50th anniversary celebrations for Centre for Russian and East European Studies

The Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES) is 50 years old this year.

To mark this milestone the department is holding a high profile 50th anniversary seminar series. So far the series has included a talk by former Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, and a seminar on EU enlargement involving an Honorary Director General of the Commission and a leading official from the EU’s delegation who is a PhD alumnus. The high point of the celebrations so far was a special expanded CREES annual conference held in Windsor Great Park in June.

In addition to the usual array of panels covering the region from political, economic, sociological, cultural and historical perspectives, the conference began with a talk by Ron Amman, former CREES director, who went on to head the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and was a Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office during Tony Blair’s premiership. Littered with amusing anecdotes it highlighted not just his fascinating career, but also how the rigorous training, and attitude to the importance of collecting reliable empirical data that he acquired during his time at CREES has proven to be an invaluable set of tools for his subsequent jobs.

As CREES Director Dr Tim Haughton who organized the event commented, however, the highlight for all participants was the cutting of the birthday cake by the founding director of CREES, Professor Bob Davies.