The Academic Committee was a group of scholars specialised in the Southeast European region and who were recognised in the academic community and beyond for their original and influential research and publications. This group of active citizens aimed to extend the networks already established by the Joint History Project.

The Academic Committee organised an annual workshop in the Southeast European region for young scholars to present and defend their doctoral research.

Member states of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe at their Geneva meeting in October 1999 cited education as an essential component of the peace process of the region. The network of scholars in the region brought together through the Joint History Project was identified by the Council of Europe and the member states of the Stability Pact as a solid and appropriate base from which the Board of Eminent Scholars could benefit and expand. Stability Pact members called for a comprehensive History Teaching Initiative for the region to include the establishment of a Board of Eminent Scholars to provide guidance, visibility and political support to the Initiative. The first meeting of this Board was held in Thessaloniki in May 2000, with members of the Center's Joint History Project serving as the core of the Board.