Since the early 1980s, the College of Europe has developed significant consultancy activities with a focus on European law. The Development Office was established in 1996 to implement EU service contracts for legal research and other the external activities of the College of Europe. Until 2009 it was under the direction of Dr. Marc VUIJLSTEKE (†) who was replaced in September 2009 by Mr Jan DE MONDT. From April 2015 the Office is managed by its previous Deputy Director, Mr Jesús BALLESTEROS.
Since its creation, the Development Office team has managed a wide range of long-term projects services for the EU institutions, notably in the field of codification of European law, the implementation of the Internal Market and services for Commission networks.
The drive for EU enlargement created also a huge demand for information, advice and professional training on European issues. Acknowledging this need as early as 1990, the College of Europe and later on the Development Office have been organising numerous academic co-operation projects funded by EU programmes and projects in consortia with companies and law firms or on its own account. It also manages the publication of Collegium, the academic journal of the College.
The Development Office has also been underpinning the role of the College of Europe as a centre d’excellence in European affairs. It has been organising professional training courses and seminars on European issues with various partners including associations, private companies, EU institutions and national administrations. The training courses are either tailor-made or part of an annual education programme. Its flagship programme is the Intensive Seminar on the EU – a one- to three-week training course in Bruges which has been organised since 1993.
In addition, the Development Office has been a venue for various conferences and forums on topics that are complementary to the academic expertise of the College.