Research Programs

The EU Centre is global in outlook and action and committed to academic and research excellence. The Centre has an interdisciplinary research focus, with staff expertise across the fields of European studies, regional policy, international relations, environmental policy, innovation, and trade.

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Projects

Our research focus can be divided into four, broad thematic areas outlined below. For a full list of our current projects, please click here.

Regional Policy and Smart Specialisation

The EU Centre of Excellence is a global leader in comparative regional policy research. The Centre has undertaken research on EU Regional Policy and its implications for Australia and Asian nations for the past 9 years. It has a strong network has been developed with researchers in Australia, Europe and Asia, and with EU and Australian policy makers.

The EU Centre’s Regional Policy and Smart Specialisation research program asks what Australia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region can learn from the European experience, particularly the ‘Smart Specialisation Strategy’ (S3) methodology pioneered in the EU. It promotes a place-based approach to regional policy and development, and links directly to the Centre’s other research programs on, for example, the Sustainable Development Goals—seeking to understand how a place-based approach pioneered in the EU might enhance possibilities for reaching SDG targets worldwide.

Current Projects

The International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) Australasia - Helpdesk and Coordination Services

Making Multilevel Governance Work: Helping to Overcome the Democratic Deficit

Centre of Excellence in Smart Specialisation and Regional Policy

Regional Research Connections

Gippsland Smart Specialisation Strategy (G-S3)

Completed Project

World Cities: EU-Third Countries Cooperation on Urban Development – Australia and South Korea

Sustainable Development Goals

Through our research on the European Union (EU) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the EU Centre of Excellence seeks to formalise relationships amongst researchers, policy think tanks and Non-Government Organisations who share a primary interest in enhancing the effective contribution of the EU to the implementation of the SDGs. By strengthening collaboration amongst researchers and policy makers, this research will promote a more effective evidence-base for EU institutions to engage with nations in the region to implement the SDGs. Core questions are: how can EU integration be more effective in supporting the implementation of the SDGs in Asia and the Pacific than would be possible for individual Member States? How can this role be developed further?

Current Projects

Social and Scientific Innovation to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The EU’s Role in the Implementation of the SDGs in Asia Pacific

Innovation, Trade and FTA

The EU Centre of Excellence engages civil society in debate about issues of innovation, global trade, and free trade agreements by promoting informed public understanding in a context of growing political uncertainty. Our trade and innovation research program seeks to promote improved public understanding of the relationship between innovation and competitiveness and a more open global trading environment, and how this improves prosperity for the EU and its global partners. It aims to increase the accessibility of information about the emerging characteristics of regional, national, and global economies, and the opportunities which can follow from more open global trade, for both stakeholders and citizens.

Current Projects

The European Union’s Innovation Union and the Global Trade Environment / Trade, Innovation and SMEs

Benefits of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement: SMEs and Global Value Chains

Completed Project

EPIC: The European-Pacific Partnership for ICT

European and Global Futures

The EU Centre of Excellence at RMIT’s research program in European and ‘global futures’ asks major questions about the future of the EU in the world, with a particular focus on opportunities and challenges for the EU-Australia relationship. These questions include:

  • Is increasing integration within the EU achievable, despite the significant challenges?
  • Can EU Member State leaders continue to work together to deliver the expectations citizens hold?
  • How can the EU best respond to the uncertainty arising from a resurgent Russia, a globalising China, and a more self-centred United States?
  • What kind of global actor is the EU?
  • What kind of role and impact should the EU aspire to as global actor?

Current Projects

Policy, Politics, Culture: EU Migration and Integration

Summer School for Secondary School Teachers

The EU for Journalists: Media Reporting of the EU in Australia

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.