The Inter-University Centre for Research on Southern Europe (CIRES) is an independent research institute affiliated with the University of Florence (Italy). The consortium was established on 16th July 1999, and was originally stipulated among the Department of Political Science (University of Pisa), the Department of Historical, Legal, Political and Social Sciences (University of Siena), within the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the University of Florence to support researchers interested in the impact of EU integration.
In 2006 SUM, Italian Institute of Human Sciences, also became a member of this consortium.
CIRES promotes interdisciplinary research programs on European institutions and policies, as well as comparative studies on the Europeanization process and socio-political changes due to European unification. More precisely, past and present activities of CIRES focus on the changing nature of modern representation; governance; democracy in Mediterranean countries; EU regional policies; Euro-Mediterranean partnership; democratization processes.
Since 1999, CIRES has done research, promoted events and hosted professors. It boasts decennial experience in the organization of international conferences on European matters, some of them realized with the financial support of the European Commission, such as the conference on "Europeanization and Democratization: the Southern European Experience and the Perspective for New Member States of Enlarged Europe", held in Florence in June 2005, which obtained the financial support of the Jean Monnet Action in 2004.
CIRES has also been part of the Transnational Network on Euroisation and Democratisation at the Eastern Border of the EU (TNED), created in 2006 thanks to the financial support of the Jean Monnet Action, and aimed at creating a network of JM Centres of European Excellence connected with universities in Eastern European countries outside the EU borders. The network was originally promoted by the Universities of Florence (Italy), Bath (UK) and Victoria (Canada)
CIRES is also a centre for advanced education on European integration, and regularly publishes Working Papers and Occasional Papers.