Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute

Director: Erik Jones


Contact: Elena Torta


The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies is an inter-disciplinary research centre at the heart of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. It was established in 1992 to complement the four disciplinary departments that make up the EUI with the vocation of being involved in both basic and policy research, collaborating with other centres of excellence in Europe, providing opportunities for young scholars and promoting dialogue with the world of practice. The Centre takes its name from Robert Schuman, one of founding fathers of the European Communities, and is directed by prof. Brigid Laffan.

The Centre’s mission is to “contribute to research on the major issues facing contemporary European society, including questions associated with the construction of Europe. Its activities shall be based on the findings of basic research in the human and social sciences, in particular in the disciplines represented at the Institute. It shall favour comparative and interdisciplinary activities.”

Over time the Schuman Centre’s goals have progressively focused into a number of core areas such as the institutions, governance and democracy of the European Union, migration studies, economic and monetary policy, competition and market regulation, energy policy and so on. The Centre’s current research agenda is grouped under three strategic themes that are of central importance to Europe’s future prosperity and legitimacy:

  1. Integration, Governance and Democracy;
  2. Regulating markets and governing money;
  3. 21st Century world politics and Europe.

The Schuman Centre was originally financed via the EUI budget but over time it has been successful in obtaining external funds. Among the external funds, large projects financed by the EU remain predominant, but the proportion of private donors – firms and foundations – has been steadily increasing. The ‘Schuman community’ today consists of Schuman chairs, joint chairs, part-time professors, post-doctoral fellows, visiting fellows, research fellows and assistants, project managers and administrators. Its staffing level ranges from 140 to 180 depending on the needs of its programmes and projects. All Schuman programmes are characterised by a combination of research, education and policy dialogues in line with its mandate to engage vigorously with the world of practice on the basis of excellent academic research.

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