The Doctoral School and the related research programme aims at exploring the regional structure of Central and Eastern Europe, current and future directions for cooperation in the region, as well as all the push and pull factors of this cooperation. We study the possibilities of interweaving the economic, social and institutional relations in the greater region, since if the various players of the economy increasingly feel the need for interdependence, then future cooperation can become more active and its successes more lasting, thus contributing to European integration itself. One possible dimension of cooperation is the introduction and expansion of regional relations. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the current and future possibilities of regional cooperation, differences and all the economic factors behind them. However, this can only become stable within the appropriate institutional framework, so it is essential to study and compare the different organizations on state, regional, municipal and community levels. It is also relevant to study the behaviour, market practices and appearance of the different economic entities, as well as the management and operation of the corporate organizations themselves.

The educational and research programme is influenced by the spirit of its environment. Today it is clear that the economic space formed within the Vienna-Bratislava-Győr triangle is one of the future innovation hubs within the Central and Eastern European macro-region. The gradually visible new forms of contact, whether on corporate or social levels or within the regional structure, can set examples for future cooperation and development within the greater region.

Our concepts of research pursue a strong connection between regional and economic sciences. We seek to highlight economic issues as well within the regional dimensions, while we point out the territorial aspects in mainly economics-oriented analyses. The inseparable relationship of region and economy is presented in our educational programmes, the recommended dissertation topics and the students' research projects.

The methods and analysis processes of the regional sciences are applied in our research programmes. Our doctoral programme places emphasis on the regional dimension within the sociological analyses, but we do not neglect the analytical approach of economics, with special emphasis on marketing science, as well as management and organization of economic entities.

When planning the schedule of the doctoral programme, our aim was to present the theoretical and methodological structures of the two fields of science, to emphasize the links between them, thus encouraging the acquisition of a multidisciplinary approach and way of thinking.

Our programme and its scientific basis are reinforced by the Western Hungarian Research Department of Hungarian Academy of Scineces Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Institute for Regional Studies, closely related to the university. It is a defining workshop of regional research both in Hungary and in the Central and Eastern European region. Beyond scientific capacities, the cooperation with this institute of the Academy provides its special infrastructure for our programme, since beside its participation in the research programmes, its specialized library, repository, databases, analysing software and extensive network of contacts are all useful and generative forces behind these research programmes. The researchers of the Institute continuously participate in our doctoral programme (lecturing, thesis supervision), as well as joint research conducted with the Faculty in which the students of the Doctoral School have been active.