As of 1st October 2016 the responsibility of the EU-Asia Institute will be handed over to Thomas Hoerber. After a decade of patiently building an original research unit firmly anchored in the social sciences, Albrecht Sonntag is heading for a new professional challenge in a different environment.
It was in September 2006 that Albrecht had been entrusted with a so-called “Chair in European Integration”, with the mission to underpin the numerous courses and programmes with a European focus that he had previously created by solid research in the interdisciplinary field of European Studies.
The chair became a team when Thomas joined in 2007, followed by Wei Shen in 2008. Its international visibility was greatly enhanced when it was charged by UACES with hosting the association’s annual conference in 2009, welcoming close to 300 international delegates on the Angers campus.
In 2010, the chair became a full-fledged “Centre for European Integration”, still relatively modest in size, but with increasing research output and funding success. Given the growing importance of the Shanghai campus at ESSCA School of Management and EU-Asia Relations as research area in the centre’s work, a further step was taken in 2014, with the creation of the EU-Asia Institute, spanning across several of the school’s campuses. Today, the institute counts a rather impressive team of permanent and associate researchers.
In a friendly farewell ceremony, Thomas thanked Albrecht for the work accomplished over the previous ten years and looked forward to seizing the opportunity of taking the work of the institute further in the coming years.