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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday March 21, 2024

Updated on Friday May 24, 2024

Panthéon-Sorbonne University names Masters degree class after Europeana

At the Europeana Initiative, we are honoured that the 2024 - 2026 class of the Master's degree in data law, digital administrations and open governments at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne has been named after us. The Directors of the Master's explain why they bestowed the name on the class.

View and perspective of the chapel and house of Sorbonne
Paris: the Sorbonne. Etching.
Wellcome Collection
United Kingdom

In his founding speech on 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, first President of the European Parliamentary Assembly, asserted that ‘Europe would not be built all at once, or in a single project’, but through concrete achievements. Jean Monnet, one of the founders of the European Union, emphasised in his speech to the National Press Club in Washington on 30 April 1952, ‘the universal importance of Europe being able to live by its own means and in security, that it be peaceful and able to continue its great contribution to civilization’.

In our views, the creation of Europeana responds to each of these objectives: it is both one of the concrete achievements to the construction of Europe, and an initiative in the service of humanity through the dissemination of knowledge.

This concern for humanity through the acquisition and circulation of knowledge is an objective that has been shared by the University Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne since it was founded 800 years ago. This is expressed by our motto: ‘Omnibus sapientia, unicuique excellentia’ (‘Knowledge for all, excellence for everyone’). The University’s master's degree in data law, digital administration and open governments is part of this heritage, and every year, we give a different name to the new class of students. In the past, classes were named Ada Lovelace, Olympe de Gouge, Margaret Hamilton and Joseph Licklider. Making ‘Europeana’ the name of the 2024 - 2026 class of students in this master's program is a fitting way to anchor cultural heritage in its approach.

About the degree program

The master’s degree aims to train students in the contemporary challenges of digital law and open government. These two themes are at the core of the data society that the European Union is currently building, and to which the Europeana Initiative is contributing through the dissemination of knowledge.

While the digital challenge is a more recent one, open government is coherent with the original European project. These foundations have been taken up more recently at European level, notably by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the first three paragraphs of the preamble of which state:

The peoples of Europe, in creating an ever closer union among them, are resolved to share a peaceful future based on common values. Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. […] The Union contributes to the preservation and to the development of these common values while respecting the diversity of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of Europe […].”

Anchoring the European Union through culture

In addition to naming the class after Europeana, we have published a book (William Gilles, Irène Bouhadana, L’open data. Droit d’accès et de réutilisation des informations dans la société des données, Lexis Nexis, 2023) about open data which references Europeana and explains the importance of sharing cultural heritage data. We write that Europeana, ‘is the very example of a promising public data service, illustrating the determination of member states to preserve European sovereignty in cultural matters.’

The emergence of a data society has forced the European Union to adapt to meet the challenges resulting from this transformation, whether by the adoption of pioneering legislation aimed at regulating digital issues in Europe or through the dematerialisation (converting into digital form) of institutions and services provided to European citizens.

However, Europeana is not just one of the manifestations of this evolution towards an e-Europe, meaning a Europe of dematerialised services (in this case a cultural service) that are accessible to all Europeans, wherever they come from. Europeana is also an initiative that promotes the diversity of Europe’s culture throughout the world.

By helping to train future leaders of the data society, the master’s degree in data law, digital administrations and open governments pursues the same objective: to promote the fundamental values of the European Union, which are more essential than ever in the face of Internet giants and the risk of democratic decline in a world that has become uncertain due to the advent of a new geopolitical context.

Strengthening European cultural foundations through achievements such as those of Europeana will help to build a cultural future that is a source of stability and common democratic values.

Find out more

At the Europeana Initiative, we are honoured to receive recognition for our work from one of the most prestigious public universities in France and Europe. We hope to inspire the students that form this class to engage in the creation and promotion of an open and reciprocal environment for cultural heritage data. We also look forward to a continued collaboration with the Panthéon-Sorbonne University, including by organising joint lectures, visits to our premises, and other activities that can support students in getting more acquainted with Europeana’s mission and work.