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Europa Institute

H.L. Wesseling Fund

The Europa Institute has been the beneficiary of a generous grant from the H.L. Wesseling Fund. The Fund was established in memory of Professor Henk Wesseling (6 August 1937 – 18 August 2018), Dutch historian, Professor of contemporary history at Leiden University, and former rector of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study.

The Fund aims to provide financial support for studies, excursions, projects, and other initiatives that contribute to the knowledge and achievement of the aims of the European Union, in the broadest sense of the word. These aims are set out in Article 3 of the Treaty on the European Union.

The teaching activities of the Europa Institute cover many of these objectives. The Europa Institute continues to follow the philosophy of Professor Wesseling (Wikipedia page), namely, that an understanding of the EU’s legal order is only possible when European integration is considered in its broader historical, but also social, economic, and political contexts. In the words of Professor Wesseling himself:

"Men kan niet breken met de geschiedenis, doch is veroordeeld haar voort te zetten, en om haar voort te zetten moet men trachten haar te begrijpen en zin te geven." (uit: Oorlog lost nooit iets op, 1995, p. 30).

(“One cannot break away from history, yet is bound to continue her and, to do so, one must try to understand her and give meaning to her.” (from: War never solves anything, 1995, p. 30)).

One of his favourite subjects of study was French President Charles de Gaulle who, at many points in his life, changed the course of European history including, more specifically, that of the European Community, the forerunner of today’s Union.

Europa Institute activities made possible by the H.L. Wesseling fund

It is through the support of the Wesseling Fund that the Europa Institute can organise its annual RIO/Wesseling trip to the centres of European law (Strasbourg, Brussels, and Luxemburg) at reduced costs. During this week, students from the European Law LL.M. visit a range of European institutions and organisations. Not without reason, the trip starts in Strasbourg, the home of the ECHR, and also includes a visit to the former concentration camp Natzweiler Struthof, a testimony to the dark past upon which European integration was conceived.

The Wesseling Fund also contributes to the participation of students from the European Law LL.M. in various extra-curricular moot court competitions, such as the European Law Moot Court Competition, and the Helga Pedersen Moot Court Competition.

Funding for individual projects of European Law students: send in your request!

Students from the European Law LL.M.  may apply for financial support under the Fund. For instance, support may be available to enable student participation in conferences (in the Netherlands or abroad), moot court competitions, summer or winter schools, or any other initiative that would fall within the objectives of the fund.

In accordance with the objectives of the fund, students from MA History can also apply for funding for a project that falls within the scope of the fund.

Requests may be directed to the programme assistant of the European Law LL.M., Lisa van Zelm (EL@law.leidenuniv.nl). Applications can be made for an amount up to a maximum of EUR 1000,- per person. Applications will be reviewed by the daily board of the Europa Institute. Each application should be accompanied by a letter of motivation, which explains how the supported initiative would contribute to the objectives of the Fund and includes also a justification for the amount requested (e.g. registration costs, travel, and accommodation costs). After the activity has been completed, you will be asked to submit proof of attendance/payment and a short written report.

We encourage students to apply responsibly and based on their actual needs, to make sure that support goes to students who can benefit most.


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