At the Moscow summit in May 2005 the European Union and Russia agreed on joint actions to promote training programmes on EU issues for civil servants in Russia. Within the framework of the Road map on Common Space of Science and Education, the aim was to encourage the study of EU law, economy and politics, in accordance with the best practices in the EU, including training and retraining of government officials, representatives of business bodies and post-graduate students. To accomplish the goal the EU and Russia decided to found a European Institute at the appropriate Russian Institute in Moscow.
On 25 September 2006 in accordance with Contract between European Commission and MGIMO the European Studies Institute (ESI) commenced its activities.
The budget of ESI was created on a parity basis by the Russian Federation and the European Commission and it worked within the allocated financing till December 31, 2014. You may find more detailed information about activities of ESI since the start of its functioning on the official site eurocollege.ru.
The EU-Russia project on creating the European Studies Institute is a convincing evidence of the political will of both the Russian Federation and the European Union to strengthen their relationship and convert them into closer partners. It perfectly illustrates how fruitfully and efficiently the partners are able to make business together. During ten years of Institute activities more than 800 civil servants completed their Master’s degrees in International relations (EU Politics), Law (EU Law) and Economy (EU Economics). Given practical requirements of Russian Ministries and requests of business bodies the ESI has organized more than 30 short-term courses on perspective of EU-Russia cooperation, European integration, European Law, mechanisms of human rights protection and anti-corruption initiatives. More than 2 500 government employees, scientists, businessmen and academic staff have received Certificates of advanced training.
The ESI employs professors and experts for lecturing from international organizations, such as the EEU, the EU and the UN which serves as an example of successful collaboration between the European/international and Russian systems of higher education.
Within the MGIMO Alumni Association there has been created and successfully carries out its work the Association of the ESI Alumni.
The ESI activities within the project get approval at the EU-Russia summits and have high rating among the civil servants of the Russian Federation and the academic society of Russia and Europe.
Since January, 2015 the ESI has been operating in a new financial and administrative format. According to a new edition of the ESI Provision (Charter) approved by the order of the MGIMO Rector, the Institute is “an educational structural entity of the University created in accordance with the established procedure with a view to training specialists in matter related to the functioning of the European Union and other integration associations”.
The ESI offers students a Master’s degree in “Complex Researches of the European and Euroasian Integration Processes” which can be completed in EU Law, EU politics and EU economics on the base of the Department of Integration Processes.
Free training of 60 students is financed annually by the Russian side. However, considering a variety of activities not limited to the educational process, and intending to maintain the bilateral format of this project, the ESI participates in open-calls and grant tenders financed by the EU. Thus, the ESI was announced the winner in three projects within the Programme of Jean Monnet that promotes cooperation with the EU institutions and is of a new substantial contribution.
The ESI also gives an opportunity of postgraduate, doctoral, programmes in “Political Problems of the International Relations”, “Global and Regional Development”; “International Law”; “European Law”; “World Economics”; “History of International Relations and Foreign Polic”y. Besides, the ESI provides its students with an opportunity to get a second Master’s degree in Law.
In accordance with an assignment of the MFA of Russia, the ESI and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime take the most active part in the Academic Anti-Corruption Initiative in the framework of MGIMO. The educational and research Center of anti-corruption Initiative has been established within the ESI in 2015.
Over ten years of its operation the ESI has organized multiple international scientific conferences and expert meetings aimed to expand the partners network and exchange scientific experience. These 30 international conferences and expert meetings were held both independently and in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Moscow Chamber and Commerce, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Russian Agency for Small and Medium Business Support, the Association of European Businesses, etc.