Post-referendum message from UACES Chair

The UACES Network |

I’m writing in my capacity as UACES Chair on the day after the UK voted by referendum to leave the EU.  UACES began its life in December 1967 before the UK joined the then EEC, and I see no reason for us not to continue with our mission as the UK negotiates its exit, and thereafter. That mission is

(…) to advance education for the public benefit through the promotion of teaching and research in contemporary European Studies’.

If anything, the public need us more than ever, and I think that we need each other more than ever too.  Our Annual Conference this coming September 2016 in London will happen in a perfect time and place for us collectively to exchange our thoughts and ideas on this development, and to look positively to the future.  Yes, we may find EU funding trickier to secure, maybe, but we have already begun discussions on diversifying our income streams.  Yes, we may encounter personal and professional challenges following this vote. But it’s happened.  We have our 50th anniversary to celebrate next year, and we have even more to write about as well.  I’ll say more in due course but for now I want to end on a couple of messages. First, I’m acutely aware that UACES didn’t take a stand over the referendum; our charitable status complicates that, even though I acknowledge that our members are predominantly in the ‘Remain’ camp.  Second, I’d like to thank our office staff, Emily, Richard and Josh, who we rely on now more than ever to keep us going.

Professor Helen Drake, Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration and Chair, UACES