In order to strengthen European Union-Hong Kong relations through academic work and network-building with local, regional and European partners, the European Union Academic Programme (EUAP) has been implemented since September 2012.
The European Union Academic Programme (EUAP) was a joint venture of the Hong Kong Consortium for European Studies (HKCEUS). Four local universities (Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University) had joined efforts so as to create regional synergies in European Union Studies. (See Organization >)
The EUAP was co-funded by a grant from the European Union between September 2012 and August 2017.
The grant agreement was endorsed by Prof. Rick Wong, Vice-President of Hong Kong Baptist University (Research & Development) together with Mr. Oliver Nette, Head of Unit, Public Diplomacy and Election Observation, European Commission.
History of European Union Academic Programme
The initiative to set up the European Union Centres(named as European Union Academic Programme in Hong Kong and Macau)started in the United States and Canada. Since its launch in 1998, the network has grown to 37 centres worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.
Bilateral relations between the European Union and Hong Kong have continued to flourish since the SAR returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Relations are above all practical and based on mutual interest and cover political, economic and trade ties. Both parties agreed to widen the scope of cooperation to encompass seven key areas, including trade and customs; finance; people-to-people links; transport; the environment; health, and food safety.
Despite strong political, economic and trade ties, the EU visibility of the EU is still rather limited in the general public and even among students. Academic ties have improved significantly since individual universities initiated European Studies programmes in the mid-1990s.But there is as yet no attempt to consolidate these into a coordinated strategy for the development of studies covering the European Union as a whole nor is there an initiative to promote the EU as a whole. The establishment of the EUAP was meant to provide impetus in these areas. It should encourage local institutions to deepen HK-EU academic links and thereby create important avenues for fostering mutual understanding and exchange.
After the round of the 5-year EU funding, Hong Kong Baptist University continues its effort in supporting the programme and the connections between Europe and Hong Kong.
Currently, the EAP Europe Asia Policy Centre for Comparative Research is an initiative of the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University to inform about current European affairs and strengthen dialogue between Hong Kong and Europe on all levels. It has succeeded the former European Union Academic Programme Hong Kong, operating from 2012 to 2017.