The Centre for European Studies (CES), established by Government Decision No. 1082/2003 is a teaching and academic research structure within the Department of International Relations and European Integration (DIREI) of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (NUPSPA).
CES promotes education and professional training in the European Studies and International Relations field, contributing with its research projects, analysis and evaluations to a better understanding of the functioning and evolution of the processes and dynamics of world politics. CES supports in-depth innovative investigations of the European and international polity, politics and policies, stimulating debate and facilitating academic networking of scholars interested in these topics. The members and volunteers of CES prepare analytical research papers, offer consultancy on diverse European and international themes, organise and participate in national and international programs and projects aimed at promoting cooperation and information dissemination in these educational and research areas. The sustained and comprehensive dialogue and debates on various aspects regarding the complex dynamics on the international arena are promoted by CES through conferences and seminars and the resulted expertise is extremely useful not only for researchers and the academic field but it is also significant for the civil society, Romanian national institutions contributing in the end to a better understanding of the current international system. With the Master programmes it promoted viewed in the wider context of the all the other educational programmes of DIREI and together with the analysis of different International and European aspects, the expertise offered in the end by CES is able to respond to the practical needs of the Romanian society, economy and administration, being thus a way of improving them, contributing also to an actual construction of identities at a European level. CES brings together at different debates researchers (know-how providers) and actors involved in public policies who represent the main beneficiaries, in order to raise the quality standard of the domestic input in the process of analysis and policy-making at national, European and international level. Thus, CES is trying to illustrate how enhancing the academic, theoretical research is useful in the practical policy-making process and how important is to have national experts trained in undertaking research in the European and international studies field. At a national level, CES cooperates with Romanian state institutions, public administration, private sector, NGO`s in organizing various seminars and debates which promote the European participatory democracy in action and European social values contributing to a deepening of the European integration process and being a valuable instrument for the global affirmation of the significance of the European Union in a broader context of International Relations.
Initially, the strategic mission of CES was to contribute to improving the teaching supply at post-graduate level for those willing to form or deepen their professional training in the area of European studies in the context of Romania’s increasing efforts to complete the accession negotiations, and thereafter to smoothly and effectively adapt and work within the institutional and political system of the European Union.Therefore, since it was established, the Centre for European Studies contributed to the expansion of the educational offer of the Department of International Relations and European Integration by initiating the „European Politics and Economics” Master Programme, developed in a new modular format involving training for both general and specialized competencies concerning the intersection of analysis and dissemination of theories of European integration and public policy. In this regard, the program succeeded in co-opting some important names of scientists from the academia of Bucharest; one can refer here to professors as Daniel Dăianu, Iordan Bărbulescu, George Voicu and Liviu Voinea. The syllabus included for the first time the area and the policies of the migration phenomena in the context of EU enlargement, border security and asymmetric risks/threats in the wider neighbourhood.
In 2010 the second master project was implemented. Called ,,Evaluation of European Public Policies and Programmes”, this project was dedicated to a niche specialization absent from the Romanian labour market, but much needed, given the procedural requirements regarding the consistent application of the structural funding projects. In the same year, CES has initiated the first MA program in English, ,,Security and Diplomacy”, where the involved professors have both a recognized university career and a significant public activity: Ioan Mircea Paşcu (MEP, Vice-president of the European Parliament), Vasile Secăreş (NUPSPA founding rector, former head of the Presidential Administration), gen. Mihail Ionescu (Director of the Institute for Political Studies of Defense and Military History / Director of the Institute for Studies of Holocaust Elie Wiesel), Bogdan Aurescu (acting Minister of Foreign Affairs), Constantin Buchet (CNCSAS Secretary), George Angliţoiu (Adviser on lobby and communication to the President of the Competition Council), etc. A new master programme in English on Development, International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid was launched with the academic year 2013-2014; one year later, it was followed by a new Master in Romanian on Social Economy.
Since 2012, CES is also a partner of the Romanian Association of International Relations and European Studies (ARRISE), Romania’s representative in ECSA World, to edit/permanently coordinate the publication of RoJIRES – The Romanian Journal of International Relations and European Studies. Moreover CES started to edit a new series of the academic journal Europolity – Continuity and Change in European Governance, a biannual peer reviewed open access international academic journal. Designed in 2007, Europolity was primarily addressed to young researchers, giving them the opportunity to publish academic papers and opinion articles on topics related to European Union study. Nowadays, edited by CES, Europolity is mainly oriented towards multi-disciplinary scholarly work in European Studies, supporting therefore relevant theoretical, methodological and empirical analyses connected to this field and coming from EU Studies or International Relations, but also from International (Political) Economy, Law, Sociological Studies, Cultural Studies, etc.
CES supports excellence in academic research, the development of partnerships, and it tries to increase the visibility for its research and analysis results. The academic staff members have conducted research projects with impact and had a number of publications in this field. CES has collaborations with other prestigious research institutions abroad such as the Jean Monnet Chair within the Political Science Department of the Complutense University (Madrid), the European Institute of the London School of Economics, and the Romanian-based Altiero Spinelli Center of the Babes-Boylai in Cluj-Napoca. Between 2014 and 2017, DIREI and CES are hosting a Jean Monnet Chair focused towards “Bringing European Studies to Journalism, Agriculture, Engineering, Philology, Economics, History, Law and Sociology students”, chaired by prof. Iordan Bărbulescu.
CES also manages research grants for the complex and interdisciplinary field of International Relations and European Studies. For example, in the period 2012-2015, CES monitors the implementation of five exploratory research projects – “Romania-Russia bilateral relationship: national and European perspective”, “Implementation of the social market economy in Romania as a way of Europeanizing the Romanian society,” “Operationalizing an evaluation model for the institutionalization of forms and practices of the social market economy in Romania”, “The European Union and the Latin America – an interregional analysis”, “Citizens and MEPs: Representation, Legitimacy and Political Participation” -, while actively supporting the involvement of young researchers. From this point of view, an important aspect of the CES activity consists in collaborating with NUPSPA’s undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD students; in this regard, since 2009, CES is working closely with the Academic Club of European Studies (CASE), organizing events and activities designed to foster excellence in European research issues. CASE aims to be a via media, but also a connection point between academia and public institutions that can influence Europeanization, which is why CES supports the work of this NGOs perceived as the youth component or the nursery for future researchers.
Through all its activities, CES contributes to enhance the image of the Department of International Relations and European Integration as an important research and teaching academic actor.