News from the IES

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. 

Three new publications were issued in the context of the H2020 European Leadership in Cultural, Science and Innovation Diplomacy (EL-CSID) project. EL-CSID scientific coordinator Luk Van Langenhove published an essay entitled “Multilateral EU action through science diplomacy”, UNU-CRIS researchers Ana B. Amaya and Stephen Kingah wrote a blog note on “What is necessary for effective EU leadership that can promote (inter) regionalism in science and cultural diplomacy in the South?” and WZB researcher Uli Schreiterer published a piece on the blog that addresses “Leveraging science for European foreign policy: Bare necessities, global challenges and soft power”.

On 24 June, doctoral research Daniel Fiott was invited to speak at an expert meeting in Paris that focused on European responses to the United States’ “Third Offset Strategy” (the US’ latest defence innovation drive). The meeting, organised by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, brought together leading European defence experts with their American counterparts. Daniel’s speaking presentation focused on the United Kingdom’s defence innovation policies. In his presentation Daniel explained that European states face a challenge to spend sufficient amounts on defence research and development, and he argued that there is greater scope for European states to commonly identify technology trends and strategic priorities. Closer European cooperation on setting technology priorities is needed more than ever with the EU’s plan to invest in defence R&D, he concluded.

On 22 June 2016, IES doctoral researcher Daniel Fiott delivered a presentation entitled ‘TTIP and its Potential Impact on European Defence Cooperation’. The presentation was delivered at the high-level, four-week, annual European Session for Armament Officials (SERA), which is organised by the French Institute for Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN) and hosted at the French military academy in Paris. This year’s SERA (the 28th such gathering) brought together 66 participants from across Europe with the aim of strengthening a European outlook in matters concerning defence equipment and procurement. 

The EU agreed in 2009 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. This ‘decarbonisation’ objective means a massive shift away from fossil fuel consumption. Currently, EU-Russian energy relations are based on interdependence of fossil fuel import and export. As the EU promotes its climate and decarbonisation objectives, Russia has countered with tactics supporting a narrative in favour of the status quo. So far, the EU’s response to Russian narratives has been uncoordinated, but there is considerable potential for the conflicting narratives of decarbonisation and status quo fossil fuel consumption to move to an emphasis on ‘opportunities’. In such a narrative, both the EU and Russia would benefit from the innovative and modernising effects of a serious engagement with decarbonisation, including continued relations based on renewable energy trade.

The EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 has recently turned five. As for any anniversary worthy of the name, a general assessment of both the first results and the necessary steps forward needs to be made.

This Policy Brief investigates the progress attained by the EU Framework in relation to a specific component of so-called Roma integration policies, i.e. the gender dimension. Recognized as one of the 10 Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion in 2009, the Awareness of the gender dimension does not yet play a significant role in the design, implementation and evaluation of Roma-related policies. Rather, it seems to have gradually faded in recent years’ EU policy-making on Roma inclusion, being relegated to the more featureless category of horizontal policy measure and/or crosscutting issue.