A Francophone centre for advanced social studies was inaugurated on Monday in Bucharest to increase visibility of research in French in social sciences in Central and Eastern Europe. The Regional Francophone Centre for Advanced Research in Social Sciences (CeReFREA) will develop independent research programs and will support the networks conducting research in social sciences through conferences, scientific events and seminars. The CeReFREA project won the Louis D cultural prize conferred by the Institut de France in 2012. Thanks to this prize worth 750,000 euros, Villa Noel, the former headquarters of the Cooperation and Cultural Action Services of the French Embassy to Romania, will be renovated in order to become the headquarters of the Francophone centre. Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean, who attended the event, said that CeReFREA has the potential to become a regional centre of excellence of research in French. France’s Ambassador in Bucharest, Francois Saint-Paul said he sees CeReFREA as a ‘laboratory’ of ideas and academic proposals approaching Romania’s future in the European Union context.