Back A 30-year long relationship with Syracuse University grows even stronger

A 30-year long relationship with Syracuse University grows even stronger

The Council of Europe and the US-based Syracuse University have announced a new agreement that strengthens and expands an existing relationship by providing internships for students studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, as well as research opportunities for students and faculty. The agreement provides for up to 12 student internships at the Council of Europe each year, widens the number of departments and divisions that Syracuse students can engage with, and broadens opportunities for research collaboration for Syracuse students and faculty.

The agreement was signed by Maxwell School Dean, David M. Van Slyke, and Deputy Secretary General (DSG) of the Council of Europe, Bjørn Berge, on 8 December in Washington, D.C.

At the signing ceremony, the Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge emphasised that the over 30-years-long relationship between the two institutions is already strong and impactful: “Just imagine the number of excellent students who have benefitted from this programme, and that are now serving or working in so many different roles in our societies on both sides of the Atlantic. I have no doubt that all of this has had a lasting impact, and many will have fond memories of their short, but hopefully inspiring, experience with the Council of Europe. For us, as an organisation, we have also greatly benefitted from the professionalism and experience of the excellent students enrolled at Syracuse University. So I hope – and even underline – that I think this has been a win-win arrangement for us all.”

Van Slyke said the agreement’s timing aligns with two milestones — 50 years of Syracuse Abroad in Strasbourg and the Maxwell School’s 100th anniversary in 2024. "While the United States is not a member of the Council of Europe, it has close links as an Observer state, and your presence here today, Mr Deputy Secretary General, is a sign that the United States and Council of Europe are indeed partners.” He said that it is also well-timed with the recent launch of the IDJC, a joint initiative of the Maxwell School and the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. “A broad range of Syracuse and Maxwell faculty and students are focused on issues related to polarisation, misinformation and disinformation, access to information, and democracy. The new Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship, led by Ms Margaret Talev, offers another potential resource, partner, and source of collaboration. As Ms Talev has said, ‘Current and emerging challenges to democracy are everyone’s problem and can’t be fixed alone.”

The Syracuse University Strasbourg Director John Goodman underlined that “For students interested in international affairs, human rights, democracy, political science and related topics, Strasbourg is a great place to study internationally”. Goodman is a former diplomat for various humanitarian organisations and played a key role in cultivating the University’s deepened relationship with the Council of Europe. “Thanks to Syracuse’s 50-year presence in the city, students have direct access to working practitioners in major international bodies. It is extremely rare and valuable to have the chance to work inside some of the world’s preeminent inter-governmental institutions,” he added. “Syracuse’s relationship with the Council of Europe is a gem of an opportunity for Syracuse students.”

The relationship between the Council of Europe and Syracuse University began in in the early 1990s, growing out of the Syracuse University Centre in Strasbourg's strong historical reputation and network of partnerships in the region, as well as several European countries. Throughout the years, an estimated 300 Syracuse students have been able to benefit from Council of Europe internships, adding to the wide array of programmes affiliated with the Syracuse University Centre in Strasbourg.


Deputy Secretary General Strassbourg 5 January 2024
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