Even though "The year of the East Central European awakening" (Jahr des ostmittleuropäischen Aufbruchs) was almost 30 years ago, the social transformation processes that followed it and led many of the states in the post-Soviet area of Europe into the European Union are not yet complete. Such processes of upheaval tend to take 40 to 50 years. At the same time, it is true that the societies of Central and Eastern Europe have been facing new situations and new problems for about 10 to 15 years. Whether this is called a new "post-transformation condition" is of secondary importance. What is important, however, is that since then - as the prominent cases of Hungary and Poland plausibly demonstrate - different constellations, dynamics, strategies and ideas of development, such as their global and European contexts, have been intersecting, which can by no means be interpreted as the simple completion of the political democratizations of 1989/90 or the East-West European integration, nor as the simple return of authoritarian regimes or a new division of Europe. This and various aspects of the new societies and post-socialist life - not least with regard to border areas and rural regions - are the focus of important projects in this priority area.
In addition to theoretical-conceptual efforts, empirical research projects are being carried out that focus on East Central and Eastern Europe and the special case of East Germany.
For this purpose, numerous research contacts and cooperations exist, among others to Akademie für politische Bildung Herrenhut e.V., the universities of Berlin (HU), Jena, Leipzig, Magdeburg and others as well as universities in other European countries (Wroclaw, Lodz, Liberec, St. Petersburg, Vilnius, Vienna and others), WZB Berlin, Zentrum für Zeitgeschichtliche Forschung Potsdam.