News from the IES

On 23 June, Klaudia spoke during the symposium “Online platforms, Big Data and privacy: What role for competition policy?”. The event was organised by the Centre for Studies on Media Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) and the Brussels Centre for Competition Policy (BCCP) at the VUB. 

On Tuesday 19 July 2016, IES doctoral researcher Ferran Davesa  lectured on “(Mis)communication (Mis)communication between Europe and its citizens?” at VUB’s Summer School “Clash! Brussels between the IN and the OUT situation in Belgium and Europe”. The session was aimed at analyzing the main causes of political disaffection in the EU and the potential benefits of participatory governance. Students from a large array of countries attended the lecture, which was complemented with a visit of the International Press Association & Spokesperson's Service of the European Commission -- Find the slides of the lecture here.

September 2016 marks the arrival of Prof Dr. Christian Kaunert as the new IES Academic Director and Professor of European Politics. Prof Kaunert was previously Professor of International Politics, as well as Director of the European Institute for Security and Justice at the University of Dundee, which, like the IES, is a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

The EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy is quite candid about the challenges facing European defence and it understandably calls for defence cooperation to become the norm rather than the exception. The new strategy provides Europe with a realistic analysis of the present challenges and it lays the foundations for further action on security and defence. Far from calling for a panoply of new initiatives, the EUGS prudently makes the case for a calculated and proactive consolidation of existing EU policies and instruments. While it may seem frivolous to some to talk about the streamlining of institutions and existing policies at the present time, Daniel Fiott argues in his latest EUISS policy alert that the EU can ill-afford not to further rationalise its defence policy. 

As part of a project on innovating teaching and learning of European studies (INOTLES) that the IES is currently running our Institute delivered an inter-university course between September 2015 and March 2016 that involved 9 universities (through blended learning, meaning 3 online courses and a final colloquium in Brussels). On 16 June an IES delegation consisting of Silviu Piros, Alexandra Mihai, and Anthony Antoine attended the final conference of the project in Kiev, where they presented a short clip gathering impressions from both professors and students during the Brussels event in March. You can find out more about it and watch the clip online here.

The environment has not played a prominent role in the UK’s EU referendum campaign. And yet the ability of European states, including the UK, to work together in securing international environmental agreements has had a notably positive impact not just on Europe, but on the wider world. A few weeks prior to the referendum IES’s Sebastian Oberthür addressed this topic in a blog post on EUROPP – an academic blog run by the London School of Economics and Political Science. Click here to read about how he argues that from an environmental point of view a Brexit would produce losers on all sides.

Both prior to the UK referendum and even more so after its outcome, IES researchers provided intricate clarifications of the complex UK-EU relationship to various print and audiovisual media from around the globe. The IES had compiled its expertise on this subject in 6 policy briefs each covering a different aspect of a Brexit scenario.

The Institute for European Studies co-organised together with the Commission Representation in Belgium a half-day Expert Seminar on EU’s future policies on the Economic and Monetary Union, the EMU. The seminar hosted roughly 60 policy makers and representatives from federal and regional Belgian ministries, the Belgian parliaments, universities and think tanks as well as civil society organisations with an interest in EMU governance. 

From the first week of June to first week of July included, the EFSP cluster hosted the eight edition of the Brussels Programme on European Foreign Policy with students from the University of Southern California (USC).

Over the years, the programme has managed to annually attract a steady stream of students. In 2016, 14 USC students participated in the summer course. The group of students attended internship positions at Brussels-based think-tanks and organisations as well as an intensive lecture programme on European Foreign and Security Policy.

IES Research Professor Florian Trauner published the results of a research project on the role of the EU’s supranational institutions in Justice and Home Affairs in the Journal of Common Market Studies, an academic outlet highly ranked in the Social Science Citation Index. The article demonstrates how the dynamics of decision-making alter among the EU institutions once the co-decision procedures is introduced.