Elena Danescu holds a PhD in Political Economics (1998) from the National Institute of Economic Research (INCE) of the Romanian Academy, with a thesis on the Luxembourg development model and the achievements of Pierre Werner. Previously, she obtained a DEA postgraduate diploma in international, diplomatic and strategic relations from Paris III University and a Master’s degree in Economics from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (ASE). She began her career as a researcher at INCE and guest lecturer at ASE before becoming a researcher and diplomat in the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was involved in multiple international projects and networks, initially focusing on the European integration and transition to democracy of Central and Eastern European countries before turning her attention more particularly to the role of Luxembourg and its elites in the European integration process, in Economic and Monetary Union, in EU governance, as well as in banking history and oral history,. She was a researcher in the European Integration Studies Department of the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (CVCE), where she developed the interdisciplinary “Pierre Werner and Europe” research project (2011-2017) based on an exploration of the Werner family archives, opened for the first time for research purposes. She is duly entitled to supervise doctoral researches and she is registered as a supervisor at the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (DSHSS)/University of Luxembourg, in the discipline "History". She is a funding Fellow of Robert Schuman Institute of European Affairs and joined the University of Luxembourg on 1 July 2016. She is an elected member of the University Council (2018-2023), the Board of the Fondation du Mérite européen and the Council of the Fondation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe (Lausanne), and she is since many years an active member of several outstanding professional associations worldwide (EUSA, UACES, ESHET, AISPE).
She is currently the PI of two ongoing interdisciplinary research projects: “Competition, convergence, harmonisation – a comparative analysis of taxation in the Benelux states” (FISCOLUX: 2019-2023) and “Le rôle des femmes dans les relations européennes et internationales du Luxembourg” (RelINT_EULUX: 2021-2025). In recent years she also successfully submitted two competitive public history projects for the University of Luxembourg: “Europe Direct Information Centre de l’Université du Luxembourg (2019-2021)” and “Europe Direct University of Luxembourg (2021-2025)”, both co-funded by the European Union.Her teaching activities include the courses “Histoire de la construction européenne (1919-1993)” and “Histoire économique et sociale de l’Europe après 1945 – concepts, processus, acteurs”, both part of the Master en Histoire européenne contemporaine (MAHEC), and “Transitions démocratiques en Europe centrale et orientale: histoire, mémoire(s), défis” for the Bachelor en Cultures européennes (BCE). In 2015 she began running the course « Le Luxembourg et l’intégration européenne » at the Luxembourg National Institute for Public Administration. Since 2017 she has supervised 9 Master’s students and 1 PhD student.
Elena Danescu has authored numerous publications in her areas of expertise. She regularly participates in the peer review process of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought (Cambridge Core), the Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge), and of the Journal of European Integration History (Nomos Verlag). Since 2015, she has been involved in the evaluation of interdisciplinary research projects submitted to COST Association and MIUR/ Italian Research Funding.
In 2020 Elena Danescu was awarded the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship in international relations by the European University Institute (Florence).