The Europa-Institut was founded at Saarland University in 1951, long before the signing of the Treaties of Rome. It constitutes the second eldest institution of its kind in Europe. The Institute was intended as the "jewel and symbol" of Saarland University, a university itself based on the merger of German and French educational traditions, founded under the aegis of France and the University of Nancy in 1948 and boasting personalities such as Robert Schumann amongst the first of its students. Professor Joseph-Francois Angelloz, the second vice chancellor of the University and first director of the Europa-Institut, proclaimed the University a "European university" in November 1950.


European Character
The Europa-Institut was initially established as an integral, and therefore dependent, part of Saarland University. A two-year study program was offered, taught by leading figures such as the French politician, academic and pioneer of the European movement André Philip. Students were awarded a certificate for the successful completion of their first study year, followed by a certificate in European Studies on completion of the entire study program after the second year. In addition, students had the opportunity to dedicate a further year to academic research and thus to earn their doctorate at the Institute.


From Fine Arts...
To begin with, almost all "European disciplines" were included in the study program, meaning that during the founding years of 1951 and 1952, the focus was on comparative literature, philosophy, history and musicology. Notwithstanding this, law and economics played an important, albeit complimentary, role from the very beginning. Given the influence of the gradual integration of the European Communities on the development of the curriculum, the legal and political dimensions of the course increasingly grew in importance.


The prominence of the Europa-Institut grew to reflect the evolvement of the European Communities. The establishment of an affiliated diplomacy department within the Institute in 1953 led to considerable structural change. The purpose of this department was to train students wishing to pursue a career in diplomacy or in the civil service of, what was at the time, the semi-autonomous Saarland region. In the meantime, the law, culture, economics and independent language department of the Institute further established themselves.


... to Law and Economy
Upon accession of the Saarland to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957, Saarland University adopted the German university system. The Europa-Institut, which up to that point was geared primarily towards cultural and literary studies, was transformed into a European research institute with law and economics as the focal point. It began operating with this concept in the autumn of 1957. In the mid-sixties, the study program was combined so as to constitute a single integrated course. The emphasis lay on the specific problems pertaining to the European integrational process and related instruments and practices. Law-based courses formed the core of the program, complemented by courses in history, politics and economics.


The postgraduate program "European Integration" was established in 1980 by the law department of the Institute, with Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Georg Ress and Prof. Dr. Michael R. Will as the first directors appointed to head it. In 1991, Prof. Dr. Torsten Stein from Heidelberg became one of the directors of the Europa-Institut and was joined in 1999 by Prof. Dr. Werner Meng from Halle. In 2012 Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich followed Professor Stein as Director of the Europa-Institut.


Since 2013, the study program is called Master´s program in "European and International Law".

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