The Research Programme, set up in 1981, aims to explore Byzantium's relations with the world of the Balkans during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, focusing on the following areas: policy, economy, culture, geography and social movements. The Programme has developed strong ties with the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Romanian Institute for Southeast European Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
The Research Programme participated in the European project ''Pour une Grande Histoire des Balkans des Origines aux Guerres Balkaniques'' of A.I.E.S.E.E., under the direction of Hélène Antoniadis-Bibicou and André Guillou. An important output from this project is the first volume published in 2004 entitled: Espaces-Peuples-Langues, of which the 7th chapter, ''Les invasions dans les Balkans pendant les IVe-VIe siècles'' is our Programme's contribution.
Part of the Programme's activity was the project ''The Danubian Borderlands (methorios chora) and its World'', completed in 2008 with the publication of a collective volume. In 2009, a new project began under the title ''The Transition from Antiquity to Early Middle Ages: The Example of Scythia Minor (4th-7th c. A.D.)''. The project aims to promote the cultural, social and economic transformations and influences in the Byzantine province of Scythia Minor during Late Antiquity, focused on the settlements and coexistance of populations, trade relations, local workshops, civil and rural space etc. In this scope, a scientific dialogue with Romanian historians and archaeologists is in progress. Moreover, there are plans for future collaborations with researchers from Bulgaria and other Balkan countries.
The research activity of the Programme's collaborators includes the following volumes:
1) Th. Baseu-Barabas - K. Nicolaou, Greek Region and Early Slavs, Bulgarians and Serbs (6th-15th c.), Athens 1992 (pp. 95) (in Greek).
2) S. Patoura, Prisoners of War as Agents of Communication and Information, Athens 1994 (pp. 174) (in Greek, French summary).
3) Byzantium and Serbia in the 14th century, International Symposium 3, eds. E. Papadopoulou - D. Dialeti, Athens 1996 (pp. 432).
4) The Medieval Albanians, International Symposium 5, ed. Ch. Gasparis, Athens 1998 (pp. 388).
5) The Balkans and the East Mediterranean (12th-17th centuries), Proceedings of the International Symposium in Memory of D. A. Zakythenos, eds. L. Mavrommatis - K. Nikolaou, Athens 1998 (pp. 244).
6) Manuel Panselinos and his Age, Proceedings of International Symposium, eds. L. Mavrommatis - K. Nikolaou, Athens 1999 (pp. 206).
7) Toleration and Repression in the Middle Ages, International Symposium 10, In memory of Lenos Mavrommatis, ed. K. Nikolaou, Athens 2002 (pp. 389).
8) Byzantium and the Bulgarians (1018-1185), International Symposium 18, eds. K. Nikolaou - K. Tsiknakis, Athens 2008 (pp. 236).
9) S. Patoura-Spanou, The Danubian Limes and its World during the Migration Period (4th-7th c.), ed. G. Th. Kardaras, Athens 2008 (pp. 301) (in Greek).
10) S. Patoura-Spanou, Christianity and Globality in Early Byzantium. From Theory to Practice, Athens 2008 (pp. 456) (in Greek).
Articles and essays of the Programme's collaborators are published in Greek, Balkan and international journals, such as Symmeikta, RESEE, Byzantinoslavica, Vizantiskij Vremennik, ZRVI etc.