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The new Amsterdam Centre for Contemporary European Studies (ACCESS EUROPE), run jointly by VU University Amsterdam (VU) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), has been set up to gain a better understanding of the current crisis in Europe and changing relations between the European Union, the Netherlands and the rest of the world. To mark its opening, the joint institute will host an event entitled ‘Europe in Crisis – Resilient Europe’ on Wednesday, 22 and Thursday, 23 January.


ACCESS EUROPE has been established as an interdisciplinary platform for research, education, public events and debate. It will revolve around a core team of more than 80 UvA and VU researchers working in the fields of social and behavioural sciences, law, humanities and economics. Activities will focus on six themes: European Law and Governance, European Constitutionalism, Political Economy of Integration and Welfare, European Politics and Society, European Identity and Culture, and Europe and the World.


The official opening will start on 22 January with speeches by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker (via video feed), Dymph van den Boom (rector magnificus of the UvA), Jaap Winter (president of the VU Executive Board) and Andrée van Es (alderperson at the Municipality of Amsterdam and member of the ACCESS EUROPE Advisory Board). These speeches will be followed with presentations by Loukas Tsoukalis (professor of European Integration at the University of Athens and director of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy), Frank Vandenbroucke (professor by special appointment in the Den Uyl Chair at the UvA) and Brigid Laffan (director and professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute in Florence). On 23 January, academics and scholars from ACCESS EUROPE will take an in-depth look at current developments in Europe.  

Time, location and registration

The opening event 'Europe in Crisis – Resilient Europe' will take place on Wednesday, 22 and Thursday, 23 January at Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam. The official opening will start at 15:00 on 22 January; the in-depth afternoon programme on 23 January will start at 12:00. Admission is free of charge. To register, please send an email with your name to: In your email, please also state which day(s) you would like to attend.