News from the IES

Research Team from the 3E (Environment, Economy and Energy) Research Centre of IES has published a comprehensive report for the Office of the Prime Minister of Finland on greening public procurement. The research consortium in Project HILMI, with professor Harri Kalimo as the Principal Investigator and Max Jansson, Lea Mateo and Selçukan Unekbas contributing, included also the University of Eastern Finland, Finnish Environment Institute and the Lappeenranta University of Technology. 

As two frontrunners in international education, research, and academic services, the Institute for European Studies (IES) and Vesalius College (VeCo) have closely collaborated for many years now. We are excited to share with you that from this February onwards, this collaboration will enter a new phase with a joint new brand: the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG), an alliance between the IES and VeCo.
Make sure to mark Tuesday 9 February from 18h00-19h00 in your calendar and join us on Facebook for our BSoG brand launch that will reveal what this new School is all about!

The European Commission has awarded a consortium involving VUB, led by Brussels-based consultancy company ICF and South Korea-based consultancy Ecosian, and also comprising three other partners the €2.4million project EU-Republic of Korea Dialogue Support Facility. The KF-VUB Korea Chair will lead management of the VUB's involvement in the project, in particular with regards to security- and connectivity-related activities. 

Belgian minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder has announced the creation of a new strategic defense committee that will scrutinise the role and priorities of the Belgian military in the 21st century, with the aim to finalise the new vision and accompanying budgetary implications by September 2021. 
IES Vice-Dean for Research Alexander Mattelaer and fellow VUB professor Jonathan Holslag have been appointed as one of the members of the new Belgian strategic defense committee. The committee will be coordinated by professor Tanguy Struye de Swielande (UC Louvain) and colonel Éric Kalajzic (Royal Military Academy) and consists of ten academic experts on geopolitics, strategy and defense.

"North Korea-US Relations from Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un", a book written by Dr Ramon Pacheco Pardo, KF-VUB Korea Chair at the Institute for European Studies, has been rated as one of the top 10 books reviewed in 2020 by International Affairs.

The editorial team of the International Affairs journal wrote in their book review that “Ramon Pacheco Pardo does an absolutely brilliant job of outlining the North Korean perspective on its changing relationship with the US. Pacheco Pardo draws on discussions with US, Chinese North Korean and South Korean policymakers to demystify the North’s Strategy adding important detail to cursory accounts of the country as a rouge state.” A full book review is available here.


On 15 December, IES Researcher Marco Giuli spoke at the external panel debate “Azerbaijani gas in Europe and the role of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline”. The panel was held online and was organized by the Centre for the Analysis of International Relations in Azerbaijan. 

In his presentation, Marco focused on the core interests of the European Union in the finalization of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and identified three main dimensions: material, normative and ideational.

The IES 3E Research team, together with its partner institutes (University of Eastern Finland, Finnish Environmental Institute, and Yale University), co-organized and chaired three back-to-back expert workshops on the Circular Economy and product policy. The workshops are a part of the research project KITUPO, focused on some of the most topical issues within circular product policies; extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product-service-systems KITUPO is co-managed by professor Harri Kalimo. 

On 1 & 2 December 2020, IES professor Harri Kalimo, assisted by IES researchers Lea Mateo, Selçukhan Ünekbaş and Álvaro Herrero de la Fuente, organised a two-day expert training to the “SOLVIT centres” in the EU Member States.  SOLVIT is a service, which the EU law requires the administrations in each Member State to offer, with the aim to provide practical solutions to individuals and economic operators whose EU free movement rights may have been breached on the EU internal market  by measures taken by the national adminsitrations.

From October to December 2020, IES researcher Maximilian Ernst was invited as research fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS). His research explored Chinese economic coercion in the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe and proposed avenues for transatlantic cooperation.

As a final step towards renewing the agreement between the Flemish Government and the VUB concerning the Institute for European Studies, the IES prepared a new vision for the next five-year agreement period. The Strategic Plan 2021-2025 sets out the main objectives for the next five years, in which it wants to further strengthen its established reputation as a top research and higher education institution dedicated to excellent, policy-relevant research and involved in post-initial education and academic service provision.