CIFE  >  Who we are


For over 60 years, we have been unstinting advocates of European integration through our international and interdisciplinary study programmes.

CIFE is a private institution of higher education and research, founded in 1954 with its head office in Nice and branch offices in Berlin, Brussels and Istanbul.
It receives special funding in the framework of the Jean Monnet Programme of the European Union.

Every year, students from all continents and a wide range of countries enrol in its programmes, which lead to a degree at Master's level (EQF 7).

The graduates of CIFE's Master programmes work as Senior officials in European institutions, policy officers within the UN framework, administrators, diplomats, consultants, researchers for think tanks, lobbyists, and academic experts.



For more than 60 years the Centre international de formation européenne has been promoting the values of Europe, European integration and governance, multilingualism and student mobility through its European and international higher education programmes. As CIFE President I am pleased to be able to contribute to the next stage in the development of this academic institution.

Herman Van ROMPUY
President Emeritus of the European Council 
Belgian Minister of State
President of CIFE (since January 2018) 



Philippe Maystadt, President of CIFE from 2015 to 2017 (deceased on 7.12.2017)

European integration does not run smoothly, long, quiet river; its course takes it through crises and dramas. But this chaotic progression, even as it winds its way or even meanders through some complicated byway, still manages to go further along the path to integration. The troubles and reforms in the euro zone since 2010 have highlighted a few basic features of this evolution.
First of all, there is one aspect that is often underestimated by non-European observers: as it turns out, the political will to continue the common work is stronger than market logic or the forecasts of economists. Thus, the political choice to "do everything necessary" to preserve the single currency has been all those who have been talking about its imminent demise wrong.
Secondly, there is the ability to change. Since 2010, a number of "taboos" have been abandoned as "red lines" have been crossed. In the European Union, the European Banking Union in its twin dimensions of supervision and resolution ... All of these being initiatives which, at the beginning of the troubles in the euro area, many governments did not want to hear about! Of course, the confusion in which these arguments are prepared and decided, the difficulty of understanding difficult compromises,
Finally, there is growing involvement of heads of state and government in common affairs, which we tend to take over from the weakening of Community Institutions. But is it not a sign that the European dimension is becoming ever more present in national politics? Is it not a consequence of the fact that, growing out interdependence, European integration has become more important?
CIFE is helping young people -both European and non-European- better understand this adventure: how does the European Union develop and function, how it was born, how does it space and shape keep changing, how it reacts to the world's transformations, how it is ever reinventing itself and growing stronger ...

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium
Former President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) 
President of CIFE (2015-2017)


Jean-Claude Juncker, CIFE President from 2005 to 2014

On being proud to be European
We Europeans are no longer proud of anything, of neither peace, nor of having left war behind us. We are no longer able to enjoy the delights of the internal market. We no longer relish the idea of seeing the Schengen agreements encompass even those who did not always want them at the outset. We are not always proud of the euro. Without the euro, where would we be today, as the 16 countries that merged their national currencies into a single currency? Without the euro what would have become of us when the financial and economic crisis put the European Union and its Member states to a harsh test?
We would be unhappier, our economies would be in a wretched state. Our job markets would be in a sorry state had it not been for the creation of the single currency, and had it not been for the generation of men and women that came out of the Second World War, those who never gave up on the idea of having a single currency in Europe. These were people who, at a time when little thought was given to the future, because we were still so tied to the past, were already beginning to outline the shape of Europe, its’ place in the world, and the European way of thinking that ought to influence how things are done.
This legacy makes it incumbent to become irreversible, and to become a reality. Until that day, we will need a lot of patience and a lot of time. No great ambitions can ever be overnight.
This is the message of our teachers and students of the International Center for European Training will have to relay. Europe was not built in a day and the task is still far, indeed very far from complete. But every contribution to this great and noble building, however small, will matter. This is what I am looking for in this unprecedented civilizing adventure.

Jean-Claude JUNCKER
President of the European Commission
Honorary President of CIFE
President of CIFE (2005-2014)