Welcome to ECSA-Cn

Welcome to the ECSA-Cn project

ECSA-Cn stands for the project “Building capacity for Canada’s European Studies community: the European Community Studies Association Canada (ECSA-C) as a research and outreach hub”.

Its main goal is to enhance the networking capacity of the European studies community in Canada. In this respect ECSA-Cn will provide public visibility to the EU as a key economic and political partner of Canada and thus allow ECSA-C to play a more effective role in promoting research, teaching and outreach initiatives in the field of EU and European Studies.

For this purpose, this joint initiative between ECSA-C and the EUCAnet project allows for innovative knowledge mobilization initiatives while engaging researchers, the policy community, media and the public at large.

We focus on key EU-related subjects, which so far have had limited exposure in public debate but, given significant changes in the political environment such as the launch of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), have a considerable potential for a fruitful transatlantic exchange and dialogue.

This project is co-funded with the support of the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Support for Associations Activity.

The Jean Monnet ECSA-Cn project’s activities and services are:

  • ECSA-Cn expert database (specific service for ECSA-C members)
  • Promotion of research groups (interviews; media alerts)
  • Promotion of innovation in teaching and research (award; interviews)
  • Fostering engagement of young academics (junior EU scholar interviews; policy memos)
  • Dissemination of research outcomes and innovation in teaching (media alerts; video clips; FB)


Team Members


Oliver Schmidtke

Oliver Schmidtke is director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. He is a UVic European Studies Scholar and a former Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics in the Departments of History and Political Science at the University of Victoria. He received his PhD from the European University Institute (EUI, Florence) in 1995. He then worked at Humboldt University Berlin (1995-1998) and held a J.F. Kennedy post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Since 1999 he has been at the University of Victoria. During this time he was a research fellow at the University of Bonn, a Fernand Braudel Senior Scholar at the EUI (2007) and Marie Curie Fellow at Hamburg University (2011).

Oliver Schmidtke is author or editor of fourteen books and has published over 80 articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes. Over the last 10 years he has been a driving force in promoting European and EU Studies at UVic and in Canada: From 2005 to 2008 he was the Director of European Studies at UVic and from 2004-2006 he served as the president of the European Community Studies Association Canada. In addition, he was the Domain Leader for Metropolis BC (2008-2012) and the leader of the Canada-wide research group for the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue project (2007-2013) organizing comparative transatlantic research in the fields of migration and citizenship studies.

Ruben Zaiotti

Ruben Zaiotti is director of the European Union Centre for Excellence at the Dalhousie University and an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science . He is the Editorial Board Member of the journal “European Studies: History, Society, Culture” and he is the former editor in chief of the Journal of International Law and International Relations. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2008. He then was a Post-Doctoral Fellow (2008-2010) at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the University of Toronto, working on the project: “Europe, North America and Transatlantic Homeland Security”. In 2010, he has been faculty at the Department of Political Science at the Dalhausie University. Ruben Zaiotti’s research focuses on the European Union’s Justice and Home affairs policy domain, with particular emphasis on issues of security, border control and migration. He is currently working on two research projects. The first examines the ongoing cooperation between the European Union, the Unites states and Canada over issues of justice and home affairs and its impact on the diffusion of policies and practices across the Atlantic. The second looks at the European Union attempts to establish a common foreign policy and its implications for the EU’s quest to become a coherent and autonomous actor in world affairs. Ruben Zaiotti is also engaged in innovative methods of knowledge dissemination and is leading hos blog about Europe and border control ‘Schengenalia’ and can be found on Twitter @schengenizer.

Frédéric Merand

Frédéric Merand is Director of CÉRIUM, the Montréal Centre for International Studies and Associate Professor at the Département de science politique, Université de Montréal. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a policy advisor in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and a Research Fellow at the San Diego-based Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Mérand has published on the European Security and Defence Policy, EU-NATO relations, transatlantic relations, Canadian foreign policy, and the sociology of international relations. Media Experience: Dr. Merand has a great deal of experience responding to TV, Radio and Print Media inquiries. 

Joan DeBardeleben

Joan DeBardeleben is Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (EURUS) at Carleton University, where she also holds Jean Monnet Chair in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood Relations. She is also Director of the Centre for European Studies (Carleton’s European Union Centre of Excellence) and Director of the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue, a major Canada-Europe research network funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979 and taught at Colorado State University and at McGill University prior to coming to Carleton University in 1991. She is the author of numerous books and articles dealing with Russian politics, including attention to public opinion, labour relations and privatization, environmental politics, federalism, and elections. Her recent research work also deals with EU-Russian relations and the EU’s policy toward its eastern neighbors, as well as with political participation in the European Union. Recently DeBardeleben has been working on a research project entitled, “Interests, and Governance Structures in EU-Russian Relations: Constructing issues and framing interests,” funded by a SSHRC Standard Research Grant. DeBardeleben is President of the European Community Studies Association-Canada (ECSA-C), a former President of the Canadian Association of Slavists, and an active member of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She has been a Visiting Researcher at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (Mannheim, Germany) and in at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin.

Beate Schmidtke

Beate Schmidtke is the project manager and communication officer for the EUCAnet.ca project since 2004. She brings to the EUCAnet project experience of several projects that she managed with funds from the European Commission (yearly up to 1.5 million Euros). Beate holds a Diploma in Cultural Science from the University Hildesheim and a MA in International Cultural Affairs from the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany. From 1996-2001 she worked with the International Media and Book Agency in Berlin focusing on the implementation of the New Media in the field of culture and education in close collaboration with the Council of Europe and Europe-wide networks (Germany, Italy, Poland, Netherlands) especially in the field of higher education and the book industry.  Beate was responsible for the development and management of the EUCAnet project, the Young Researchers Network in Canada and the DAAD project GermanStudies.ca. In 2007 she was invited to lead the activities of the EUCAnet.org project in collaboration with the Canadian SSHRC funded Canada Europe Transatlantic Dialogue project CETD. In 2009, she has been instrumental in establishing the YouTube channel and its productions of short video clips on the expertise of European scholars in Canada. Since 2013, she is also responsible for the social media strategies of the projects and its Facebook page. Since 2017 Beate is leading various Jean Monnet projects focusing on establishing Canada wide interdisciplinary networks and outreach activities within the Canada-Europe context.

Ahmed Hamila

Ahmed Hamila is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Montreal and currently the President of the Young Researchers Network of the ECSA-C. 2014 he earned his M.A., Political Science, Université de Montréal (QC. Canada), with the highest honours after. In 2012, he completed the double degree of Civil Law (B.C.L) and Political Science (B.A.), Université Lumière-Lyon II (France) with the highest honours. In 2015, he worked as an academic coordinator for the Odysseus Network at the Department of Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). In 2013, he was a Public Affairs Attaché Junior, at the Québec Government Office in Atlanta (GA, United States). With his work experience, multi-disciplinary academic training and his role as the ECSA-C Young Researchers Network’s current president, Ahmed brings important skill set to the project.