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         4 March 2002

The United Nations University (UNU) is pleased to announce that UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel has appointed Prof. Luk Van Langenhove as Director of the UNU Programme on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU/CRIS). Based in Bruges, Belgium, UNU/CRIS is the newest addition to the UNU's international network of research and training centres and programmes.

Prof. Van Langenhove assumed the post of UNU/CRIS Director on 10 October 2001. He teaches at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and from May 1995 through September 2001 was Deputy Secretary-General of the Belgian Federal Services for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs. For three years prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Belgian Federal Minister of Science Policy. Prof. Van Langenhove currently chairs a High Level Expert Group of the European Commission on Science and Technology Foresight and is a member of the EC Expert Group on Benchmarking National RTD (Research and Technological Demonstration) Policies.

UNU/CRIS was established based on a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in March 2000, between the College of Europe, the Government of Flanders and the UNU. The goal of the programme is to build policy-relevant knowledge about new forms of governance and cooperation, and to contribute to capacity building on issues of regional integration and cooperation through multidisciplinary research and training.

UNU/CRIS aims to contribute to a better understanding of the processes of intra- and inter-regional integration and their consequences for the functioning of societies. While part of the programme's activities entails research into "traditional" micro-regions, such as Flanders (Belgium), and the relations between micro- and macro-regions, the primary focus is on comparative studies of regionalization, particularly in Africa and other developing countries. From its base in Bruges, UNU/CRIS is able to draw upon the rich experience of both the European Union and the regions within European countries.

More information about UNU/CRIS is available online at An interview with UNU/CRIS Director Luk Van Langenhove is currently available online at

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For further information please contact

UNU Public Affairs Section:
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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