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Exploring opportunities for cooperation with the Council of Europe

A new collaboration between the Council of Europe and institutions in Southern Norway opens up new opportunities in research, education and democracy building.

Sunniva Whittaker og Bjørn Magnus Berge foran Campus Kristiansand

Rector of UiA, Sunniva Whittaker and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Bjørn Magnus Berge.

UiA and five other institutions in Kristiansand form a partnership that on Monday 23 August signed a new cooperation agreement with the Council of Europe. The agreement states that the Council of Europe will coorganise the Annual European Conference in Kristiansand.

“This is a collaboration with important institutions, and to achieve our common goals, the university is one of the most important”, says Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Bjørn Magnus Berge.

He visited UiA to learn more about what the university already does in the area and what can be further developed.

“The fact that UiA organises its own Democracy Week is very interesting”, Berge says.

Rector Sunniva Whittaker received the Deputy Secretary General at Campus Kristiansand.

“It is great for UiA to be part of this collaboration, and we are excited about the benefits we all derive from it”, Whittaker says. 

Increased research cooperation

Stefan Gänzle

UiA has a strong research environment focusing on the EU and democracy. The group has been awarded the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, an international recognition of the quality of European research that is taking place here.

“The objectives of the oldest organisation for democracy and human rights in Europe coincide well with UiA’s strategic priority area: democracy and active citizenship. This collaboration increases the opportunities for us here at UiA to work with the other partners to take a closer look at how the Council of Europe handles democratic challenges with relation to human rights, the judiciary and the freedom of the press”, says Head of the Department of Political Science and Management, Stefan Gänzle.

“This agreement gives us an excellent opportunity to interact with the practice and policy field, which will be useful in both research and education”, Gänzle says.

The partners in the collaboration are Kristiansand municipality, the University of Agder, ARKIVET Peace and Human Rights Centre, the Cultiva Foundation, Kilden Performing Arts Centre and Sørlandets Kunstmuseum/Kunstsilo.



The partners at the signing. Photo: Kristiansand municipality

Read more about the collaboration on the Kristiansand municipality website.