Chair’s Message – February 2017

The UACES Network |

As UACES enters its 50th year, our golden anniversary celebrations are already underway.  Thanks to our ongoing European Commission funding and in conjunction with our partners at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy, we have set the wheels in motion for a conference at the EUI on 12-13 October 2017. At that event we will be drawing on the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU)  at the EUI for ideas and lessons for the next 50 years of Britain’s relations with the European Union (EU). I’m delighted to announce that the competition for an early career scholar to take a first look at the UACES archives has come to an end – you can read who our chosen scholar is in this newsletter. More information on this event will follow via our usual channels of communication.

At our 47th Annual Conference to be held from 4-6 September 2017 in Krakow, Poland, we will also make space for a reflection on UACES’ first 50 years, alongside the hundreds of research papers and the ‘non-traditional’ panel events for which proposals have been received.  At the Conference we will as usual be celebrating our members’ achievements with a number of prizes and awards; the judging for the Best Book and Best PhD Thesis prizes is already underway.  This year we add a brand new prize in memory of our late executive director: the Luke Foster prize for JCER Best Article of 2016. This is generously funded by our partnership with the James Madison Charitable Trust, is worth £500 and is for the best article published by an early career academic (no more than 5 years since the completion of their PhD) in JCER in 2016. Two runner-up prizes worth £250 each will also be awarded.  JCER readers will decide on the best article with their votes and voting is now open. Find out more here

So make sure you don’t miss out on the Annual Conference – registration for the conference opens in March 2017.

The Annual Conference will also mark a period of change for UACES.  Electronic voting opens on 1 March for a new Secretary to take up post in September 2017, replacing Rebecca Zahn who will have completed three very demanding years in the post. The post of Secretary is crucial to the smooth running of the Association, and I thank Rebecca wholeheartedly for her contributions to ensuring that UACES runs as professionally and sustainably as possible.  Voting is also open for an additional two new Committee members to replace Maria Garcia and Simon Lightfoot who will be stepping down at the end of their term in September.  I would like to thank them both for all their work.

And finally, I have to announce that our long-standing staff member and digital communications manager Richard Lewis is leaving us after seven years with UACES.  Richard’s work has been invaluable in many respects, notably his success in building the various digital channels with which we communicate with each other, and with those outside the Association: our website, this newsletter (now entirely digital, thanks to Richard); Expert on Europe and Ideas on Europe.  Richard is leaving in order to embrace new career opportunities.  We will miss him terribly, and thank him for being such a wonderful colleague.  Good luck, Richard.

Helen Drake, Loughborough University

20 February 2017