The European Union Center of the University System of Georgia has launched a capital campaign to raise funds to replace the support it has been receiving from the European Commission. The campaign includes an annual giving fund, formation of an endowment and solicitation of grants.

          Brian Murphy, the center’s co-director, told GlobalFax last week that the center also would develop new initiatives aimed at corporate leaders throughout the state. “It is important that our businesses understand how vital the EU is to Georgia’s economy,” he said.

          Following a countrywide selection process, the European Commission established the center here in 1998, one of only 15 in the United States, to support greater understanding of the EU. It has been housed at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, but represents all 34 colleges and universities within the system.

The commission provided 200,000 euros annually for the first three years of the center’s operation. While the center has received an official designation from the commission, its funding is being reduced in stages until 2004 when it is expected to be self-sustaining.

Since it was established, the center has supported professional workshops, a speaker series, executive training, conferences, policy analysis and an intern service.

At its most recent meeting, the center’s board of directors approved a plan to provide more services to the state’s business community including hosting bilateral discussions among corporate leaders from both sides of the Atlantic.

          To learn more about the campaign or to contribute to it, call (404) 385-0600, write to or visit