History of CIFE
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The Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) was born out of a crisis of European integration.

In 1954, when the European Defense Community had failed, our founder Alexandre Marc considered that states could not be relied upon to build a united, federal Europe. Rather, citizens had to be educated to become the vanguard of this project. 

In its early years, CIFE's programmess focused on spreading the idea of a united Europe among citizens of all professions. Over the past three decades, our organisation has shifted its focus to interdisciplinary and itinerant master programmes for international students. Today, we offer seven different master's programmes and various short educational formats. In continuously expanding its field of activity, CIFE has been supported by an operating grant from the European Union. 

This unparalleled assessment of service to a peaceful, prosperous and more just Europe owes much to CIFE’s presidents: Grégoire GAFENCO, Enzo GIACCHERO, Jean REY,  Lord George THOMSON, Gaston THORN, Émile NOËL, Michel ALBERT, Jean-Claude JUNCKER, Philippe Maystadt and today Herman Van Rompuy.
It also owes much to those who have been Directors, Alexandre Marc then Ferdinand Kinsky and all their collaborators, expert as much as loyal, to their objective. It owes much finally to all those who have answered the call for the development of the EU and passed on throughout the continent the message that CIFE has taught them.

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This unparalleled assessment of service to a peaceful, prosperous and more just Europe owes much to CIFE’s presidents: Grégoire GAFENCO, Enzo GIACCHERO, Jean REY,  Lord George THOMSON, Gaston THORN, Émile NOËL, Michel ALBERT, Jean-Claude JUNCKER…
It also owes much to those who have been Directors, Alexandre Marc then Ferdinand Kinsky and all their collaborators, expert as much as loyal, to their objective. It owes much finally to all those who have answered the call for the development of the EU and passed on throughout the continent the message that CIFE has taught them.

 

 

Mission Statement
 

  • Inspired by the European model: living together in peace, prosperity and with responsibility

  • With an international team and decentralised structures

  • With a federal concept of European education: “unity in diversity”


At CIFE, we firmly believe that European integration is an historical achievement, a model of how people may live together in mutual tolerance and respect, in peace, in prosperity and with a shared responsibility. CIFE’s share of responsibility in a Europe looking towards the future, is to teach and learn about European integration and to enable students to share this knowledge, over and above pure scientific interest.

CIFE itself lives up to what it teaches:  Our staff is international, with employees from France and Germany, Belgium, Romania, Moldova, North Macedonia and Turkey. With offices in Nice and Berlin, in Brussels, Tunis and Istanbul, CIFE’s decentralised, almost federal structure allows for autonomous teams to run academic programmes to meet specific requirements, and yet binds the whole team together in terms of its European commitment.

In CIFE’s vision of Europeans living together, federal structures would best allow for a reasonable balance between diversity and unity. The choice of federalism means an ongoing, open process of addressing each problem, each task and challenge, at the level of governance best suited to deal with it – led by the principle of subsidiarity. Understood in this way, federalism is a method, an attitude, which must be continuously under review. CIFE is committed to this open-end method of reshaping the European model, together with its global academic network of colleagues and its students from all continents.

 

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