News from the IES

The Institute for European Studies (IES) is at the vanguard of a consortium of VUB and Ghent University that has been selected by United Nations University to embed UNU-CRIS, its Belgian campus located in Bruges. Endorsed and funded by the Flemish Government, UNU-CRIS focuses on questions of regional integration worldwide.

Sebastian Oberthür gave a presentation on “Multilateral Climate Negotiations” at the Potsdam Summer School “Dealing with Climate Change Impacts” organised by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany, on 12 September 2016.

On 16 September Flemish minister for industry organised a roundtable on industry and climate, with the goal to discuss how Flanders can contribute to implementation of Paris climate agreement.  IES  researcher Tomas Wyns was invited to present out research on industrial low-carbon innovation and new forms of industrial policy (including investment options and the role of the public sector). All presentations of the round table can be found here

The Indian summer Brussels experienced in September 2016 was marked by intense debate on the future of European defence efforts. Members of the IES research team were at the forefront of feeding this debate with their ideas and original insights. 

On 23 September, Professor Marie Lamensch presented the solution that she has developed together with computer engineers from Massey University (New Zealand) for collecting value added tax on imports of goods at the first meeting of the World Customs Organisation Working Group on E-Commerce. 

Professor Marie Lamensch has been appointed as member of the European Commission VAT Expert Group in her personal capacity for a period of 3 years. The task of the VAT Expert Group is 1. to advise the European Commission on the preparation of legislative acts and other policy initiatives in the field of VAT; 2. to provide insight concerning the practical implementation of legislative acts and other EU policy initiatives in the field of VAT.

Richard Higgott and Luk Van Langenhove published the first EL-CSID policy paper entitled “Towards an EU strategy for international Cultural Relations: An Initial, Critical but Constructive Analysis”. The paper offers an early assessment of the joint communication on international cultural relations presented by HR Mogherini in June. You can download the policy paper here.

Dr Claire Dupont spoke at the 5th European Environmental Evaluators Network (EEEN) forum on 16 September on ‘Evaluating policy coherence in the EU’s power sector’. The forum was hosted by the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the overarching theme for discussion was ‘Evaluation for better regulation in environment and climate policies – learning lessons from research and practice’.

The 19th Japan-EU Conference took place in Fondation Universitaire at the Egmont on Friday 23 September.  After opening sessions by Belgium’s Vice-Premier Minister Kris Peeters and Japanese Ambassador Takanori Uehara, the conference focused on the developing strategic relations between Japan and EU, where IES professors Harri Kalimo and Florian Trauner took part.

The IES will host for the next three years a new Jean Monnet Chair, as IES professor Harri Kalimo was nominated for the post on the theme of “rECOnciliation”.  rECOncile contributes to EU Studies in two intertwined policy areas that remain fundamental to the success of the Union: the internal market and the environment. Strategic initiatives in both fields have been re-launched by the Juncker Commission, and their futures are intriguingly intertwined, as the initiatives on e.g. a deeper and fairer Single Market, Circular Economy and renewable energy illustrate. The market activities are becoming greener, while green policies can be supported by an economic logic. The ensuing reconciliation of ECOnomic and ECOlogical values is therefore of vital importance.