The IOS is an independent research facility with close links to the University of Regensburg. It was founded on January 1, 2012 merging the former Institute for Eastern European Studies and the former Institute for Southeast European Studies.
The IOS continues and expands the work of these two tradition-rich institutes. It is characterized by the combination of historical and economic expertise as well as by its focus on Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Another significant feature is the institute's distinct international orientation.
The IOS performs research in three major areas concerning the historical and economic developments of Eastern and Southeastern Europe:
• Dimensions of Institutional Change
• Labour, Social Systems and Quality of Life
• Interdependencies, Migration and Trade
Furthermore the IOS maintains a special library holding a stock of more than 300,000 media units of literature in humanities and social sciences relating to the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.