Centre International de Formation Européenne

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CIFE - Centre international de formation européenne
Motto"Learning and living Europe"
FounderAlexandre Marc
TypeNon-governmental organization (French international association)
Headquarters81 Rue de France 06000-Nice, France
ServicesMaster's education, Executive Master in EU Studies, Advanced European & International Studies, Global Energy Transition, Economic Governance & Public Affairs
Herman Van Rompuy
Jean-Antoine Giansily
Director General
Matthias Waechter
SubsidiariesInstitut européen·European Institute, Presses d'Europe; L'Europe en formation.
AffiliationsJean Monnet Programme ; Erasmus+

Campuses in Nice and Berlin. Office in Brussels.

Representations in Istanbul and Tunis.

Established in 1954, the CIFE - Centre international de formation européenne is a private institute of higher education and research whose activities include European studies, master's education, training courses as well as conferences, seminars and publications. The activities of the CIFE encompass educational and research activities concerning European integration, federalism, regionalism and changes within the structures of contemporary society in accordance with a federalist prospective.[1] The Centre international de formation européenne (Abbreviation: CIFE. English: International Centre for European Studies; German: Internationales Zentrum für europäische Bildung; Chinese: 欧洲研究国际中心) has its head office in Nice and a branch office in Berlin. CIFE receives the support of the European Union and other international organisations, of numerous national governments as well as regional and local authorities, foundations, and private contributors. It is one of the six institutions which benefit from the Jean Monnet Programme "Support for specified institutions pursuing an aim of European interest" of the European Commission.[2]

Former President of the European Council and former Belgian Minister of State, Herman Van Rompuy, was elected President of the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), on 26 January 2018. He succeeds Philippe Maystadt, appointed in January 2015 (deceased in December 2017), and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of CIFE from 2005 until his election as President of the European Commission in 2014.


Alexandre Marc, recognised by some scholars as one of the most renowned founding fathers of Personalist Federalism[3] established CIFE partly as an educational institution where personalist federalism would be taught as opposed to the oppression of individual liberty by both centralist collectivism and exaggerated individualism,[4] which appeared during the early 1930s in Nazi Germany and in the Soviet Union.[5] In 1964, CIFE founded its own post-graduate institute, the European Institute of High International Studies (IEHEI)(Chinese: 欧洲学院), with the support of the City of Nice and the European Commission. Since its foundation, the Institute has formed multiple ties of cooperation with universities notably in Germany, Italy, Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe to deliver academic education of international impact.[6] The Institute is actively constituted by an international faculty, consisting of university professors and experts from all over the world. CIFE is proud to increasingly endorse diversity year after year with an international student body made up by people of various distinguished backgrounds.[7] In 2013, Matthias Waechter succeeded to Hartmut Marhold as Director General, who has led the institution since 2002 and who continues to work at CIFE as Director of research and development.

Teaching and Research activities[edit]

Master in Advanced European and International Studies[edit]

The Master in Advanced European and International Studies is a one-year advanced master's study programme designed for students who have at least completed their undergraduate studies with obtained academic degrees equivalent to or higher than a full-time Bachelor's. The programmes focus on European and International studies. Aimed at giving students an encompassing vision of the political, social, economic, and cultural issues of modern world, the programme has the unique feature of promoting European mobility of its students. There are three branches available, each of them designed to allowing the students to live in different countries and experience different aspects of European integration and foreign politics, also allowing them to develop, inter alia, languages' knowledge and other soft skills.[8] This master's study programme is divided into the following branches by the unique characteristics of the faculty, the curriculum, the locations of lectures and the students. At the end of the programme, the participants are required to independently complete and successfully defend a qualified master's thesis which strictly conforms to contemporary international academic standards and requirements at the directorship of a member of the faculty.

The Trilingual Studies branch (English, French, German)[edit]

Established over 40 years ago, the Trilingual branch of the Master in Advanced European and International Studies is the longest-standing educational programme of CIFE.[9] Over the years, more than 2000 students, from over 100 countries, have followed this course. It is known to be one of the few master's programmes in European and International Studies where the languages of instruction are three: French, English, and German. The programme of the Trilingual branch includes terms in Nice, Berlin and Canterbury. A study trip to the European and international institutions completes the programme. The approaches adopted in this programme offer students and educators alike with enriching perspectives: in Nice, the French vision of Europe prevails; in Berlin the perspective on Central and Eastern Europe is approached, from a stand point which allows to analyse the Enlargement of the European Union process. Overall, the Trilingual branch seeks to offer the students insight into the fundamental elements of European integration: French-German relations.

The European integration and Global Studies - (Anglophone branch)[edit]

The Anglophone branch started in October 2005, at the very moment the negotiations for the Accession of Turkey to the European Union began.[10] To help the students analysing this process, the programme includes terms in Istanbul, Nice and Berlin, and it is complemented by a study trip to European and international organisations in Europe. In Istanbul, the process of the Europeanization of Turkey is a central topic, together with the neighbourhood policies and external relations of the European Union with the Caucasus countries and Central Asia. In Nice, the students continue to be cultivated with topics of both historical and contemporary significance with the help of distinguished professors, experts and current and former employees of EU bodies, governments and international organisations EU-wide; they undergo mid-term examinations and are taken to selected EU institutions international organisations and governments for formal visits. And in Berlin, the students prepare themselves for final examinations and thesis drafting. Meanwhile, they are encouraged to participate in academic activities held across Berlin by various universities and organisations. Successful candidates graduate with Master in Advanced European and International Studies, 60 ECTS credits.

The Global Energy Transition and Governance branch[edit]

The Master in Global Energy Transition and Governance aims to give a deep understanding of the complexity of the current energy transformations in Europe and worldwide. With its unique, multidisciplinary approach, the programme analyses the links between the different levels of energy governance, from an international to a local level, offering theoretical and practical courses in the fields of energy policy, geopolitics, and the EU transition model. The programme is based in Nice and Berlin, and is complemented by a study trip to Brussels.

The Mediterranean studies branch - (English and French)[edit]

To follow the evolution of international context triggered by the events of the Arab Spring, in March 2015 a Memorandum of understanding was signed by CIFE and the Université internationale de Tunis [fr],[11] which lead to the creation of a Mediterranean branch of the master, with study-locations Nice, Tunis and Istanbul.

Executive Master in EU Studies[edit]

The Executive Master in EU Studies: this programme is intended for young professionals who wish to update their knowledge of contemporary issues concerning the EU and the world, especially political, economical and juridical questions within the framework of the European Union. An e-learning platform stores the course materials and enables interaction among participants as well as with experts in designated areas. Face-to-face workshops that complement the virtual activities take place in different European capitals such as Berlin, Rome, Budapest or Brussels, where the participants get to meet each other and national decision makers, and constitute a dynamic, international network. The Executive Master in EU Studies Programme allows the students to enrich their studies on governance and management, while enhancing the person's executive capabilities as well as critical thinking. Successful participants will receive a diploma that assists in their pursue of career improvement.

The European Union and Central Asia in the International System (EUCAIS) - Online Master[edit]

The Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) and the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) offer an Online Master Study Programme in „Studies on the EU and Central Asia in the International System"(EUCAIS). The programme is open to post-graduates and young professionals from Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and the Chinese Province of Xinjiang). It offers a combination of e-learning and on-campus study-phases in Berlin and Brussels. The Online Master Programme receives significant funding from the VolkswagenFoundation (Germany).

The programme aims at intesifying the knowledge of the EU integration process, to better understand recent developments in the relations between the EU and Central Asia, as well as the situation of these regions in the international economic and political system. The study mode provides access to a recognised European network and to EU-Central Asia academic exchange programmes. Its alumni are considered well qualified for future careers in Central Asian universities or to work in international organisations, foundations and development agencies in Central Asia. In general, they build networks among academic participants of the Online Academy in Central Asia and strengthen their abilities in scientific work and writing.

European Online Academy for Senior Citizens (ESOA)[edit]

The European Online Academy for Senior citizens offers elderly people the chance of further education. It offers extensive online information as well as face-to-face seminars. Innovative learning methods are adopted for senior citizens who would like to take part in the process of European integration actively and those who wish to help benefit Europe from their experiences and qualifications. The ESOA helps the elderly generations contribute to the development of EU and, at the same time, their ideas and valuable experiences receive rescue from oblivion.

Summer University[edit]

Each summer, CIFE organises the "Université d'été-Summer University" in various European countries. These programmes offer time for reflection on topics and debates of international interest. Some of the past editions included: "Relations between North America and Europe" (Austria), "National Minorities -Today and Tomorrow" (Opole, Berlin and Strasbourg), "The Black Sea region in the enlargement EU" (Moldova, Chişinău), "The relations between the European Union and Turkey" (Turkey, Istanbul), "Actions of the EU against the climatic and environmental changes -problems and perspectives" (Croatia) and "The Europe and rights -effective application of the communitaire right among the EU members" (Sofia, Bulgaria).

Research Projects[edit]

CIFE is part of the consortium of the FEUTURE - The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios - project and of the consortium of the SEnECA - Strengthening and Energizing EU-Central Asia Relations - project. Both are projects receiving fundings of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.


CIFE is also a research centre; its scientific production includes regularly books, brochures, and reviews focused on EU affairs, International Relations and federalism.

L'Europe en formation[edit]

L'Europe en formation is a bilingual journal (which includes French and English articles) dealing with European integration, international relations and federalism, with a transdisciplinary approach bringing together political philosophy, law, economics, sociology and culture.

The journal was first launched in 1960 and has set up a scientific committee in 2008 in order to enhance its scholarly profile.

EU-27 Watch[edit]

The EU-27 Watch has been monitoring debates on EU policy for 12 years and provides a rich set of material from national debates on European policy and thus a unique source for diachronic analyses. Currently, this internet based publication reviews the discourses on European policies in 31 countries in a comparative perspective.

Books and brochures[edit]

CIFE publishes books and brochures on selected subjects, presenting the major problems that challenge European integration. Each edition contains scientific analysis upon a central theme, scientific contributions on various topics, opinions as well as detailed briefing papers on developments in European and World politics.

External links[edit]