Newsletter


Newsletter

Publication of the Institute for European Studies Volume 1, Issue 5, November 2003

European Security inside-out

After our successful lecture series on Globalization in the spring of 2003, our institute now focuses on European Security. Our second lecture series runs from October to December and aims at unravelling the security issues that tackle Europe today. With the EU calling for a stronger (or at least more coordinated) defence structure, and the various initiatives in this respect launched by leaders of European countries today, the series proves to tackle a very timely issue.

Prof. Dr. Rik Coolsaet
Opening the lecture series on 7 October, Prof. Dr. Rik Coolsaet (top picture) of the Royal Institute for International Relations and the University of Gent gave an interesting introduction to the subject at hand. In his lecture "European Security: What? Why? When? How?", he gave a compelling overview of Europe's significance in current international (security) relations. His views led to many reactions from the interested audience.

Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Neuhold
In his lecture "Force and Law - Four variations: from Iraq 1991 to Iraq 2003", prof. dr. Hanspeter Neuhold (University of Vienna) introduced students to the legal background of the use of force. He warned for a decline in legal "backing" for military interventions over the past decade, and noted challenges to the Wesphalian state system. Together with his respondent Prof. Dr. Erik Franckx (VUB), he admitted that international law is still evolving, so that there may still be room for optimism in the long run.

Dr. Sven Biscop
Dr. Sven Biscop (sitting to the right) of the Royal Institute for International Relations lectured on "Europe's Security Doctrine". In his lecture, dr. Biscop advocated a two-pillared European defence structure, with on the one hand a strong European angle, and on the other hand a transatlantic angle through NATO. Respondent Prof. Dr. Gustaaf Geeraerts (VUB) criticized the voluntary arguments of dr. Biscop, as he was sceptical about the current (political) capability of the EU to change the balance of power in today's world order.

Dr. Antonio Missiroli
In a compelling lecture, Dr. Antonio Missiroli of the EU Institute for Security Studies enlightened an interested audience about the difference in foreign policy between "big states" and "small states" within the EU. Tackling questions about quality majority voting and flexibility within security issues, he concluded that overall, "size does not matter and should not matter" in a Europe in which all member states are stakeholders. Unlike other speakers in our series, Dr. Missiroli argued that we do not need a (European) mutual defence guarantee separate from NATO, yet he does call for closer cooperation between the member states to develop specialized military capabilities.

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Our researchers on the move:
The 2003 ALAI Congress on the protection of artists in the information society

These days one can no longer think about creators' rights without thinking about how they are being breached. With digitalization as one of its primary characteristics, it seems as though the information society is no safe harbor for authors and performing artists. From 14 to 17 September, the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI) gathered academics and representatives from interest groups and businesses at the shores of the Danube in Budapest for its annual Congress, entitled "Protection of Creators' Rights in the Information Society". Researcher Johan Kaes of our institute joined this international group in the framework of his research on "Globalisation and limits to access to information".

Monitored by Mihaly Fiscor, former Assistant Director General of the WIPO and now Chairman of the Hungarian ALAI Group, topics such as Private copying, levy systems, dissemination of copyrighted works through digital networks and audiovisual performances were considered.

According to Kaes, the more than 50 speakers failed to come up with innovative proposals on how to solve the problems, although they touched upon virtually all difficulties of legislators and business in this field. The stakeholders of intellectual properties are far from a homogeneous group, who have not been clear on where the limits of property claims on content have to make way for facilitation of communication.

In his summarizing intervention, Professor Thomas Dreier of the Munich Max Planck Institute rightly pointed out that a great deal of the problems copyright faces today are due to a question of balance: the balance between content and communication.

Further information on the proceedings of the Congress can be found at: http://www.alai.org/

Environmental Law and Policy Euroconference

Katia Bodard, Rhiannon Williams and Stéphanie Dodeller attended the Conference on the Environmental Regulation of Production Processes and Products in Salzburg from 24 to 27 September. The conference was supported by the European Commission and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science.

A fascinating range of topics, speakers and workshops was offered over the four days. Highlights came when the lecturers challenged the participants to think Œoutside the box'. These high points included a lecture on the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays-principle by Liz Fisher of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, a presentation about informing consumers of the origin of their electricity via their bills by Diana Uerge-Vorsatz of the Central European University, Hungary, and proposals for a new taxation system for environmental restoration by Deborah S. Davenport of Mississippi State University and Dave Barnes of the UK Institute of Quality Assurance.

Other topics covered during the conference included: environmental standards in products and processes; the IPPC Directive; new, Œsoft', instruments of environmental governance; the WTO perspective on trade and environment; chemicals regulation in EC law; the regulation of GMOs; and the future regulation of production processes and products in Europe. During the various workshops, many of the conference participants gave presentations. Rhiannon Williams talked about the WTO's approach to environmental standards in products and processes, with particular reference to developing countries. Katia Bodard summarised her research on the feasibility of an integrated environmental product policy in Belgium, which involved assessing the legal scope for Belgium to introduce policy measures at a national level aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of products, (illustrated by case studies on electric and electronic equipment and packaging), in the light of the restraints imposed by international law, (WTO GATT and TBT obligations).

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New faces at the Institute

Ruben Lombaert

Piet Vandoolaeghe

Johan Vandendriessche
Three new researchers started at our Institute. Following a grant by the EU Jean Monnet Programme, Ruben Lombaert, a political scientist, will develop the politico-economic angle of our educational modules on European Institutions.

Piet Van Doolaeghe and Johan Vandendriessche, both lawyers, will assist Sven Baeten on a part-time basis on the research project on Public-Private Cooperation.

Ruben, who graduated from the College de l'Europe (Bruges) and Cambridge, previously worked as expert speaker for the European Commission. Piet Van Doolaeghe and Johan Vandendriessch, although recently appointed, are not "new" to the Institute. Piet successfully completed a study for IES on the Flemish contribution to the European Convention (in collaboration with the KU Leuven and the University of Gent), while Johan, held research positions at the VUB Law Faculty until a few years ago.

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More office space for the IES

New IES office space

With more and more researchers starting at our institute, and in view of the employment of two new senior research fellows in the near future, the IES is expanding its office space. At the corner of the Pleinlaan and the Schoofslaan, above the café Time Square and across from Vesalius College and the other IES premises, the Institute will rent, as of 1 December 2003, the offices currently occupied by the Brussels School for International Studies (BSIS is moving to a bigger space further down the street, while the two floors they leave will be taken up by Vesalius College on the one hand, and the IES on the other). The new premises will host the senior research fellows (see News in Brief) and one or two part-time IES researchers.

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Vienna-Brussels Co-operation (1/3):
Successful symposium on European Enlargement and Institutional Reform at Vienna's Diplomatic Academy

Vienna Symposium Group
On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 September, the Institute for European Studies, the University of Vienna (UW) and the Vienna Diplomatic Academy (DAW) organized a symposium on European Enlargement and Institutional Reform. The two-day symposium, attended by 38 students (selected out of 66 candidates) from different EU-accessing countries, was hosted at Vienna's Diplomatic Academy and coordinated by IES' executive director Anthony Antoine. The conference theme, enlargement and reform, was chosen deliberately so that the symposium could bring an added value to those wishing to take the upcoming EC concours.

All three institutes provided high-level speakers to this event. Lecturing at the symposium were Dr. Leopold Maurer of the EC Directorate for Enlargement, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schloh, former lecturer in our PILC programme and former member of the legal department of the Council of Ministers of the EU, Prof. Dr. Hubert Isak, European Law professor at the University of Graz and lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy, Prof. Dr. Wim Blonk, professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and formerly working at the European Commission's DG Transport, Dr. Elisabeth Tichy of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Brigid Gavin of the United Nations University, Prof. Dr. Albena Azmanova of Vesalius College and Mr. Ruben Lombaert, member of Team Europe and researcher at our institute.

The symposium was but one out of three joint IES-DAW-UW activities. In the spring of 2004, the three institutes will organize similar lectures on European Integration and the Convention, this time in the various capitals of acceding countries: Prague, Bratislava, Ljubljana and Budapest. In July 2004, the joint institutes organize the first of what is to become an annual Summer School on the EU's Decision-Making Process (one week in Brussels, one week in Vienna).

The three projects were awarded a grant of approximately 50.000,00 EUROS by the A-3022 project of the Commission's Jean Monnet Action (DG Education).

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IES Colloquium on the EU internal market and the WTO multilateral trading system

EU-WTO Environment Colloquium
On Thursday, December 18, the IES organizes a colloquium on the EU Internal Market and the WTO multilateral trading system: constraints and opportunities for national environmental product regulation. The colloquium is organized in collaboration with the Environmental Law Research Centre at the Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, the Centre for Environmental Law at the Universiteit Gent and the Centre for the Study of Sustainable Development at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and with the financial support of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (POD Wetenschapsbeleid - SPP Politique scientifique)

The seminar consist of two parts. During the morning session, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis will present the results of a two-year research project funded by the Belgian federal office for science policy on "The feasibility of an environmental product policy in Belgium", examining the possibilities for implementation of the Belgian federal law on product standards against the background of relevant provisions of EC law and WTO law.

During the afternoon session, a number of distinguished international experts in the trade and environment field will be invited to comment on the results of the project and to present their views on topics of their choice concerning the latest developments in WTO law affecting national environmental and health regulation.

The audience will be composed of academics, officials, students, specialised lawyers and representatives of industry, NGOs and other stakeholders. Participation will be free of charge but online registration is required (see http://www.ies.be)

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International Conference explores needed changes in Aviation

On April 11 and 12, the University of Georgia Dean Rusk Center and the Institute for European Studies of the VUB co-organized a two-day conference at a critical point for the aviation industry and North American/European relations. A high-powered group, which included leading industry, government and academic experts in aviation law and policy from both sides of the Atlantic, assembled to discuss some of the most controversial issues regarding the opening up of the aviation marketplace. The conference identified those areas where continuing research is needed and where more intensive dialogue can lead to timely movement in policy for the improvement of the aviation system.

The conference "Clearing the Way to a More Open Market", under the co-chair of Catherine Erkelens, Bird & Bird and VUB Law Faculty, and Charles Hunnicut, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation, provided a forum for speakers and participants to tackle issues of immediate concern in the liberalization of the trans-Atlantic aviation arena. The current state of the aviation industry and means for addressing structural problems that hinder its operations was the initial subject of the meeting. A conference panel then examined ways to support the development of aviation safety and security in international services. Industry leaders broke out in lively discussion regarding regulations that limit ownership and control of airlines to nationals of the airline's home country. The conference concluded with the experts examining ways to accommodate the effects of different national labor laws and their impact on international air transport operations. Potential methods for coordinating the application of differing anti-trust laws were also discussed.

The proceedings will shortly appear in audio and print on the Dean Rusk Center's Web site, http://www.uga.edu/ruskcenter.

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IES News in Brief

On its last Board meeting before the summer, the IES decided to open a vacancy for two senior research fellows. The research fellows are to have a PhD and experience in conducting research and project management. The two future senior rsearch fellows will co-ordinate IES research projects and will assist daily management in organizing high level conferences and colloquia. Currently, three external reviewers are analyzing the dossiers of the 20 accepted candidates. It is foreseen that the senior research fellows will take up their function early 2004.

The Institute for European Studies is taking part in a European Network of Excellence on "Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation: the Role of the EU" (GARNET). The proposed network will be submitted against the first call in theme 7.4.1.2. in the EU Sixth Framework Programme. The aim is to establish a multi-disciplinary, European network of scientific excellence consisting of expertise in contemporary global and regional governance. Amongst the 41 partners (figuring ULB, UNU-CRIS, University of Warwick), IES will contribute through its legal expertise.

On 21 October, the VUB University Board approved the IES budget for 2004. The budget has subsequently been submitted to the Minister of Education.

Jürgen Millen and Wouter Ostyn succesfully completed their study on "Countering the financing of terrorism: Towards an implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in Belgian law". They will present their findings to the Ministry of Justice in December.

The project "Corruption in/and Business", commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, received funding for one more year, following IES researcher Véronique Hameeuw's excellent presentation to an evaluation board.

IES Researcher Johan Kaes has been selected to attend the 2004 SLSA Annual Conference in Glasgow. Within the SLSA "Globalisation"-stream, he will present his paper on "Protection of Technology within a Globalised Market". More on the SLSA conference can be found on http://www.law.gla.ac.uk/slsa2004/

Project assistant Johan Pas will attend the upcoming (37th) Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, following acceptance of his paper, co-written with Bruno de Vuyst "The use and re-use of government information from an EU perspective". Johan will be the only VUB-collaborator attending HICSS this year (two other VUB-researchers applied, yet their papers were refused). More on HICSS at http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/

On 19 November, IES Exec. Director Anthony Antoine lectured on "NATO, the US and Europe: three players on the same field?" for the university's UPV (Uitstraling Permanente Vorming). The lecture followed a visit to NATO by UPV-VUB.

Ruta Simelyte, former collaborator on the "Educational modules on European Law and European Institutions" project, recently left the IES for a permanent position at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Ruta was an excellent researcher and we are sad to see her leave. We wish her all success in her new position!

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Content

European Security inside-out
Our researchers on the move:
  • ALAI Congress on the protection of artists in the information society
  • Environmental Law and Policy Euroconference

New faces at the Institute
More office space for the IES
Vienna-Brussels Co-operation (1/3): Symposium on European Enlargement and Institutional Reform
IES Colloquium on the EU internal market and the WTO multilateral trading system
International Conference explores needed changes in Aviation
IES News in Brief
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Contributed to this Newsletter:
Anthony Antoine, Katia Bodard, Stéphanie Dodeller, Johan Kaes, Johan Pas, Rhiannon Williams
Editing:
Nele Fasseel & Anthony Antoine
Pictures courtesy of Anthony Antoine

Published by
Anthony ANTOINE, IES, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels