On January 1, 2022, France succeeded Slovenia and took over the rotating Presidency of the European Union's Council (PFUE), one of Europe's most important institutions, for the thirteenth time. For six months, it will ensure that the implementation of its program is in line with that of the trio it forms with the Czech Republic and Sweden.
Among its ambitions:
- A new European growth model to make Europe a great continent of production, job creation, innovation and technological excellence
- A more human Europe that listens to the concerns of its citizens and is faithful to its values and culture
- A Europe that is more sovereign, stronger and capable of acting in matters of security, defence and the prosperity and stability of its neighbourhood
On this last point, the French Presidency makes it a point of honour to increase its commitment to the Western Balkans and to develop and strengthen relations and cooperation between Europe and Africa.
In order to ensure the influence of the French Presidency on civil society, to transmit and invite reflection on its values, ambitions and projects, more than 400 events will be organized during the next six months throughout France and abroad. In this dynamic, Aix-Marseille Université and CIVIS, the European Civic University, are organising from March 9 to 11 an event under the PFUE label on the role of European university alliances in Europe-Africa collaboration in higher education, an issue at the heart of the current French Presidency of the European Union's Council.
The PFUE event organized in Marseille by Aix-Marseille University and CIVIS, the European Civic University it coordinates, is a continuation of the event organized in Marseille by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) on international cooperation.
The European Universities Initiative (EUI) of the European Union (EU) is widely considered to be the most important policy project within European higher education and research. The European University Alliances now involve nearly 300 institutions, and their goals are ambitious:
- Enhance student and staff mobility between member institutions
- Create joint curricula and degrees
- Promote challenge-based teaching, research and societal engagement.
In striving to achieve these goals, members of the university alliances are developing new and profound forms of cooperation in the European higher education landscape.
From March 9 to 11, Europe-Africa relations in the field of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the role that European universities can play in it will be at the heart of this event labelled PFUE.
In parallel, a series of roundtables and working groups will be held around these issues, the members of CIVIS and their African partners:
- Hassan II University, Casablanca (Morocco)
- University of Sfax, Sfax (Tunisia)
- Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar (Senegal)
- Makerere University, Kampala (Uganda)
- University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa)
- Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo (Mozambique)
These three days of meetings will be an opportunity to bring together international, territorial and academic actors and members of CIVIS around one objective: to help build bridges in training, research, innovation and society between Europe and Africa.