News from the IES

On 22 November, the #NATOrevivalroundtable was organised with a view to assessing the outcomes of the Warsaw Summit and paving the way forward to the Brussels Summit in the spring of 2017. The discussions reviewed the evolution from the assurance measures of the Newport Summit to the deterrence measures of the Warsaw Summit; the challenges encountered when countering hybrid or non-linear warfare; and the implications of the rise of Asia for the transatlantic relationship. Thanks to the excellent line-up of speakers, the 60 participants were able to enjoy an extremely insightful and thought-provoking debate on the future of the Atlantic Alliance.

We are proud and happy to announce that one additional Doctor of Law has just been added to our IES family: On Tuesday 15 November 2016, Irene Wieczorek successfully defended her PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Legitimacy of EU Criminal Law: What Role for Normative and Instrumental Justifications?’. Irene’s PhD promotors were Prof. Dr. P. De Hert and Prof. Dr. Weyembergh while members of her exam commission were Prof. Dr. F. Trauner (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Prof. Dr. M. Dony (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Prof. Dr. E. Herlin-Karnell (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Prof. Dr. J. Spencer (University of Cambridge).

Irene joined the IES in April 2012 when she enrolled in a joint doctorate programme at the VUB and at the ULB. The Institute for European Studies would like to congratulate Irene on this important step in her career.

On Monday 28 November 2016, Florian Trauner speaks on the topic ‘Dublin is dead, long live Dublin - The struggle for paradigmatic change in EU asylum policy’ at the University of Vienna in the context of the lectures of the IPW (Institut für Politikwissenschaft).

 

In collaboration with computer engineers from Newcastle University (Australia), IES’ Professor Marie Lamensch developed a technology-based solution for collecting value added tax (VAT) on imports of goods that would allow States to remove the exemption threshold that currently applies on imports (for administrative reasons, ie. because the cost of processing all incoming parcels exceeds the expected tax revenue), but which, in a global and digital economy, results in distortions between local and offshore businesses (as imports become cheaper than domestic goods thanks to the VAT exemption).

On the eve of the annual world climate summit (Marrakesh, 7-18 November 2016), an IES Policy Forum on 20 October 2016 discussed the prospects of international climate policy. After the record-quick entry into force of the Paris Agreement concluded in December 2015 on 4 November 2016, the Marrakesh conference will also serve as the first meeting of the parties to that agreement. Chaired by IES professor Sebastian Oberthür, the Policy Forum featured presentations by Elina Bardram from the European Commission’s DG Climate Action and Stephan Singer, Climate Action Network International.

On 25 October, IES doctoral researcher Ferran Davesa offered a presentation on the preliminary results of his project "Political Participation into EU Policy-Making. Which Approach for Youth?". Davesa is part of the joint programme EDGE (Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe) of the Political Science Department and the Institute for the European Studies (IES) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Migration experts from the IES played a major role in the organisation of the Political Sociology Network conference of the European Sociology Association held at the IES’ premises on 28-29 October. Entitled ‘(Dis-)locating Europe: conflicts, challenges and changes’, the conference gathered around 120 participants from different European countries and was organized by the IES in cooperation with the the Université libre de Bruxelles, the Université catholique de Louvain and the Université Saint-Louise-Bruxelles.

IES professor Sebastian Oberthür was part of a group of 4 researchers who provided written evidence to the UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee on the future of UK climate and energy policy. Among their main findings was that the UK has indeed played a strong role in the development of EU climate policy, without which the EU’s role to help broker global deals like the Paris Agreement would have been weaker. 

On 13 October 2016, the Institute for European Studies hosted a policy forum titled “The interface between EU competition law and regulation: challenges and new developments”. The objective of the discussion was to address the substantive and procedural developments as well as contentious aspects that surface in the context of the interrelationship between competition law and sector regulation.

On 19 October 2016, the IES together with Airbus Group, organised a policy forum, which explored the potential for sustainable alternative jet fuels to deliver emission reductions in the aviation sector. IES researcher Filip Sedefov introduced the topic and then gave the floor to three stakeholder representatives invited for the occasion.