Recent Publications

Ben Nimmo

One of the key challenges in countering information warfare is identifying when it is taking place. The concept of disinformation is widely understood and has been exhaustively defined; however, the currently available definitions do not allow for the operational identification of disinformation in a sufficiently rapid manner to allow for effective countermeasures. This Policy Brief argues that the essence of disinformation is the intent to deceive. While such an intent is difficult to prove, it can be inferred by reference to three key criteria, termed the “ABC approach”. These criteria are: the accuracy of factual statements, balance in reporting and the credibility of the sources chosen. This ABC approach is intended to give academics, analysts and policy-makers an operational method to determine whether disinformation has been committed in a given sense.

Marie Lamensch
Edoardo Traversa
Servaas van Thiel

UCOTAX Series on European Taxation Volume 46

A fast-growing portion of overall taxable consumption is now realized via online supplies and this ‘digital economy’ is a virtual reality in which suppliers and consumers conclude numerous transactions unrestrained by time and place. The contrast with traditional sales tax and value added tax (VAT) systems, which are based on a physical supply between parties, could not be more evident. Among jurisdictions worldwide, the European Union (EU) took the lead in designing a legal framework for VAT on electronically supplied goods and services. This book, with contributions by internationally re-owned academics, revenue officials, and tax advisors, provides a broad and up-to-date overview of the EU 2015 rules, and an analysis of such elements as the gradual realization of the destination principle, the fight against e-commerce fraud, and simplification of compliance obligations by means of the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS). Topics covered include the VAT dimension of:

· the digital ‘fixed establishment’;
· businesses as tax collectors;
· auditing under MOSS;
· Internet search engines;
· virtual currencies (such as bitcoins);
· cloud computing; and
· technology-based solutions for the assessment and collection of VAT on online supplies.
Relevant EU legislation is annexed. Because of its clear and practical analysis to these issues, this book will appeal to tax authorities and counsel who need to ensure proper taxation of online supplies at destination with the least possible administrative costs and the lowest possible compliance burdens. Because of its forward looking approach it is a ‘must’ for all public and private sector professionals concerned with VAT.

ISBN: 9789041166128

Pages: 272

SKU: 9041166122

Giacomo Orsini

The refugee crisis that unfolded in Europe in the summer of 2015 questions the effectiveness of European border and refugee policies. The breakdown of the Dublin and Schengen rules due to chaotic situations at the borders in the Balkans marks a critical juncture for the EU. We consider this breakdown as a consequence of a long-lasting co-operation crisis among EU Member States. The most recent Council decision responds to this co-operation crisis (Council Decision 12098/15). This Policy Brief analyses EU policy and politics and argues that plans for refugee relocation and reception centres as well as the use of qualified majority voting in the Council can unfold a dynamic that helps to solve the co-operation crisis. However, underlying the problems of co-operation and effectiveness is the EU’s border paradox: while EU border policy works towards refugee deterrence, EU asylum policy aims at refugee protection. The EU’s approach in regulating borders and asylum can be understood in terms of ‘organised hypocrisy’ (Brunsson, 1993). Reconciling the paradox calls for overcoming such hypocrisy.


Claire Dupont

Climate change is a cross-cutting, long-term, global problem that presents policymakers with many challenges in their efforts to respond to the issue. Integrating climate policy objectives into the elaboration and agreement of policy measures in other sectors represents one promising method for ensuring coherent policies that respond adequately to the climate change challenge.

This book explores the integration of long-term climate policy objectives into EU energy policy. It engages in-depth empirical analysis on the integration of climate policy objectives into renewable energy policy; energy performance of buildings; and policies in support of natural gas importing infrastructure. The book describes insufficient levels of climate policy integration across these areas to achieve the long-term policy goals. A conceptual framework to find reasons for insufficient integration levels is developed and applied.

This book is a valuable resource for students, researchers, academics and policymakers interested in environmental, climate change and energy policy development in the EU, particularly from the perspective of long-term policy challenges. The book adds to scholarly literature on policy integration and EU integration, and contributes to new and developing research about EU decarbonisation.

Martina Belmonte

This Policy Brief reviews the implementation of the EU Blue Card (BC) Directive in Member States and offers some suggestions on how to improve its potential. Firstly, it traces back the origin of the current partitioned approach in labour migration and the objectives that an EU labour migration policy should achieve according to the Commission. Secondly, it reports on the content of the directive and its implementation in Member States. Thirdly, there is an analysis of the weaknesses of the directive in terms of numbers of BCs issued and harmonization achieved. Finally, recommendations are put forward on how to improve EU labour migration policy.

May 2015
annual report

Executive Summary

Whereas 13 is usually associated with bad luck, our Institute can, on the verge of its 13th birthday, look back at good fortune, albeit that this fortune was only possible through hard work and good investments. These investments - in quality researchers and postdoctoral staff – have come to fruition in 2014. The Institute awarded no less than six new PhDs in the course of the year, bringing the total number of awarded PhDs from 13 up to 19, while a total of 60 students obtained their advanced Masters diploma. The Institute also initiated three new PhD projects. Output-wise, IES researchers contributed to more than 90 scientific articles, of which 56 peer-reviewed.

With the organisation of the fourth edition of the EU in International Affairs Conference (EUIA) at the Royal Flemish Academy for Arts and Sciences, the Institute confirmed its position as a major academic player in the European field, attracting more than 300 top scholars from all over the world, as well as several high level European and international policy-makers and other stakeholders.

The Institute delivered further services to the wider Flemish and European community via the organisation of over 70 other events in the past year – most of which were open to the public. With nearly 50 media appearances in national and international press, IES researchers and staff saw to an ever increasing visibility of the institute, providing service to the wider community.

The Institute did not grow in quantity - its amount of employed FTEs hardly changed over the past year - yet it definitely grew in quality. Building on its four research clusters (EFSP, Environment & Sustainable Development, Migration Diversity & Justice, and European Economic Governance) and its Educational Development Unit, the Institute contributed to more than 45 academic research and/or teaching projects (of which more than 30 externally funded). This was also reflected at the income side of our accounts, as the Institute was able to obtain more than 45% of its funding from non- governmental sources (half of which stems from externally funded projects).

April 2015
annual report
April 2015
annual report

April 2015
annual report


Immigrant labour market participation in Belgium - high time to mainstream

The gap in labour market participation between natives and people with an immigrant background is significant in Belgium, one of the largest in the OECD. In this Policy Brief, we present research that investigated one of the possible causes of this poor performance, and we propose three main policy recommendations. The research project studied whether Belgium’s complex federal state structure, and the subsequent division of responsibilities and lack of intergovernmental cooperation helps to explain this poor performance. The study concluded that governance complexity does not appear to be a main cause for Belgium’s poor results. However, more policy coordination would improve policy efficiency.



Arbeidsmarktparticipatie van mensen met een migratie-achtergrond in België: hoog tijd om te mainstreamen.

De kloof in arbeidsmarktparticipatie tussen personen met en zonder migratie-achtergrond is erg groot in België, véél groter dan het gemiddelde in de andere OESO-landen. In deze policy brief presenteren we een studie waarin we een van de mogelijke oorzaken van deze povere resultaten hebben onderzocht. Daarbij doen we drie belangrijke aanbevelingen voor het beleid ter zake. Het onderzoeksproject ging na of de verklaring voor de slechte resultaten te vinden is in de complexe structuur van de Belgische federale staat en de bijhorende versnippering van bevoegdheden en gebrekkige intergouvernementele samenwerking. Uit het onderzoek blijkt dat de complexe bevoegdheidsverdeling niet de belangrijkste oorzaak is voor de slechte prestatie van België. Meer coördinatie in het beleid kan evenwel de efficiëntie van dat beleid ten goede komen.







Une meilleure insertion professionelle des personnes issues de l’immigration: allons au mainstreaming

L’écart entre les taux d’emploi des autochtones et des personnes issues de l’immigration est considérable en Belgique et l’un des plus élevés de l’OCDE. Nous présentons dans ce policy paper une étude qui s’est penchée sur l’une des causes possibles de ces mauvaises performances et nous proposons trois recommandations politiques principales. La recherche a examiné si la structure complexe de l’État fédéral belge, la répartition des compétences qui en résulte et le manque de collaboration intergouvernementale contribuent à expliquer ces résultats médiocres. L’étude conclut que la complexité du partage des compétences ne semble pas être une cause principale des piètres résultats de la Belgique. Cependant, une plus grande coordination politique pourrait améliorer l’efficacité politique.