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Founded in Prague in 1991, CEFRES—French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences—aimed at restarting the scientific exchanges between France and Central Europe as it underwent major changes after the fall of communism. One of CEFRES’s tasks since then has been to build up a network of research teams between France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. A part of the network of French Research Institutes Abroad (UMIFRE), it became a mixed research unit of CNRS—UAR 3138—in 2007. CEFRES is therefore under the tutelage of both the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Its scientific board gathers once a year.
Thanks to the cooperation agreement signed on 21 November 2014 between the Embassy of France in the Czech Republic, the CNRS, the Charles University of Prague and the Czech Academy of Sciences, CEFRES is now sharing with these two Czech partners a French-Czech cooperation platform in the humanities and social sciences named “CEFRES Platform”. As a sign of its anchorage within the Czech scientific milieu, the Center has moved in December 2015 in the buildings of the Academy of Sciences at Na Florenci 3.
With its networks in France and Central Europe, CEFRES develops its own scientific policy revolving around three transversal research areas. They serve as a framework for research topics that are not limited to the field of Central Europe, as shown by current and past projects. These research priorities originate from the discussions, which unfolded at the Research Forum in the Czech Republic organized by the CEFRES Platform in April-May 2015.