted the celebration of Europe Day
One goal of the event was to apply the work and philosophies of Jean Monnet to the effort of regional integration and peacebuilding in East Asia.
High-ranking officials attending the event included Michael Reiterer, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.
The commemorative events for Europe Day took place at Korea University
Korea University (KU) – Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) – SBS – EU Centre (Executive Director, Sung-Hoon Park) and Nordic-Benelux Center (Director, Jae-Seung Lee), together with the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea (Ambassador, Michael Reiterer), co-hosted two celebration events: an international conference at Korea University International Studies Hall at 4 pm on May 9, and a reception at Sudang-Samyang Faculty House at 6 pm on the same day.
With the intention of commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Jean Monnet Programme, a European Union initiative for the development of European integration studies, the events were attended by diplomatic representatives of EU member countries to Korea and distinguished figures from home and abroad.
The conference, taking place under the theme of ‘Bringing Jean Monnet Back: Past, Present and Future,’ was attended by executive directors of EU centers at major universities participating in the Jean Monnet Programme. At the conference, attendees honored Jean Monnet’s achievements and shed new light on his philosophies and bold initiatives that are expected to have a significant meaning with regard to the peacebuilding process in Northeastern Asia.
Professor Jae-Seung Lee from Korea University put emphasis on the potential that the experiences of the EU members may bring to the Asian region in terms of cross-border connectivity. Dr. Heung-Chong Kim from KIEP expected the EU to continue to practice the fundamental philosophies of Jean Monnet despite lingering challenges related to Brexit. Echoing Professor Lee, Tae Hwang Kim, former president of the Korean Society of Contemporary European Studies, said that the Jean Monnet Programme made an undeniable contribution to strengthening the unity of young people in Europe, and he saw a great potential for this to be applied in Asia.
KU President Jin Taek Chung delivered a special closing speech at the conference. “Just as Jean Monnet believed, having people from different ethnic groups cooperate with each other is the most important foundation for peacebuilding and future prosperity,” said Chung, proposing that people in Northeastern Asia should unite.
Executive Director Sung-Hoon Park at the Korea University EU Centre also addressed the conference. “Achievements made by Jean Monnet, who is regarded as the father of European integration, can contribute to integration and peacemaking in Eastern Asia. Today’s event is all the more meaningful in this regard.”
Institutions in Korea that are currently members of the Jean Monnet Programme include Korea University, Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Pusan University, Kyungpook National University, and the Korean Society of Contemporary European Studies. Program members receive support from the European Union for education, research and academic exchanges.
▲[Attendees of the event posing for a commemorative photo:
Director of KU’s Nordic-Benelux Center, Jae-Seung Lee (3rd from left);
KU President, Jin Taek Chung (6th from left); EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea,
Michael Reiterer (7th from left); and Executive Director of KU-KIEP-SBS EU Centre,
Sung-Hoon Park (8th from left).