The decision by the Bavarian Council of Ministers to relocate both Institutes as well as the Institute of East European Law to Regensburg has already been mentioned. Despite worries to the contrary, the actual relocation of the two Institutes in 2007 proved in the end to be a chance for a new beginning.
At the Institute for Southeast European Studies the academic staff was increased in early 2008, and again in early 2010, thus enabling a further expansion of the research activities in the fields of history and, to some extent, once again, contemporary studies. The first important step in the field of contemporary studies was from 2008 to secure through its own efforts the academic editorial department of ‟Südosteuropa”. In 2010, a further academic post was created for the supervision of the new mid-term project ‟Handbuch zur Geschichte Südosteuropas” (Handbook of the History of Southeast Europe). The library staff has been purposefully increased since about 2006. Since 2007, the Institute for Southeast European Studies has stepped forward as an organizer of lectures, series of events and conferences much more frequently than ever before in its history. In 2010, the Institute celebrated its 80th anniversary and, shortly before its independent existence came to an end, published its last work, the ‟Geschichte Südosteuropas” – once more a standard work from the Institute program that had, not least, played a role in the preparation of the handbook project. With its move the Institute for Southeast European Studies, although remaining independent, became an affiliate of the University of Regensburg. In October 2008, Ulf Brunnbauer, who is also Professor of Southeast and East European History at the University of Regensburg, became the Institute’s Director. Prior to this, Professor Björn Hansen of the Institute of Slavistics at the University of Regensburg had been acting Director of the Institute for Southeast European Studies for a year.
Things developed similarly at the East European Institute. The changes at the top of the Institute had already anticipated the relocation to Regensburg, so to speak. The first increase in staff in 2010 took place to the benefit of the economic research. The work of both Institutes was increasingly characterized by coordinated action. Joint activities also took place at the level of the ‟Research Center for Eastern and Southeastern Europe” (WiOS), initiated as a cooperation platform in 2007. The Institute of East European Law and the Hungarian Institute – both originating in Munich before moving to Regensburg (the latter in 2009) – are also part of the WiOS. Collaboration related particularly to the organization of events, especially with regard to library activities. Today, the two extensive media collections of the East European Institute and the Institute for Southeast European Studies form the core of the WiOS library, which is one of the world’s largest libraries specializing in Eastern Europe.
The plans for the complete amalgamation of the two Institutes got under way in 2009. The years of 2010 and 2011 were therefore significantly influenced by the conceptual and practical preparations for the amalgamation.