自中心成立以来，一直致力于打造高规格、国际化的卓越科研平台，先后承担教育部人文社科重点研究基地重大项目30余项，负责教育部“十三五规划”人文社科重点研究基地重大项目5项，承担教育部国际司指向性课题5项，“让·莫内”等国际合作项目22项，各类横向基金项目40余项，出版学术专著（集）180余本（卷），举办各类大型国内、国际学术会议百余次。其中，有3位教授被欧盟委员会授予“让·莫内”讲习教授称号，其中宋新宁教授被授予“让·莫内”终身荣誉教授称号，并承担5项“让·莫内”课程建设项目。此外，中心力图实现科研成果与国际交流成果向教学转化，目前已与包括比利时荷语区布鲁塞尔自由大学欧洲研究所、意大利欧洲大学学院、奥地利维也纳大学欧盟研究中心、奥地利萨尔茨堡大学欧洲研究中心、冰岛大学国际问题研究所、日本九州大学欧盟研究中心等十余所欧洲问题研究知名机构建立长效合作关系，与包括欧洲议会、欧盟—亚洲中心（EU-Asian Centre）等国际组织与知名智库建立实习生派送合作机制，以期更好履行研究机构的教学职能。目前，已有百余名硕、博学生及教师利用中心平台，前往包括比利时、荷兰、英国、德国、法国等欧洲国家进行学位学习、联合培养与访问交流。同时， 于2015年由中心牵头，联合复旦大学、四川大学与比利时荷语区布鲁塞尔自由大学、比利时根特大学合作的“当代中国与欧洲问题研究培养项目”获得国家留学基金委创新型人才国际合作培养项目资助，且已陆续派出90余名学生前往比利时攻读学位或进行联合培养。
自中心建立之初，便以发挥咨政职能、服务国家对外政策为己任。尤其是在中欧高级别人文交流机制的建立及其发展等议题领域，中心充分发挥欧洲问题研究优势，多次协助教育部等主管部门完成调研及相关报告的撰写工作，并获得上级部门的肯定与表彰。2014年3月，由中国人民大学、四川大学、比利时荷语区布鲁塞尔自由大学共同发起，在习近平总书记访问比利时和欧盟总部期间，于布鲁塞尔签署了共同建立“布鲁塞尔中国与欧洲问题研究院（Brussels Academy of China and European Studies, BACES）”的谅解备忘录，并于2014年9月，在中欧高级别人文交流机制第二次工作会议上，由刘延东副总理和教育文化青年事务委员瓦西里乌女士共同揭牌成立。该研究院兼顾教学与科研功能，致力于成为中国学者深度考察和研究欧洲的前方常设据点，并为中欧人文学术交流构建重要平台。目前，该平台业已吸纳比利时根特大学、英国兰卡斯特大学及保加利亚索菲亚大学作为成员正式加入，并与部分欧洲知名高校继续接洽。同时，在“中外人文交流平台”下，由中国人民大学欧盟研究中心牵头，联合四川大学欧盟研究中心及上海外国语大学欧盟研究中心，所承担教育部国际司资助的“中国日”活动，自2012年开始实施，以“三校联合举办、每校每年覆盖三个欧洲国家”为原则，目前已覆盖包括比利时、法国、德国、荷兰、波兰、匈牙利、意大利、西班牙、葡萄牙、瑞士、瑞典、冰岛、斯洛文尼亚、芬兰、丹麦、克罗地亚等二十余国的五十余座城市。该项目以增进欧洲人对中国了解为主要目标，以讲好中国故事为主要宗旨，以实现中欧民众之间的互联互动为主要愿景，在中国国庆日期间赴欧向欧洲相关高校师生及对中国问题感兴趣的外国友人宣讲当代中国政治、经济、外交、文化等诸多方面的新近发展情况。“中国日”活动是“中外人文交流机制”下设重要组成部分，一直以来也是我中心发挥咨政功能的核心职能。在“一带一路”倡议及“16+1”合作模式之下，“中国日”活动也被日益赋予更多服务“一带一路”及增进中国同中、东欧国家之间的合作和战略互信的职能。自中欧高级别人文交流对话机制建立六年来，围绕加强人文教育交流，中心也开展了一系列卓有成效的工作，包括欧盟官员赴华研修班项目、中欧高等教育交流合作平台年度会议、中欧调优项目、与欧盟高校共建孔子学院等。
Centre for European Studies at Renmin University of China was established in September 1994, originally known as “Information and Research Center for the European Community”. It is one of the earliest institutions established in universities of China that specialize in the European Studies. In 1996, it was officially renamed “Centre for European Studies” and became the main recipient of the “China-EU Higher Education Cooperation Project.” In 2001, it was formally approved as the “Key Research Base for the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education” and became the only research base in the field of international issues that was selected as a key research base for its specialization in European Studies. In 2005, after the rigorous review of the European Commission, it was granted the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence status by European Commission for Culture and Education and became one of the 10 European Studies Centres in Non-EU member states who received this prestigious award. Accordingly, in 2012, approved by International Division of the Ministry of Education, the Center for European Studies of Renmin University of China was established as the “Key Research Base for National and Regional of the Ministry of Education”. In 2017, with support from International Division of the Ministry of Education, “Centre for China-EU People-to-People Exchange Studies at Renmin University of China” was established.
Since its establishment, the Centre has been committed to building a high-standard, internationalized research platform. It has undertaken more than 30 major projects of the Ministry of Education Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, 5 major projects of the Ministry of Education’s “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, 5 directional projects of the International Division of the Ministry of Education, 22 international cooperation projects such as Jean Monet Project, over 40 Horizontal Fund Projects; more than 180 academic books (Monographs) have been published, and more than one hundred large-scale domestic and international academic conferences have been held. Three professors from the Centre were awarded the title of “Jean Monnet” Chair Professors by the European Commission. Prof. Xinning Song was awarded Jean Monnet Lifetime Honorary Professor and undertook 5 “Jean Monnet Module” projects. In addition, the Centre strives to transform research findings and international exchanges into teaching and has established long-term cooperative relations with over 10 prestigious Centres for European Studies, such as Institute of European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel(VUB), The European University Institute (EUI), EU Research Center at University of Vienna, EU Research Centre at University of Salzburg, Institute of International Studies at University of Iceland and EU Research Centre at Kyushu University, Japan. With a view to better fulfilling its teaching functions, the Centre has established intern exchange cooperation mechanism with various International organizations and well-known think tanks such as European Parliament, EU-Asia Center (EU-Asian), etc. Through this platform, over 100 master, PhD students and scholars have gone to various European countries for degree seeking, co-training or exchanges such as Belgium, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Meanwhile, Contemporary Chinese and European Issues Research and Training Program, initiated in 2015 by Renmin University of China and jointly organized by Fudan University, Sichuan University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel(VUB) and the University of Ghent, Belgium, has been funded by International Cooperation of Innovative Talent Training Project of China Scholarship Council (CSC) and has sent over 90 students to Belgium for degree or co-training.
Since its establishment, the Centre has taken government consultation and serving the country’s foreign policy as its responsibility. In particular, in areas such as the establishment of the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue mechanism and its development, the Centre has given full play to its European research strengths and has assisted the Ministry of Education and other competent authorities to complete the research and related report on many occasions, which has been recognized by the higher authorities. In March 2014, during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union, Memorandum of Understanding for jointly establishing the “Brussles Academy of China and European Studies (BACES)” was signed, which was jointly initiated by Renmin University of China, Sichuan University, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel(VUB). In September 2014, at the second working conference of the the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue mechanism between China and the EU, Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Commissioner Vasiliu from European Commission unveiled and established the Academy. The Academy is devoted to teaching and research functions, and is committed to serving as a permanent front base for Chinese scholars to inspect and study Europe in depth and as a platform for China-EU cultural and academic exchange. Now Ghent University in Belgium, Lancaster University in the UK and Sofia University in Bulgaria have officially joint the platform and the Academy continues to contact some other leading universities in Europe.
Meanwhile, under the framework of “People-to-People Exchange between China and Foreign Countries ”, the “China Day” has been held since 2012. The event is initiated by the Centre for EU Studies at Renmin University of China, jointly organized by the Centre for EU Studies at Sichuan University and the Centre for EU Studies at Shanghai International Studies University and funded by the International Department of the Ministry of Education. It operates on the principle of “joint organization with each university covering three European countries each year” and so far it has covered over 50 cities in over 20 European countries, such as Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Slovenia, Finland, Denmark and Croatia. The project aims to promote European understanding of China, to tell Chinese stories, and to realize the interaction between Chinese people and the people from Europe. During the Chinese National Day, delegates from the three universities are sent to the involved European universities to share the latest developments in contemporary China’s politics, economy, diplomacy, and culture with students and scholars and foreign friends interested in China’s issues. Within the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the “16+1” cooperation model, the “China Day” event has been increasingly fulfilling the function of serving the “Belt and Road Initiative” and enhancing cooperation and strategic mutual trust between China and Central and Eastern European countries.
In the past 6 years since the establishment of the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue mechanism, the Centre has carried out a series of fruitful achievements focusing on enhancing cultural and educational exchange, including the project of EU officials studying in China, Annual Conference of EU-China Higher Education Platform for Cooperation and Exchange (HEPCE), China-EU Tuning Study Program, establishing Confucius Institute in the European Universities, etc.