European Projects

Since its inception in 2001, the Institute for European Studies has been involved in a multitude of projects funded and/or endorsed by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament.

In the past, the IES was active in the EU’s 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programmes (DG Research). Today, the IES runs a number of research projects linked to the EU’s 7th Framework Programme and Horizon 2020. The European Commission (DG Education and Culture) awarded the Institute for European Studies the title of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in 2004. This title, which the IES is still wearing with pride for over 10 years, was awarded through IES’ multidisciplinary e-learning initiative, and on the basis of the 40-year legacy of high-level teaching in its LLM programme. Since the beginning of 2012, the IES has hosted a Jean Monnet Chair, while also being involved in numerous Jean Monnet teaching modules, ranging from lecture series to the IES Summer School on European Policy-Making.

Please find below links to the various EU-endorsed projects in which the IES plays a substantive role:


Running Projects

  • SRG AMIREG: Small Research Grant: AMIREG

Funded by: VUB Research Council

Project description: This application for a small research grant aims at associating Ms. Rosina Badwi, researcher at the Centre for Migration Studies of the University of Ghana, to the project ‘African Migration. Root Causes and Regulatory Dynamics’ (AMIREG). Ms Badwi will support PhD student, Leonie Jegen during her field work in Ghana and conduct own research in support of the research objective of AMIREG.

Duration: December 2017 – November 2018

IES Staff: Ilke Adam, Florian Trauner 

  • EMPOWER-YOUTH: Obstacles et leviers à la participation sociétale et citoyenne des jeunes Bruxellois défavorisés 

Funded by: Anticipate - Innoviris

Project description: The EMPOWER-YOUTH project analyses societal and citizen participation of disadvantaged young people and young adults in the Brussels Region. The main objective is to identify, from the perspective of young people (14-30 years old), the factors that stimulate or, on the contrary, hinder the use of structures that aim to develop their capacity for societal and civic participation. The project also seeks to identify and test existing devices that are effective in creating opportunities for citizen participation of disadvantaged youth, not only to explain the reasons for their success, but also to design possibilities for generalization.

Duration: November 2017 – October 2021

IES Staff: Ilke Adam, Géraldine André 

  • SRP EDGE: Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe

Funded by: EDGE funding programme, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Project description: The work conducted during the next phase of the SRP will be organized in three work packages. Each focuses on big challenges that democracies face today. The three work packages are not mutually exclusive, i.e. there are obvious overlaps across work packages, allowing us to consciously and actively develop cross-fertilisation and collaboration (see also sections 4 and 8). The first work package will deal with time and sustainability, the second with gender and diversity and the third with contestation.

Duration: November 2017 - October 2022

IES Staff: Ilke AdamSebastian Oberthür

  • GREMLIN: The Contribution of ‘regional’ multistakeholders mechanisms in improving global governance

Funded by: UNU-CRIS

Project description: The GREMLIN project aims to investigate multistakeholderism in regional and global governance. It examines two different policy areas where multistakeholderism has become a defining norm: internet and trade governance. Questions of legitimacy and effectiveness are key to debates on multistakeholderism and thus are also central to the theoretical framework of the project. GREMLIN brings together researchers from the IES and the Centre for European Union Studies (CEUS) at the University of Ghent in a project that will produce two PhDs, several policy briefs and a workshop on ‘building better multistakeholderism’ at its end.

Duration: October 2017 – September 2021

IES Staff: Jamal Shahin, Trisha Meyer, Ferran Davesa, Austin RuckstuhlDiāna Potjomkina

  • AMIREG: African Migration: Root Causes and Regulatory Dynamics

Funded by: UNU-CRIS

Project description: The research aims to establish the options and opportunities for Europe’s energy intensive industries to decarbonise by 2050 through process, product and business model changes and innovations, while at the same time maintaining or enhancing (international) competitiveness. Specific attention is devoted to the design options of the forthcoming EU ETS innovation fund.

Duration: October 2017 – September 2018

IES Staff: Ilke AdamFlorian Trauner, Leonie Jegen

  • CONNECT: Understanding the international context for Norway’s low-emission economy transition

Funded by: CICERO

Project description: CONNECT will provide policymakers with insights into how the framework Paris Agreement will develop into more detailed rules and procedures for global climate cooperation and national policy approaches in the years leading up to 2018. It further examins how international climate policy changes influence EU climate policies in the period from 2015 to 2018, and the consequences for EU-level decision-making processes.The project will also look at how changes in the international context impact Norway's climate policy development up to 2018, and what the implications may be for a long-term low-carbon transition in Norway.

Duration: September 2017 – August 2021

IES Staff: Sebastian Oberthür

  • VOWED: Virtually Excellent: Opening Europe to the World through Innovative Education 

Funded by: European Commission – Jean Monnet (Centre of Excellence)

Project description: The "Virtually Excellent: Opening Europe to the World through Innovative Education" (VOWED) Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence aims to 1) ensure that students benefit from high-quality research-based teaching on a wide variety of EU integration and foreign affairs issues; 2) provide a foundation by which academics and students are influenced via a series of distance learning formats on a range of multidisciplinary themes; and 3) offer a series of outputs by which civil society can be viably informed of contemporary EU developments.

Duration: September 2017 - August 2020

IES Staff: Luk Van Langenhove, Silviu Piros

  • EXACT: Explaining EU Action in Counter Terrorism 

Funded by: European Commission – Jean Monnet (Chair)

Project description: The "Explaining EU Action in Counter Terrorism" (EXACT) Jean Monnet Chair provides research-led teaching and learning at the intersection of two fundamental areas of EU policy: the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and EU counter-terrorism policy and law - through an international cross-section of doctoral, postgraduate and graduate students. The objective is pursued by advancing cutting-edge blended learning formats, distance learning, strong interdisciplinarity, and policy relevance.

Duration: September 2017 – August 2020

IES Staff: Florian Trauner, Silviu Piros

  • Climate Diplomacy 2017-2018: Geopolitics of decarbonization

Funded by: Adelphi

Project description: The "Geopolitics of decarbonisation" project aims at assessing the implications of energy transition and decarbonisation for German and European foreign policy. Specifically, it examines how the declines in European fossil fuel consumption may affect existing partnerships, as well as how the expansion of renewable energies could create new interdependencies.

Duration: May 2017 - November 2018

IES Staff: Sebastian Oberthür

Funded by: European Commission - Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions/Individual Fellowship

Project description: EU-Drones examines how the European Union (EU) tackles drone-related issues. More especially, it is interested in the role of the European Commission which has exercised its leadership capacity to set up a European policy framework for civil use of drones. Hence, the research project studies the Commission’s strategy to join and shape the drone community (rule makers, interest groups, manufacturers, operators and users), and it assesses the impact the Commission’s actions may exert. The project analyses the configuration of relations (interests, resources, skills), perceptions (discourses) and action rationales (cooperation dynamics, informal and formal practices, strategies and means) of actors involved in EU initiatives in the drone sector: the single market, the regulatory framework as well as the EU supported research programme for civil drones. More information is available at:

Duration: April 2017 – March 2019

IES Staff: Chantal Lavallée

  • ARABPARL: The role of national parliaments in the Arab transformation processes 

Funded by: European Commission - Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions/Individual Fellowship

Project description: This research project considers the contributions of the national parliaments in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia to their countries’ individual policy processes, in particularly since the “Arab Spring” in 2011. Hope was high back then that the political systems across the Arab world would open up and democratise. This, if it had become true, would had inevitably led to more relevance for the national legislatures as representatives of people’s will, too. However, with the exception of Tunisia, this has hardly happened. The project analyses the major obstacles for more parliamentary relevance, and develops strategies how these assemblies could effectively be strengthened, also from the European side.

Duration: February 2017 – January 2019

IES Staff: Jan Claudius Völkel

Funded by: European Commission - Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Project description: Running for three years and coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris, the project will provide interdisciplinary analysis of the conditions of EU climate policy in the new strategic context of the Paris climate change agreement concluded in 2015.

Duration: December 2016 - November 2019

IES Staff:  Sebastian Oberthür

Funded by: European Commission - Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Project description: The EL-CSID project studies the current and future role of science, innovation and cultural diplomacy as a feature of the EU's external relations through a program of historical stocktaking, multidisciplinary and cross-national comparative research. It marshals an empirical and analytical narrative that aims to deepen scholarly knowledge and offers practical support to the further development and enhancement of the EU policy in cultural, science and innovation diplomacy. The project is coordinated at the IES and involves a consortium of 9 partners.

Duration: March 2016 - February 2019

IES Staff: Luk Van Langenhove, Richard Higgott, Joachim Koops, Caterina Carta, Georgios Terzis, Léonie Maes

  • PARENT: "Participatory platform for sustainable energy management"

Funded by: European Commission - Innoviris

Project description: The project’s main goal is to upgrade and validate an innovative Participatory Energy Management Platform, targeting – as a case-study – home energy usage. The platform, built on an existing software-based solution, developed by project partner ENERBYTE, will be enhanced into an open, extensible and reusable platform, incorporating novel gaming and other reward mechanisms to achieve energy efficiency through behavioural change. The project will take into account and adapt to the local specificity, demographic make-up and capacities of four targeted cities - Amsterdam, Bergen, Barcelona and Brussels - via the PARENT Urban Living Lab. The VUB will be the project coordinator of and will be involved in most of the WPs.

Duration: March 2016 - February 2019

IES Staff: Jamal Shahin, Ólöf Soebech, Trisha MeyerJacintha Liem

Funded by: European Commission - Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Project description: MINDb4ACT has the objective to improve the current EU counter-violent extremism policies and to generate new ones. It focuses on five kind of interventions: research actions, exchanges among law enforcement agencies, strategic-policy exercises, training courses and pilot projects. All actions are developed within collaborative ecosystems - the so-called living labs - to facilitate stable collaborations that will enhance current law enforcement techniques. These interventions are carried out in five specific domains: prisons and judiciary systems; immigration hotspots and asylum centres, schools, cities and the Internet and media. The project is undertaken by a consortium of seven law enforcement agencies, research centres, universities, industry associations and NGOs based in ten member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom).

Duration: September 2017 - August 2020

IES Staff:  Florian Trauner, Irina Van der Vet, Florian Lang

Funded by: European Commission

Project description: The IES will host for the next three years a new Jean Monnet Chair, as IES professor Harri Kalimo was nominated for the post on the theme of “rECOnciliation”.  rECOncile contributes to EU Studies in two intertwined policy areas that remain fundamental to the success of the Union: the internal market and the environment. Strategic initiatives in both fields have been re-launched by the Juncker Commission, and their futures are intriguingly intertwined, as the initiatives on e.g. a deeper and fairer Single Market, Circular Economy and renewable energy illustrate. The market activities are becoming greener, while green policies can be supported by an economic logic. The ensuing reconciliation of ECOnomic and ECOlogical values is therefore of vital importance.

Duration: September 2016 - August 2019

IES Staff: Harri Kalimo, Trisha Meyer, Filip Sedefov

  • Jean Monnet Module: Europe Explained - Inter-University Summer School on EU Policy-making

Funded by: European Commission

Project description: The IES Summer School is an intensive two-week programme and is held one week in Brussels and one week in Vienna during the first two weeks of July. The IES joins forces with the Diplomatische Academie and the University of Vienna to bring you this ‘crash course’ in European Policy Making. Packed with lectures, study visits and simulation games, this programme attracts students and young professionals who wish to broaden their knowledge of the European institutions, European law and the European decision-making process in general. The Summer School is also part of the Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy-Making. This certificate is equivalent to 25 ECTS credits and provides an even better insight in the different EU policy areas.

Duration: September 2016 - August 2019

IES Staff: Christian Kaunert, Trisha Meyer, Alexander Mattelaer, Florian Trauner, Léonie Maes

  • FWC Ecologic: Rechtliche und institutionelle Aspekte eines zukünftigen internationalen Klimaregimes

Funded by: October 2015 – March 2019

Project description: This Ecologic project aims at providing regular advice to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment on legal and institutional aspects of the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015. The provision of advice is dependent on the agenda of the international agenda.

Duration: October 2015 – March 2019

IES Staff: Sebastian Oberthür

  • REMIX: Revising the National Renewables Policy Mix: The role of state aid and other key EU policies

Funded by: Research Council of Norway

Project description: The “Revising the National Renewables Policy Mix” (REMIX) project focuses on a select group of EU and European Economic Agreement (EEA) countries, asking: to what extent and how have national renewables policy portfolios been shaped the EU policy mix, and what are the main prospects ahead? By improving policy-mix foresight, the REMIX project helps Nordic energy actors make wise strategic decisions and profitable investment decisions.

Duration: May 2015 – July 2018

IES Staff: Sebastian Oberthür, Tomas Wyns

Funded by: European Commission, FP7

Project description: The aim of the SOURCE Network of Excellence is to create a robust and sustainable virtual centre of excellence capable of exploring and advancing societal issues in security research and development.  

Duration: January 2014 - December 2018

IES Staff: Peter Burgess, Christof RoosÓlöf SöebechAnthony Antoine, Irina van der Vet


Funded by: European Commission, FP7

Project description: The BFSJ project aims at advancing technical and legal research in order to enable extensive use of biofuels in the aviation sector. Bio-jet fuel currently constitutes the most viable solution for drastically reducing GHG emissions from the aviation sector in the medium to long-terms, as it constitutes a drop-in replacement to fossil-based kerosene and does not require any major infrastructural modifications to current jet engines or fuel supply to airport systems.

Duration: January 2015 - December 2019

IES Staff: Harri Kalimo, Filip Sedefov, Ólöf Söebech, Byron Maniatis


Funded by: EDGE Research Programme, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Project description: The Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe (EDGE) programme is a joint IES-Political Science department (VUB) strategic research programme. The main research themes of the programme cover political representation; political parties, elections and electoral behaviour; EU policy and decision-making; multi-level governance; and theoretical and normative reflections. The programme aims to analyse the major changes and challenges to democratic governance in Europe. 

Duration: January 2013 - December 2017

IES Staff: Serena D'Agostino, Ferran Davesa


Funded by: Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO)

Project description: The aim of the FCGG research network is to foster international scientific exchanges and dialogues on regime complexes and institutional fragmentation. Due the growing proliferation of international institutions and regimes, many issues in world politics today fall under the authority of multiple institutions, both private and public. Such a composite galaxy of international institutions and regimes that are valid or active in a particular area has been dubbed a ‘regime complex’. Regime complexes have attracted the attention of a growing number of scholars of world politics as they beg important theoretical questions pertaining to their origins, consequences, and management. The aim of the research network is to sustain and expand inter-disciplinary research into regime complexes. 

Duration: January 2015 - December 2019

IES Staff: Sebastian Oberthür and others


Funded by: European Commission (DG CNECT)

Project description: GIPO (the Global Internet Policy Observatory) will monitor Internet-related policy, regulatory and technological developments across the world. A dedicated GIPO tool will be gathering all relevant information to improve and share knowledge among all interested parties across the world.

Duration: January 2015 - February 2018

IES Staff: Jamal Shahin, Trisha Meyer

  • PACT: "Project for Advancing Climate Transparency"

Funded by: European Commission (DG CNECT)

Project description:The specific objective of this project is to support the implementation of the transparency and accountability regime under the Paris Agreement, through a) the elaboration of details for the regime to ensure it is robust and effective and applicable to all Parties, with necessary and acceptable flexibilities for those countries that need it; and b) the enhancement of capacity within those developing countries that need it, including middle income developing countries. Through the project, the consortium will facilitate the development of options and approaches, provide relevant and timely inputs to the UNFCCC negotiations, and provide space to build consensus among the Parties?

Duration: October 2016 - December 2018

IES Staff: Sebastian Oberthür

  • SRG CUI BONO: Small Research Grant: Cui Bono

Funded by: VUB POLI Research Grant, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Project description: The aim of this project is to be able to provide a meta-analysis of interviews with migrants conducted by VUB students following mandatory integration courses in Antwerp. This analysis will be compared with the analysis, already conducted at ULB, which organised a similar student exercise through interviews at the Flemish integration office in Brussels.

Duration: January 2016 – December 2018

IES Staff: Ilke Adam

  • EU-Neighbourhood Policy project

Funded by: Institute for Statecraft

Project description:The Institute for Statecraft provides a donation for research and organise activities related to EU-Neighbourhood policy. In more specific terms, research and activities will be devoted to the relations between the EU and its eastern partners (i.e. countries of the former Soviet Union).

Duration: March 2016 - February 2017 (ext.)

IES Staff: Luis Simón, Antonios Nestoras


Completed Projects