Today, in the first quarter of the 21st century, Europe – and more specifically the European Union – faces many complex challenges. A prolonged phase of EU expansion, aimed at overcoming narrowly national outlooks in its member states and assuming a common position in world affairs (a double ‘debordering’), has been followed by a more recent tendency toward populism, seeking a return to national sovereignty and authority (‘rebordering’). This is evidenced not only by the long-drawn-out discussions around ‘Brexit’ – the formal departure of the United Kingdom from the EU – but also by highly divergent political positions on refugees and migration. At issue here is not only the future development of Europe but more globally its political position in an international context that continually presents new and often unforeseen problems. What yesterday seemed unshakable principles – for example the trusting transatlantic partnership with the USA or the trend toward ‘more Europe’ in the EU – are today not seldom called in question. Through its history and its position on the border to France, the Saarland is in a particular way affected by these developments. Situated geographically at the heart of Europe, and with regional bonds stretching at many levels across national frontiers, the region can become a model for Europe – a firm point in a confused and confusing world. The potential for relevant university teaching and research is from that point of view given. Based in Saarbrücken, the Saarland University’s Department of Social-Scientific European Studies is deeply committed to research into the ongoing development of both Europe and the EU.