Center for German and European Studies

The Center for German and European Studies with a regional focus on Southeast Europe is a joint scientific institution of the University of Zagreb and the University of Regensburg, with the involvement of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg. The Center was established in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement between the University of Zagreb and the University of Regensburg, signed on 15 December 2022, and Article 13 of the of the University of Zagreb’s Statute.

The two universities share a common interest in developing scientific and academic relations between Germany and Croatia, as well as in scientific cooperation with other universities and educational institutions, especially in Southeast Europe, with the principal aim being joint work in the field of research and education in various disciplines, building international and regional research and university networks, and fostering the exchange of teaching staff and students.

Both universities accentuate their dedication to encouraging a European dimension in the field of higher and general education, to providing support for the European integration of Southeast Europe in the context of science and education, and ultimately to contributing to the stabilization of democracy in the region.

In accordance with the multilingual tradition of Southeast Europe and the multilingualism of the European Union, the Center will strive to encourage multilingualism in education and science, with a special emphasis on promoting the German language as the historical language of general communication in Southeastern Europe and on the promotion of the Croatian language in Germany. 

In this regard, both parties have agreed to establish and develop the Center for German and European Studies based in Zagreb.

The Purpose and the goal of the Center

The Center for German and European Studies is interdisciplinary, covering humanities and social sciences, as well as natural sciences and technical fields. In these areas, the Center strives to support the scientific and research cooperation between the two universities, strengthen the exchange of information, stimulate the mobility of researchers and students, and collaborate with, as well as facilitate the cooperation between other scientific and cultural institutions and universities in Croatia, Germany, and beyond.

Within the framework of German studies and research of Southeast Europe, the Center’s activity is focused on humanities and social sciences, with a particular emphasis on topics relevant to German-Croatian relations and the European integration of Southeast Europe.

The Center’s main areas of focus are:

  • the history of relationship and cultural transfer between Germany, Croatia and Southeast Europe
  • European integration and values – the integration of Southeastern European countries into the EU processes: challenges and opportunities
  • migrations and demographic changes – refugees and forced displacement from and to Southeast Europe
  • field studies on emigration and return migration in the context of Croatia and Germany/Bavaria, including integration, identity change, and language change
  • intercultural education, attitude towards linguistic, social, ethnic and cultural diversity and the change of the European cultural identity
  • language policy and transnational multilingualism (language of origin) – new digital language resources (internet corpora, translation tools)
  • the position and prospects of German, Croatian and other European languages being taught as foreign languages in school and their use in the scientific domain
  • media and information literacy and media development in Germany, Croatia, and Southeast Europe
  • literature and film as a place and medium of cultural processes
  • environmental protection policy, ecology, and biodiversity
  • democracy and the rule of law
  • transfer of rights and European and national law matters in the context of the European integration in Southeast Europe
  • improvement of research efforts pertaining to projects oriented at the development of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Croatia in modern history and the present time
  • introduction of a program for visiting assistant professors and a lecture program presented by leading experts on Germany, Croatia and Europe
  • informing the general public in the region and partner countries – serving as a reference center for German and European studies and for political consulting

At the core of the Center’s interdisciplinary activity is the relation between democracy and education, as well as the effort to educate highly qualified educational experts with the aim of furthering scientific, cultural, and academic cooperation between Germany and Croatia and dealing with the question of the European integration of Southeast Europe, with the said experts subsequently being able to transfer their knowledge at universities and schools, and apply it in politics, economy, and public administration.

The Center’s Task

Within the scope of these matters, the Center assumes the following duties:

  • initiating and coordinating research projects
  • coordinating cooperation between different units of both universities and research institutions
  • securing funds from third parties in cooperation with project partners
  • developing and offering international study programs
  • establishing and offering summer schools for training and education of junior researchers in Southeast Europe
  • facilitating the cooperation between both universities with the purpose of enhancing the quality of higher education
  • encouraging the mobility and exchange of students and researchers
  • building an international and regional network of universities and research institutions
  • promoting multilingualism in school and science
  • support for the development of the Croaticum at the University of Regensburg