Newsletter

Newsletter
Publication of the Institute for European Studies Issue 16, June 2006

The IES Book Series

Over the past few months, the Institute has more than doubled it publication volume by launching four new books written or edited by its researchers and/or staff. The book series, which started in 2003 with the transcript of the lecture series “About Globalization” has now reached its seventh issue.

Former IES Senior Research Fellow Marc Pallemaerts is the editor of two books in our series, “EU and WTO Law”, and “The EuropeanUnion and Sustainable Development”. Both books are the result of IES activities. “EU and WTO Law: How Tight Is the Legal Straitjacketfor Environmental Product Regulation?” bundles the proceedings of a Colloquium organised by the IES in December 2003, in collaboration with the Environmental Law Research Centre (CEDRE) of the Facultés Universitaire Sait-Louis (FUSL), the Centre for Environmental Law of the Universiteit Gent (UG) and the Centre for the Study of Sustainable Development (CEDD) of the Université Libre de Bruxelles with the financial support of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Department (Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid - Politique Scientifique Fédérale).

Together with Albena Azmanova of the Brussels School of International Studies (Kent University), Marc also edited the book on the EU and sustainable development resulting from the IES lecture series of the fall of 2004 by the same name. These lectures were organised in collaboration with the MINA-Raad.

“Sanctioning Economic Crime” is a book by IES associate research fellow Dirk Merckx. The book, an upgraded translation of Dirk’s 2002 PhD thesis, is a broad analysis of European, American and Belgian legal systems and instruments vis-à-vis economic crime.Finally, “Regional Security and Global Governance: a study of interaction between regional agencies and the UN Security Council” is a co-production by the IES and the United Nations University (Comparative Regional Integration Studies Centre - Bruges), and the result of a jointly financed study by UNU-CRIS-based Kennedy Graham and Tania Felicio.

The four books, and all of the IES Book Series, are available from VUB Press.

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Introducing the new books of the IES


Tania Felicio, Dr. Kennedy Graham, Ambassador Verbeke and
Exec.Dir. Anthony Antoine during the book presentation

Regional Security and Global Governance

Under the auspices of the United Nations University (Comparative Regional Integration Studies, Brugge, Belgium) and in collaboration with the IES, Dr. Kennedy Graham and Tânia Felìcio wrote a compelling study of the interaction between regional agencies and the UN Security Council. They extended their study with a proposal for a regional-global security mechanism that will be of interest to policy makers worldwide.

“Regional Security and Global Governance” is a ground-braking exploration into how peace and security might best be attained in the 21st century. Its central message is the importance of realising UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s vision of a “regional-global security mechanism” within the next decade.

The book reviews the historical tussle between universalism and regionalism as the cornerstone of international security over the past century, culminating in the ‘new regionalism’ that has characterised international relations in recent decades.

The complexities of contemporary regional, sub-regional and other organizations, blessed and burdened with overlapping membership, evolving mandates, and even shifting ‘focal areas’ are analysed. The ‘multidimensional phenomenon’ of regional security is explored – cultural, political and legal – with a view to understanding how regional organizations work today.

The authors then offer a prescriptive proposal for helping to structure the future ‘regional-global security mechanism’, by identifying a series of ‘security regions’ around the world, and associated regional agencies that could be responsible for each region.

These agencies would take the lead in partnering with the UN in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, enforcement, and peace-building, as appropriate for each region. And such a future structure might have implications for resolving the continuing impasse over Security Council expansion, sometime in the future.

“This book is one of those rare offerings – a policy-oriented prescription for peace and security that is based on factual analysis and creative reasoning. As such it is a must for national diplomats, regional officials and international civil servants.”

The book was officially launched on 22 February at a joint IES-IPA (International Peace Academy) conference in New York (see further). Executive Director Anthony Antoine joined the authors in presenting the book at the Belgian Permanent Representation to the United Nations, where Ambassador Johan Verbeke proved to be an excellent host and an interested scholar.

The book was further presented in Brussels on 24 April. Tania Felicio and Kennedy Graham were accompanied by UNU-CRIS Director Luk Vanlangenhove and IES Academic Director Sebastian Oberthür at the UN Information Centre.

EU and WTO Law

Former IES Senior Research Fellow Marc Pallemaerts edited “EU and WTO Law: Do free trade rules impose a legal straitjacket on product-oriented environmental measures?”, which is based on an IES-organised conference under the same name that took place in December 2003. While environmental law increasingly relies on product regulations as an important policy instrument, supranational economic law, as laid down within the framework of the EU and the WTO, tends to view such regulations as trade barriers which are to be removed as far as possible. This apparent contradiction between environmental protection and trade liberalization has been the subject of much political and academic debate.

The book aims to help clarify the legal boundaries of the policy space that remains open to public authorities at the national and supranational level to regulate trade in products in pursuit of legitimate objectives of environmental protection and sustainable development. The contributors examine the impact of free trade rules on product regulation at the interface between national law, EU law and WTO law, as well as between WTO law and international environmental law.

The book was formally presented to the public on 27 March at an IES Policy Forum entitled “The EU’s Environmental Policy”. Berlin-based Ecologic-Director Andreas Krämer spoke on the topic to a large and interested audience while IES researcher Rhiannon Williams, who contributed to the book, represented editor Marc Pallemaerts in giving an overview of the different parts of the publication. As the subject of the day was environmental policy, IES Academic Director Sebastian Oberthür concluded with the presentation of his book on Institutional interaction in Global Environmental Governance, published with MIT Press, and co-edited with Thomas Gehring (Bamberg University, Germany).

Sanctioning Economic Crime

“Sanctioning Economic Crime” is the fruit of the doctoral research of IES associated research fellow Dirk Merckx. Dirk, who gained his PhD at VUB’s Law Faculty in 2002, is currently First Deputy King’s Prosecutor at the King’s Prosecution Office in Brussels where he has worked since 1989.

The sanctioning of economic crime has traditionally been a part of general criminal law. However, an economic criminal law appears to have been developed in modern economic systems as well. Administrative penal law and punitive civil law are also becoming increasingly important. The key question in this study concerns the use of sanctioning systems in combating economic crime.

To this end, four central themes have been studied: the social definition of the issue of fraud, the legal techniques for sanctioning, the characterisation of the notion of sanction and the concrete implementation of sanctions as far as modalities and severity are concerned. By opting for a horizontal view of the problem with a very broad angle of approach, this study continuously compares European Union and European Community legislation, the American legal system and the instruments of the Council of Europe. The results also have been checked in relation to Belgian legislative practice.

On the basis of the problems and solutions that came to light in the analysis, a sanctioning policy scheme has been developed, aiming at logical build-up of economic sanctioning dispositions based on an integrated sanctioning legislation. Finally, a number of policy suggestions have been defined in order to render the proposed scheme operational.

The European Union and Sustainable Development

Edited by former IES Senior Research Fellow Marc Pallemaerts and Brussels School for International Studies scholar Albena Azmanova, “The European Union and Sustainable Development” is the logical outcome of the IES lecture series bearing the same title. The lectures, organised in collaboration with the Mina Raad, took place in the fall of 2004.

development is legally enshrined among the fundamental objectives of European integration as laid down in article 2 of the EC Treaty. In 2001, this objective became the focus of political attention at the highest level. The European Council agreed on a ‘European Union Strategy for Sustainable Development’ and also referred to sustainable development in its Laeken Declaration on the future of the EU, among the values defining the identity and role of the EU in the world. Five years later, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy is undergoing a review process culminating at the June 2006 European Council.

“Has the European Union addressed the issue of sustainable development and what is the place and function of this relatively recent objective in the political discourse of European integration?” “Beyond discourse, has the Sustainable development Strategy had any real impact on policy-making processes and on the substantive content of EU policies?” “What is its relationship with other strategic orientations of EU policy, such as those of the Lisbon Strategy focusing on growth, jobs and competitiveness?” “Do the EU’s external policies effectively contribute to ‘the sustainable development of the Earth’, as the Constitutional Treaty solemnly proclaims?” “Have Member States, industry and civil society taken new action to promote sustainability in response to the Sustainable Development Strategy?” “Is sustainable development a truly innovative policy paradigm which will revolutionize the way Europe approaches economic, social and environmental issues, or is it little more than a fashionable but vacuous political buzzword?”

These are some of the questions addressed by the contributors to this volume, who bring a diversity of perspectives to bear on both the internal and external dimensions of the EU’s ambiguous relationship with sustainable development. The diversity of views reflected in this book testifies to the politically sensitive, essentially contested nature of the concept. But it cannot be denied that sustainable development policies have become institutionalized in the EU and its Member States and, as such, constitute an important new subject of inquiry and debate for all those interested in the fate of the European project.

On 22 June, the IES co-organised a Policy Forum under the name “From Lisbon to Gothenburg and back again? Perspectives on the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy” (see infra). The policy forum was organised in collaboration with the Institute for European Environmental Policy at the European Parliament. IES President Bart De Schutter introduced the book to the more than 100 participants, in the presence of editors Marc Pallemaerts and Albena Azmanova.

“EU and WTO Law” (€ 29,95), “Regional Security and Global Governance” (€ 24,95), “Sanctioning Economic Crime” (€ 40,00) and “The European Union and Sustainable Development” (€ 40,00) are available from VUB University Press (http://www.vubpress.be).

 

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IES, UN & Regional Organisations

On 22 February 2006, Executive Director Anthony Antoine attended the conference “Reviving Chapter VIII: the United Nations and Regional Organisations – a partnership for peace”. The conference was organised by the International Peace Academy, in collaboration with the Institute for European Studies and the United Nations University (UNU-CRIS), and was held at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York. The conference, which was held back to back with the Standing Committee of the High Level Panel (conference of Secretary Generals of Regional Organisations and the UN Secretary General), attracted a wide audience of academics, practitioners and (especially) diplomats.

Opening the conference was UN Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, who in a compelling speech, called for a stronger relationship between Regional Organisations and the United Nations. He asserted that in the past five years, the willingness to strengthen these relationships grew, with a specific strive to tackle regional security issues.

Bruce Jones, co-director of the Center for International Cooperation of New York University, pointed out that indeed, the key to many of today’s answers to solving crises lies in closer collaboration between the UN and regional organisations, and this mainly is because the UN is not at the core of the security agenda: it is but one of the players to solve international crises. On the other hand, regional organisations alone cannot guarantee security by themselves either. Moreover, there is proof that their role is also tainting: the number of UN troops has risen while interventions of regional troops/organisations went down. Dr. Jones asserted one should however differentiate meaningfully between the different regional organisations. Some are more fit to receive empowerment than others. UN Under-Secretary-General Kalomoh puts it even a step further, making reference to the consistence of the UN Security Council. He added that many of today’s security problems stem from the fact that the structure of the UN did not adapt to today’s reality – the Charter was written 60 years ago within a complete different set of powers.

The three core sessions of the conference emphasized on the Middle East (Iraq), the African Union (and its involvement in Darfur), and EU-UN cooperation. Eminent speakers included Chief of Cabinet of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Hesham Youssef, Journalist Ian Williams, Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo, Executive Director of Security Council Report (Columbia University) H.E. Colin Keating, Head of the liaison office of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union with the United Nations H.E. Elda Stifani and Senior Researcher of the Royal Institute for International Studies (Brussels) Sven Biscop.

Belgian Ambassador Johan Verbeke of the Permanent Mission of Belgium to the United Nations gave a special presentation on prospects for cooperation between the OSCE and the UN during the Belgian OSCE Presidency. The Belgian Mission furthermore accommodated the IES for the launch of the latest book in the IES series, namely “Regional Security and Global Governance” written by Kennedy Graham and Tania Felicio, on the interaction between regional agencies and the UN Security Council. The Mission extended its courtesy by offering a concluding reception at the Embassy.

The IES wishes to thank all of IPA staff, and especially Elisabeth Cousins and Catherine Guichert for the excellent organisation of this event. Special thanks go to H.E. Johan Verbeke and his staff for hosting us at the Belgian Permanent Representation and for his general support for this project.

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Multiethnicity in the EU and the US

Senior Research Fellow Richard Lewis led a small team of practitioners and academics to Wayne State University to discuss practices and problems in dealing with migrants in large urban areas. The meeting was hosted by Wayne State and the Workman’s Circle of Detroit, a welfare organization with Jewish immigrant roots. It had coverage on Michigan Public Radio, the local station of National Public Radio.

The original concept was to have a city to city dialogue namely between Detroit and Brussels. However, the European team included Harrie Van Onna, a policy specialist from Rotterdam City Council and Catherine de Wenden, a lawyer and political scientist from the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris. Richard felt that having a representative from Rotterdam was important given the controversies that have arisen in that city regarding migrants; and following the riots in the French banlieues, it was clear that in a symposium of this kind, events in France would have to be discussed. The Brussels team included IES Senior Research Fellow Richard Lewis and Melissa Schnyder, a Fulbright scholar then based at the IES, Theo Van Gasse, responsible for community policing in the Brussels North district (which includes high immigrant communes such as Schaarbeek and St. Josse of 150 different nationalities), Hamida Chikhi, a psychiatric nurse , originally from Morocco and who works with immigrants and Stephan Van der Cruyssen, a specialist in immigrant housing, who works at Le Foyer in St. Gilles. Each member of the European team was paired with an equivalent from the Detroit metropolitan area including academics from Wayne State University. The American speakers included the impressive police chief from the Southfield district of Detroit (also a two star general in the US reserve forces,) a psychologist from the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) and a Baptist minister who works with immigrants in the Hamtramck area of Detroit. This mix of people made for a rich and rewarding discussion.

Why was Detroit chosen as a target city? Richard had already given a lecture at the end of 2004 to the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State (see previous Newsletters) and had suggested further collaboration between the two universities. The symposium thus grew out of a common interest in preventing conflict between immigrant communities and host societies. Brussels has an immigrant population of 200.000, many of them of Muslim extraction, or 20% of the total. Detroit is an industrial city, in some areas extremely depressed and run down, that has depended on the car industry. General Motors, Daimler Chrysler – both of which are struggling financially – and Ford – which has recently announced lay-offs of 30.000 or a quarter of its work force all have their headquarters and manufacturing capacity in Detroit. In the heyday of the American car industry and even today, these companies employed thousands of migrants many from the Arab countries and there are probably currently half a million Arab-Americans in the state of Michigan. Thus after the events of September 11th, there was potential for problems with the non-Arab population. This happened to some degree but there was also a great deal of solidarity between the mainly Christian Arab-Americans and other sections of the community. It can readily be seen that in terms of the immigrant populations, there is a commonality between Brussels and Detroit, although Brussels is largely an administrative rather than a heavy engineering city.

Theo Van Gasse and Southfield Police Chief Joseph Thomas spoke of the need to reach out to the communities they serve and to anticipate problems before they arise. Hamida Chikhi gave a moving presentation about her personal identity issues, living as she does in both the Muslim and Western worlds. This is a common problem in immigrant communities. Dr. Adnan Hamad continued in this vein speaking about the difficulties of immigrants adapting to very different host societies and the breakdown of social structures. In both Europe and the US one of the main problems is the school drop-out rate of young males compared with their female counterparts. Melissa Schnyder gave a presentation of her current research among NGO groups. Lina Beydoun said that there are up to 6 million Arab-Americans, 75% of whom are foreign born. They are faced with islamophobia, isolation, segregation and racial programming leading to rage. She mentioned the impact of US foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan on social issues in the US. Harrie van Onna gave a rundown on the situation in Rotterdam, on the emphasis on social cohesion and the growing problem of undocumented migrants. Dr Thaddeus Radzilowski turned the symposium’s attention to the large Polish-American community especially in the Hamtramck community. He said that “most of Michigan” was created by immigrants within living memory.

On the second day, Catherine de Wenden gave a clear presentation of the situation following the riots in the banlieues . She emphasised that the issues were not ones relating to the Muslim origin of the young people involved but rather their social problems and the barriers that exist between these outlying areas and affluent city centres. Dr Ibrahim Kira spoke of the financial costs of isolating immigrant communities in terms of the breakdown of health, especially mental health. Stephan Van der Cruyssen illustrated the social issues in St Gilles and St Josse by drawing on concrete examples of questions confronting specific families. He was followed by the Reverend Sharon Buttry who talked of inter-religious dialogue in the city of Hamtramck. Finally Richard Lewis drew attention to some of the guiding principles laid down on the integration of migrants at European level and the differences as well as the commonalities of European and American immigrant groups.

The participants dined on a mixture of immigrant fare, Greek, Polish and Arab amongst them. They also visited the Arab-American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and had a meeting with leaders of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Richard Lewis and Dr Frederick Pearson of Wayne State University will be working closely to apply for funding to continue this dialogue both in the US and Europe. If successful, this will lead to a succession of meetings on both sides of the Atlantic and a report recommending certain practices in relation to immigrant communities. Both sides are convinced that the successful integration of immigrants is crucial and that the success of this symposium should be the beginning of joint efforts and research in this field.

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Activity Report approved

On 25 April, the Institute’s Board approved the activity report and the financial report of 2005. This decision was endorsed by the University Council at its meeting of 19 May. The following is the executive summary. The full document can be downloaded from here.

2005 was a turning point for the Institute. The IES implemented a new research strategy, moved to new premises, received larger autonomy from university, created a new government structure, appointed a new Board, welcomed a new academic director and renewed its agreement with the Flemish Government. All this was done while research and teaching continued, and while the Institute organised as many activities as before.

In the area of education, the IES continued its efforts with regard to the Programme on International Legal Cooperation. As in previous years, the PILC programme was organised under the auspices of the Law Faculty of the VUB, and in accordance with the decision of the Flemish government of 17 May 2002 led to the diploma of Master in International and Comparative Law – a diploma that was awarded to 26 students in 2005. The content of the PILC programme did not change in 2005. Although the curriculum remained the same, PILC welcomed a new lecturer. The two lecture series organised by the IES were part of the programme in 2005 under the auspices of the PILC director.

The IES also organised its second Summer School on the European Decision-Making Process. Just like last year the summer school was organised for one week in Brussels and one week in Vienna in cooperation with the Universität Wien and the Diplomatische Akademie Wien. The summer school was organised in September, but this time without the financial support of the European Commission. In the area of research, the IES started two new research projects on its own budget. Thus, in January, two new researchers started on the projects “How real is CFSP? A retroductive analyses of the EU’s actorness in world politics” and “The EU after the Constitutional Treaty: effective and legitimate?”. On top of this, the Institute managed to attract various external projects, albeit less than in 2004. One additional researcher was employed for one year, while two others worked for a few months in 2005.

In the scientific services area, the IES continued its efforts to organise lecture series every semester. In 2005 both the one on “Multiculturalism in the EU”, organised by senior research fellow Richard Lewis, and the one on “European Foreign and Security Policy after 9/11”, organised by senior research fellow Giovanna Bono, were very succesful. The lecture series will give rise to two new books in the IES publication series (to be published in 2006). The latter started in 2004 with the publication of two volumes, and was further enriched with a new publication in 2005: “Understanding the European Constitution” (Lewis / De Gucht / Van Thiel eds.), derived from the lecture series of last year.

The IES organised a total of 24 scientific events in 2005. In addition it collaborated in the organisation of two colloquia in cooperation with other institutions. One further international conference was postponed from November 2005 to February 2006, and the scheduled Euro-Atlantic Dialogue Conference to be held in New York was also postponed to early next year due to unforeseen circumstances.

A total of 6 externally financed projects were carried out by the IES, whilst the Institute was successful in joining the Networks of Excellence “GARNET”, “REVGOV” and “EPIGOV” in the 6th framework programme of DG Research.

Financially speaking, the expenses of the IES remained within the budget and the Institute was able to round off the year with a limited surplus.

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American exchange at the IES

For the second year in a row, the IES hosted the Council on International Educational Exchange’s Faculty Development Seminar on Globalisation and International Institutions. Some seven university professors from various corners of the US attended lectures at the IES between 5 and 9 June. The (in total) nine-day seminar investigated the challenges of globalization to the EU, NATO and the ICTY, with lectures at the IES and visits to various international and European organisations. Topics included US-European relations, brain drain, labor mobility and migration, sustainable development, and EU deepening and widening. IES senior staff Sebastian Oberthür, Anthony Antoine and Richard Lewis were involved in the lectures, while experts such as Dr. Antonio Missiroli (European Policy Council), Dr. Jamie Shea (NATO - see picture), Prof. Dr. Kris Deschouwer (VUB), Prof. Dr. Maarten Theo Jans (VUB) and Prof. Dr. Youri Devuyst (European Commission and VUB) contributed substantially to the programme The overall organisation was in the hands of CIEE coordinator Dr. Michaelangelo Van Meerten.

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Immigration and Security Conference in Berlin

IES Senior Research fellow Richard Lewis attended a conference from 23-25 March on issues related to immigration and security organised by the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research New York and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the think tank of the German Green Party. Funded by the German Marshall Fund and the MacArthur Foundation, the conference was part of an ongoing process to bring together scholars and practitioners from the United states, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and India. Subsequent meetings will be in in New York and New Delhi on specific themes.

The keynote address was by Rita Süssmuth, former President of the Bundestag and a member of the Global Commission on International Migration which reported to the Secretary General of the United Nations in October 2005. Her theme was that disaffection in our societies whether by Muslims or others will never be conquered by force or coercion but by inclusion and finding joint solutions to issues. Other key presentations were made by Professor Aristide Zolberg of the New School who spoke at IES in November 2005 and German Green Party MEP Cem Oezdemir.

Other themes tackled by the conference included perception of threat, migrants, minorities and national security, policing and technology, economic factors relating to security and building bridges across the religious divide. Richard gave a fifteen minute presentation on the high tech efforts being made by the EU to tackle border issues (Eurodac, SIS II and the VIS systems).

However, he also emphasised that, anti-terrorism issues are not the only problems facing Europe relating to security. Drugs, people smuggling and organised crime of all kinds pose an equal, if less dramatic, threat. Foreign and development policy play a part in combating all types of security threats and it is not helpful to spend huge sums of money and technology without paying attention to these factors. Walls alone, whether in Berlin or on the Mexican border do not keep people in or out.

There were a number of participants from the United States who felt that the pendulum had swung too far relating to the vigorous and often ineffective control of migrants to their country – witness the twelve to fifteen million irregular immigrants estimated to be living in the US. It appears that 16 billion dollars has been spent on the finger printing and digital photography systems at US borders since the September 11th attacks. The result has been about 850 apprehensions mainly for overstaying and visa offences but none for terrorism related offences.

Berlin is an excellent venue for this kind of discussion both for its physical infrastructure and spectacular new architecture and also for the experience and expertise that exists in Germany in this field.

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Richard Lewis at the University of Liège 

Senior Research Fellow Richard Lewis was invited to lecture at the University of Liège on April 20th. He was the guest of Prof. Marco Martiniello (who had himself lectured in the series on multiculturalism at IES in 2005). Prof. Martiniello is the Director of the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) at the Institute for Human and Social Sciences. CEDEM was created in 1995 as an inter-faculty research centre whose aim is to carry out theoretical and empirical research in the fields of human migration, ethnic questions and racism.

Richard’s theme was the integration of migrants into European societies. He discussed some of the theoretical discourse and concluded that there is not one model of integration that fits every situation. His view was that there is a strong case for the application of the subsidiarity rule on this issue and that the involvement of local decision makers and local civil society institutions is an essential component. He used as an example the difficulties being experienced by the Portuguese workers in the poultry industry in eastern England who do disagreeable work in poor housing and social conditions. He pointed out that they are citizens of an EU country and already have integration problems. How much more difficult must it be for asylum seekers or economic migrants from very different cultures such as Iraq or Afghanistan?

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Academic Director on the move

IES Academic Director Sebastian Oberthür attended a conference on “Inter-linkages: Building Knowledge, Capacity and Institutions for Sustainable Development at the Regional Level” convened by the United Nations University in Tokyo on 20 and 21 February 2006. The conference opened with a Public Forum on Inter-linkages and Capacity Development: Asia-Pacific Regional Responses to Environmental Challenges. Dr. Oberthür contributed a keynote address on “Interlinkages from an Institutional Perspective: Ideal Types and Governance Implications” to the Public Forum, which was attended by about 80 participants from academia and policy-making.

Dr. Sebastian Oberthür also organized a panel on Institutional Interaction/Interplay in Global Environmental Governance at the International Studies Association 2006 annual convention, which was held in San Diego from 22 to 25 March 2006. The panel took stock of the state of the art and to explored future research directions. Around 30 participants discussed papers addressing the conceptual framework for analyzing institutional interplay (Thomas Gehring of the University of Bamberg and Sebastian Oberthür), institutional interplay with respect to the Arctic (Olav Schram Stokke of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo), and the interaction between international institutions and EU legal instruments (Sebastian Oberthür). Insightful comments were provided by Prof. Oran R. Young (University of California, Santa Barbara) who acted as discussant. The panel also served to launch the book “Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance” edited by Sebastian Oberthür and Thomas Gehring.

Dr. Oberthür and Bamberg University Professor Dr. Thomas Gehring published an article on “Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance: The case of the Cartagena Protocol and the World Trade Organisation”. The article appeared in the May 2006 issue of Global Environmental Politics (MIT Press) and discusses the competitive quest of the Cartagena Protocol and the WTO for authority to regulate international trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They colclude that the structure of International governance steers intstitutions with differing objectives toward a jurisdictional balance that, while reflecting existing power relations, limits the potential for conflict and frames available policy choices.

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Trouble in Paradise ?

24th April heralded a wide ranging European information week at the Koninklijk Atheneum Brugge Centrum (Royal Athenaeum of Bruges). The IES, in cooperation with the KA, organised an in-depth simulation game, during which a group of 150 pupils were given a case study of the fictitious African country of Watillia, a nation rich in minerals, on the brink of an ethnic civil war and genocide.

The exercise, composed of elements from various real life international crises and containing a host of references to current situations, aimed at allowing the students to experience “live” how complicated European decision making can be, and what it means to negotiate and defend the interests and positions of your Member State. To make the exercise more realistic, all the delegations, that assembled in the “General Affairs and External Relations Council” (for this occasion assembling at the United Nations University in Brugge, and, later that week, at VUB), were confronted with pressure from fictitious NGO’s, and a particularly well informed and aggressive press corps quite capable of asking exactly those questions to which the politicians did not necessarily want to reply.

A compromise solution was found at the end of the exercise, but it took far more effort than everyone expected. But what the students did get was an invaluable experience, and insights into how Europe actually works, and why sometimes it doesn’t. Complex systems work... but in complex ways. The European Information Week included, next to the simulation game, a walk through the European district, a visit to the European Commission and a concluding debate with various (European) politicians at the Atheneum.

The subsequent feed-back from both teachers and pupils was, with the exception of one or two organisational aspects, extremely positive and as far as the IES staff were concerned the students enthusiasm, imagination and discipline was very impressive. IES collaborators Anthony Antoine, Richard Lewis and Ruben Lombaert can look back on a successful exercise.

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The IES Research Colloquia

On 20 December 2005, the IES launched a series of presentations by IES researchers under the title “IES Research Colloquium”. The colloquium, which is taking place every third Tuesday of the month, brings together all IES researchers and other interested parties to discuss one specific research project.

Starting off in December last year was IES researcher Aaron McLoughlin. He presented the results of his two-year study on “Integrated Product Policy” which was an analysis of the European Commission Communication on Integrated Product Policy (IPP) of June 2003. Under the supervision of Marc Pallemaerts, Aaron discussed the political and legal implications of the Communication. He focussed on the manner in which the Communication relates to exisiting body of European Law and Politics regarding products. Reference was also made to the role of public authorities (A full report of his study, which was financed by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Department, can be obtained via the IES website (see “former research”).

The first presentation in the new year was from Mehmet Yigit Tezcan, who, in the presence of his promoter Prof. Gustaaf Geeraerts, outlined his preliminary research on “How Real is CFSP: a retroductive analyses of the EU’s actorness in world politics”.

Koen Van den Bossche, finalising his PhD thesis this year on the EU Common Fisheries Policy, outlined the first two chapters of his dissertation on 31 January. Koen, working on a research project supervised by Prof. Dr. Erik Franckx, gave an overview of the international legal framework of the European Fisheries Policy.

On Valentines day, doctoral researcher Ionut Sasu presented his work on his research project “The EU after the Constitutional Treaty: effective and legitimate?”. As chances to implement the Constitutional Treaty are very dim, Ionut focused on a theoretical framework, focusing on the mechanisms of effectiveness and of legitimacy.

Visiting research fellow Melissa Schnyder outlined her research activities, as she is finalizing her PhD on “European Migrant Inclusion Interests: Patterns of Political Behavior across Levels of Governance” at Indiana University (US). She noted that she had been doing fieldwork at the IES on a Fullbright fellowship between September 2005 to March 2006.

IES researcher Johan Kaes, who is hoping to defend his PhD thesis at the end of this year, presented his research on 18 April on “Information Access in an Era of Globalization and the Role of Europe“. Johan, who is working under the auspices of Prof. Koen Byttebier, gave an overview of his research in the field.

Koen Byttebier is also the promoter of IES-researcher Piet Vandoolaeghe, who presented his research on 16 May on the topic of “Public- Private Partnerships”. Piet, who holds a degree in Law and in Philosophy, discussed the difficulty of a legal definition of the subject.

On 20 June, researcher Stephen Kingah presented the second chapter of his PhD on “European Policy towards Regional Integration in Sub-Saharan Africa. A legal analysis of its formulation, implications and implementation” (promoter Prof. Dr. S. Smis) His talk was entitled “Synchronizing coherence and effectiveness as pillars of legitimacy in transnational rules and policies: analysis of the EU’s relations with Sub-Regions in Sub-Saharan Africa”

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New faces at the Institute

Since 1 April, the IES may welcome Karen Donders in its midst. Karen obtained a master degree in communication sciences (VUB, 2005, greatest distinction) and will work on the project “Towards i2010. Bargaining for an equitable information society” (under the supervision of Prof. Caroline Pauwels and Prof. Fabienne Brison). Before joining the IES, Karen worked at the VUB-SMIT research institute (Department of Communication Sciences), where she was involved in research activities on e-government and e-culture. While studying at VUB, she was a student representative and praeses. Her main field of interest is in the area of subsidies and WTO.

Dr. Xiaokun Song holds a PhD in political science from VUB since 2005. She has joined IES on 1 May 2006 to work (on a part-time basis) on the project “The European Policy toward Greater China” (promoters Prof. Dr. Bruno Coppieters and Prof. Dr. Erik Franckx). Before joining the IES, Xiokun worked at the VUB’s Politics Department. She currently combines her research at IES with an internship at the European Institute for Asian Studies.

Since February 2006, the IES has the pleasue of hosting Pascual Felipe Correa Alvarez, a senior scholar from the University of Santa Clara, Cuba. Pascual, who is a professor in International Law and Environmental Law, works at the IES through a 9-month scholarship from the Brussels Capital Region on a project under the supervision of Marc Pallemaerts and Sebastian Oberthür, entitled “Implementing Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration: a comparative study of Law and practice in the European Union and Cuba, with a special emphasis on practice in the Brussels Capital Region”.

A visiting fellow from the Department of Political Science of Florida International University, Prof. Dr. Paul Fabian Mullen conducted research at the IES between May and June 2006. Paul was on a fellowship from his university to finalize a research project on language issues in European politics and law. During his stay, he was able to conduct interviews in the European Commission, the Council and the Court of Justice.

After two years of working at our Institute, Senior Research Fellow Giovanna Bono left us to become an administrator of the Secretariat of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence at the Directorate General for External Policies of the European Parliament. Giovanna, who started her activities at the IES in May 2004, worked on European Security and Defence issues, specializing in Parliamentary oversight of European-led military operations. Giovanna will remain a senior associate fellow at our Institute. Meanwhile, we wish her every success with her new career !

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E-competences

From 14 until 17 June 2006, IES researcher Frederique Lambrecht attended the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) Annual Conference entitled “E-Competences for Life, Employment and Innovation”. This conference was organized in Vienna under the patronage of the Austrian EU Presidency, in collaboration with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

The conference paid attention to the importance of E-competences and professional development for successful careers and for the promotion of links between education, training and business.

One of the sessions focused on the institutional practice of integrating E-learning in learning programmes. During this session, Frederique presented the paper “E-Training as a Key Tool for Lifelong and Cross-Sectoral Learning: The Example of “Teaching Europe”. He explained that the E-learning modules of the Institute for European Studies can serve as a tool for the “E-learning EU citizen”. This is a citizen who is using the new information and communication technologies to find (practical) information on EU matters. In doing so, this E-learning EU citizen not only gathers information, but also develops e-skills necessary for a successful career.

As the presentation did not limit itself to presenting only research results, but was one of the few that presented an actual E-learning course as it works online, the reaction of the public was very positive and numerous participants wanted more information on possible ways of cooperation with the IES. Hopefully this offers new opportunities for the IES to continue with its E-learning initiatives.

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International CMR Conference in Antwerp

On Friday 12 May, the IES, under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Ralph De Wit, organised the Belgian-Dutch Colloquium on International Transport “50 jaar CMR: Beleid en praktijk van het internationaal vervoer over de weg getoetst aan 50 jaar Europese harmonisatie via het Verdrag van 19 mei 1956”. The colloquium, which took place in Antwerp’s Astrid Park Plaza Hotel, attracted over 100 people, mainly lawyers and legal advisers in the field.

The high-level conference was organised in collaboration with the European Institute for Maritime and Transport Law (Europees Instituut voor Zee- en Vervoerrecht) of the Antwerp University and with the Belgian Organisation for Maritime Law (Belgische Vereniging voor Zeerecht). It tackled various aspects of the 50 year old Treaty on transport (CMR) and looked at the European harmonisation efforts in the field.

The one day conference was sponsored by Die Keure, De Lloyd, Fortis, Van Breda, Fenex, ACE Europe, De Europese, Jean Verheyen and Axa.

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The EU and International Organisations

On 21 and 22 June, the Institute for European Studies hosted a workshop on “The European Union and International Organizations: A Field of Study in Search of Further Inquiry”. The workshop was convened by Prof. Dr. Knud Erik Jørgensen of the University of Aarhus (Denmark). Some ten participants discussed draft papers addressing, inter alia, the role of the EU in the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Together with further contributions, these papers and presentations will be further developed to provide the basis for an edited book volume on the subject to be published in the course of 2007. Workshop participants also discussed the prospect of developing a longer-term research agenda for exploring the role of the European Union in international institutions.

 

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Fifteenth Issue

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Credits

Contributed to this Newsletter:
Anthony Antoine, Frédérique Lambrecht, Richard Lewis, Sevizdem Kingah and Sebastian Oberthür

Editing:
Sevizdem Kingah, Aaron McLoughlin & Anthony Antoine

Pictures courtesy of IES

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