The Centre for European Studies serves as a focal point for research and teaching concerned with both the European Union and the broader historical and cultural processes which have shaped contemporary Europe. The present Centre carries on an established tradition of excellence at Queen’s University in the area of interdisciplinary European Studies.
The University established an Institute of European Studies in 1993 as a response to the increasing importance of the academic study of Europe and its relevance to the needs of the UK and Northern Ireland. The Institute grew steadily in reputation and rapidly became one of the leading centres for teaching and research on contemporary Europe among UK and Irish Universities. In 1998 the European Commission recognised the Institute's achievements when it designated Queen's as one of the first twenty-five Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence in the whole of the European Union. The strong international standing of the European Studies research grouping was further recognised by the achievement of a grade of 5A in the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise. The Institute of European Studies was a founding unit of the School of Politics and International Studies created in 2003.