The European University Institute (EUI) is a unique academic establishment founded in 1972 by the Member States of the European Community. The main purpose of the Institute is to promote research and doctoral and post-doctoral studies in the field of social sciences. Its four departments - Economics, History and Civilization, Law, Political and Social Sciences - host and train more than 600 researchers from over 60 countries involved in one of the most prestigious research programmes recognised in Europe and the world.
21 Member States of the European Union are currently part of the EUI but the Institute has also signed association agreements with a number of countries outside the EU (Turkey, Switzerland, Norway and Russia).
The countries of the European Union provide scholarships for their graduates at the EUI and to this end the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants a number of scholarships to Italian researchers every year. Thirty-five scholarships were granted in 2013 amounting to a total of 578,510 euros.
The Ministry also grants scholarships to foreign citizens from Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Turkey. In 2013, these scholarships - amounting to 284,050 euros in total - benefited 22 students from Croatia, the Russian Federation, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.
The Institute is unique among the world's academic establishments. Thanks to its distinctly international environment, the EUI offers an extremely high standard of academic training, enriches the intellectual and human experience, and provides exceptional opportunities for researchers, professors and fellows, spanning across multiple disciplines and crossing geographic and linguistic barriers. Its alumni include some of the leading international experts in the field of social sciences.
The community as a whole includes over 1000 members studying and working in the fourteen buildings located in the hills around Fiesole and Florence. Some of these are owned by the Italian Government, which has provided magnificent historic sites for the Institute's activities since 1976. Heads of State, political leaders and internationally renowned academics are regular guests at the EUI and take part in its prestigious programme of conferences, workshops, courses and summer schools.
The Institute also includes the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, a specialised centre for applied, interdisciplinary and comparative research focused on the topics of major importance for the European Union and the rest of the world, and the Max Weber Programme, which every year prepares a growing number of fellows for a professional career in the academic sector.
The EUI library holds almost half a million books and a vast amount of electronic resources in the specialised areas of the Institute. This asset attracts many local and national scholars who would not easily find this material elsewhere.
The campus also houses the Historical Archives of the European Union, where, under an agreement between the European Commission and the EUI, the various institutions of the EU, except for the Court of Justice of the European Union, deposit their archives. The documents held here are an incomparable asset for understanding the genesis and development of European integration and are evidence of the EU's commitment to preserving Europe's history.