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UK leaves European University Institute

UK-funded students enrolled at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence have been notified that the UK has ended their participation in EUI, after 44 years of collaboration. The interim arrangement will end in December 2022. This comes as a major side effect of Brexit, although the EUI is not related to the treaties governing UK’s relationship with the EU. The EUI was established in 1972 by the six founding members of the then European Communities and it acts as a research institute dedicated to social sciences and humanities independent from the EU.

Both sides confirmed they came close to an agreement and negotiated in a good faith but were not able to overcome the stipulation of the UK's regular attendance at the EUI’s highest decision-making body as a non-member; this was rejected by other member countries on the basis that there must be a distinction between members and non-members. It seems as this was a symbolic and political decision rather than a managerial one.

The UK government remains open to future collaboration with the EUI, and Renaud Dehousse, EUI’s president, told Times Higher Education that the EUI’s “high council had recently agreed to explore other forms of partnership with non-EU countries, driven in part by wider political conceptions of Europe, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

More information on Times Higher Education.