Newsletter


Newsletter

Publication of the Institute for European Studies Volume 1, Issue 4, June 2003

From lecture series to MA programme

MA in the study of Globalisation
Starting October 2003, the Institute for European Studies collaborates in a new programme on the study of globalisation, launched by the University of Kent at Canterbury. UKC, who already use the VUB campus for their MA programme on International relations through their Brussels School for International Studies (BSIS), draw upon the expertise of the IES to launch the first interdisciplinary and inter-university programme on the study of Globalisation.

Kent and Brussels joined forces to give students a methodological framework enabling them to deal with issues of globalisation, whatever their study-background may be.

With new technologies enabling us to communicate at a speed and pace unequalled in history, and with an international economy that is becoming more and more interdependent, questions arise as to how to understand this "globalised" environment. This programme looks at globalisation from all angles of social sciences, dealing with issues of governance, sustainable development, environment, mobility, identity and conflict, communication and the global market.

The programme is unique in its kind in that it approaches a number of issues of the globalisation process from a multidisciplinary angle. All courses will be under the auspices of one course director, yet will be taught by a team of specialists, leading scholars in the field, and guest lecturers with various backgrounds. "Global governance", for instance, will focus on political as well as economic, social and legal aspects.

The multidisciplinary aspect does not confine itself to teaching only. Students will be tasked to conduct research in a team of at least two people with different study-backgrounds. The programme reserves six months for this joint study after which an individual report focusing on the own specialisation will be presented.

This MA programme fits the goals of the IES, as globalisation is one of its main research topics. The VUB as such tasked the Institute to coordinate this programme on its behalf. To this end, the IES Board appointed prof. dr. Marc Pallemaerts as programme coordinator.

The Institute's expertise on the subject does not only stem from its research projects. In the 2nd semester of 2002/2003, IES organised a successful lecture series on Globalisation. More about this event further in this Newsletter.

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Lecture series on European Security

As of 7 October 2003, the IES starts a new lecture series on European Security. Every Tuesday of the 1st semester, students can attend these guest lectures, given by international experts in the field. The series is free of charge for students of VUB, BSIS and Vesalius College, and can be attended by other interested parties for EUR 25 per lecture or EUR 200 for the full series (price includes book which will be published at the end of the series). For a detailed programme: see calendar of events.

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Focus on Research: Corruption in/and Business

Véronique Hameeuw
"Corruption in/and business" is a project commissioned by the Belgian Federal Ministry of Justice. It started exactly one year ago, and during this first year, Véronique Hameeuw, researcher on this project, focused on the analysis of the Belgian provisions as well as the European instruments of the OECD, the Council of Europe and the European Union in this area. The first stage of this analysis has been a vertical comparison of Belgian law with the international measures. Several of these international instruments have had an important influence on the Belgian law of 10 February 1999 concerning the criminalization of corruption. The research focuses on private corruption. In the definition of private corruption set out in the EU Joint Action of 1998, there is a distinction in the 'domain' within which the private corruption has to take place to be punishable.

The EU Joint Action aims at the penalization of the private corruption when it takes place in a commercial domain. The Belgian corruption definition is not limited to a commercial frame. This means that the Belgian law is applicable to profit and non-profit unincorporated associations. However, the Belgian provision refers to corrupt acts which take place within the context of a position. It has to be an act enabled or facilitated by that position.

A second point regards the 'capacity' of a person accepting a bribe. The offender has to be someone who works for a private organization. It can be an employee, a director at any level but also an independent person that works for a firm. The Belgian legislator has correctly transposed EU law. However, it seems to go too far when it demands that the person accepting a bribe must also have acted 'without the knowledge and without the authorization' of his hierarchical superior. It is at this point already clear that the demand of acting 'without knowledge and without authorization' is the Achilles' tendon of Belgian law. The way the law is currently formulated protects enterprises instead of the market. These practices, that are accepted and even sometimes encouraged by the council of administration, escape criminalization, despite their being far more damaging to the market than an individual acting as an employee.

In the next phase of her research, Véronique plans to make a horizontal comparison with the legal provisions concerning corruption in France, The Netherlands and Germany. Other subjects to be considered are the penalization of the private trafficking in influence and the extraterritorial broadening of the jurisdiction for private corruption.

Focus on Research:
Educational Modules on European Law and European Institutions

Ruta Simelyte-Lombaert

The agreement about IES between the Flemish Government and our University mentions that the Institute can engage itself in teaching activities "using new educational platforms". IES has taken up this challenge, and started in 2002 with creating course material for an online module on European issues. Caroline Laske and Ruta Simelyte-Lombaert both worked at the creation of educational modules on European Institutions (Caroline) and European Law (Ruta).

Sophia Learning
The first phase of this project, i.e. writing the course material, is now finished, although we must emphasize that in European affairs (and especially on the legal field) nothing is ever "finished". With structures and legal issues changing all the time, these courses will be subject to change on a regular basis - one more reason why the easy-updatable Internet has been chosen to this end. An internet-based learning environment "Sophia Learning" specifically developed for using the learning potential of the Internet when adding course material online, is now being used to technically implement the courses. This software, a product indirectly developed for a former VUB-project ("Educational Module on Chemical and Biological Weapons nonproliferation" - in association with SIPRI and ISN), is made available to IES free of charge, and helps the "teacher" add his/her materials to the web.

It is scheduled that the modules will be available from the IES website by the end of the summer. They are geared towards students that do not have either subject in their curricula. In a later stage, IES will produce modules for specific target audiences.

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IES News in Brief

The T.C. Yeditepe Üniversitesi (University of Istanbul, Turkey) invited IES President Prof. Bart De Schutter as guest lecturer in their law faculty. On 28 and 29 May, he lectured on "the EU Justice and Home Affairs" and on the "International Criminal Court".

IES Researcher Rhiannon Williams will have one of her earlier articles republished. Her contribution to the 1994 Oxford Yearbook of European Law is being republished as one of a collection of what the publisher describes as "the most significant published essays in contemporary legal studies." The book, European Environmental Law, should be out in August. Rhiannon has also been asked to be rapporteur at the United Nations University Conference on Climate Change in Italy, next September.

Koen Van den Bossche, IES researcher on the project "Common EU Fisheries Policy" has been accepted to attend the eighth session of the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Public Policy, next July. The Rhodes Academy is an international collegial institution dedicated to fostering a better understanding of the modern law of the sea.

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(lecture series on)
Globalisation coming to an end

All lecturers
From left to right: Jarrod Wiener, Brigid Gavin, Ricardo Petrella, Immanuel Wallerstein, Heikki Pattomaki, Benoit Frydman, Bruno De Vuyst, Wolfgang Kleinwachter and Gary Brent Madison
After nine successful lectures on various topics of the globalisation process, the lecture series on Globalisation came to an end. With an average of 80 students per lecture, the IES can proudly look back to this weekly event.

Madison & Wayemberg
Gary Brent Madison (left) and Maurice Wayemberg (right)
On 29 April, IES' lecture series on Globalisation came to an end. With its final lecture, "What's Next?" by Prof. Gary Brent Madison (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada), students were given a philosophical view on globalisation. Showing historical evicence of "globalisation" going back as far as 2000 years ago, Madison labeled globalisation as a win-win situation where reciprocity and humanism are in an uprise. Quoting various authors, he prudently predicted that international commerce (global liberalisation) strengthens peace and security.

Prof. Maurice Wayemberg (VUB) critically challenged the speaker by pointing out that "free" global trade can also be freedom of dominating powers. A lengthly discussion followed the formal presentation part of the evening - a discussion that may well live on in the minds of those who attended this full lecture series.

De Schutter & Frydman
Benoit Frydman & Bart De Schutter
Earlier that month, on April 1st, Prof. Benoit Frydman of our sister university ULB lectured on the relation between globalisation and law. Prof. Mireille Hildebrandt (Erasmus University of Rotterdam) acted as a respondent. The legal challenge of today, according to Frydman, is how to regulate global issues (e.g. environment) within national borders. This challenge includes the creation of a new kind of law, which changes the legal supremacy of the national states into some kind of a co-regulation between public authorities and private actors.

Kleinwachter and Pauwels
Wolfgang Kleinwachter & Carolien Pauwels
In a very compelling presentation Prof. Wolfgang Kleinwachter of the University of Aarhus (Denmark) outlined on 22 April the political consequences of today's free flow of information. Together with respondent Carolien Pauwels (VUB), he unknowingly followed the thought pattern of his predecessor (Frydman) by forecasting that future decision-making will not be hierarchical, but an outcome of discussions within complex networks of governmental, civil-society and industrial partners.

The contributions of the lecture series will be published as one of the first IES' series publications by VUBPress in the fall of this year. External parties who attended the full series will receive a copy as soon as the book is published. Others will be able to order the book from our website or can obtain further info via the secretariat (ies@vub.ac.be)

A new series on "European Security" will start in October. A preliminary programme can be found in the calendar of events.

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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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Seminar on European Enlargement and Institutional Reform in Vienna

EU Seminar
In coopeartion with the University of Vienna and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the IES organises a seminar on European Enlargement and Institutional Reform, specifically geared towards students of Austria's neigbouring countries, legible for EU-membership. The two-day seminar will take place at the premises of the Diplomatic Academy on 31 July and 1 August. Interested parties can contact the IES secretariat for more information. A contribution of EUR 100 will be asked for EU-students wishing to attend the seminar. Students from accession countries can attend at reduced prices. The seminar will bring together scholars and practitioners to explain the changes within the various levels of the Union. With this activity, we hope to contribute to the active knowledge of potential EU staff from CEE countries. More info can be obtained from the IES secretariat at ies@vub.ac.be

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IES Publisher selected

VUBPress
The IES Board selected VUB-Press as its main partner for printing and distributing its future publications. Four leading publishers offered to publish IES books, yet the conditions and guarantees given by VUB-Press were unrivaled.

Amongst its first publications, IES foresees a book on Globalisation, with contributions from the lecturers of the past globalisation series, and a book on the liberalisation of the electricity market (following the conference by the same name in April).

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Content

From lecture series to MA programme
Lecture series on European Security
Focus on Research: Corruption in/and Business
Focus on Research: Educational Modules on European Law and European Institutions
IES News in Brief
(lecture series on) Globalisation coming to an end
International Conference explores needed changes in Aviation
Seminar on European Enlargement and Institutional Reform in Vienna
IES Publisher selected
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Contributed to this Newsletter:
Anthony Antoine, Bart De Schutter, Johan Pas, Rhiannon Williams Editing: Anthony Antoine
Pictures courtesy of
Anthony Antoine and Véronique Hameeuw
Published by Anthony ANTOINE, IES, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels