The Romain Yakemchuk Foundation for the Study of International Relations (FERI) aims to stimulate the study of international relations and the promotion of peace. It honours the memory of Professor Romain Yakemchuk (1925-2011). Born on 23 September 1925 in the geographical centre of the European continent in Lwow (Lviv, now in Ukraine, at the time part of Poland, before being named Lemberg during the German occupation), Roman Jakemczuk fled the Soviet Union in 1945 to escape incorporation into the Red Army. This enabled him to continue his studies in the Federal Republic of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium, at UCLouvain, where he received his PhD in International Relations in 1955 with a thesis on the UN and regional security. He first taught at ICHEC in Brussels (1958), then in the Congo at the University of Louvanium (1964-1971) before joining UCLouvain after the nationalisation of the Congolese university due to Zairianisation. After his emeritus (1990), Romain Yakemchouk became advisor to the Royal Institute of International Relations and was the editor of the journal Studia Diplomatica. He is the author of numerous publications on international peace and security as well as on the foreign policy of states and the EU. Romain Yakemchuk passed away on 5 December 2011.
The FERI was first chaired by Claude Roosens (1948-2018) whose doctoral thesis in international relations on Katangese secession was promoted by Romain Yakemtchouk. Claude Roosens will become Professor of International Relations at UCLouvain and will gradually take over most of the courses taught by its promoter. Within the university, he will become President of the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Economic, Social, Political and Communication Sciences and Vice-Rector of the Humanities Sector. The FERI continues to honour his memory by supporting the creation of a seminar on diplomatic history that bears his name and was inaugurated in 2019 within the Master in Political Science (International Relations) at UCLouvain.
The FERI is currently chaired by the Honorary Rector of UCLouvain, Professor Marcel Crochet.