News from the IES

Building on its leading World Circular Economy Forum 2017, held in Helsinki in June with more than 1600 participants, the Research Innovation Fund SITRA organised on Wednesday 12 October in Brussels a high level seminar on “the EU advancing a Global Circular Economy” . In his keynote speech, the European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen explained that for him, the circular economy has become a megatrend, just as is digitalisation, and that the EU is in a leadership position in driving it. 

Carlos Soria spoke about the environmental regulation applicable to marine renewable energies in the EU at a high-level meeting on climate change organised on 6 October by the Centre of Migration Research (CIM) in collaboration with the International Research Centre on Territorial Intelligence (C3it) and the Research Group DERGO (Public Law for the Governance) from the University of Huelva. 

The Institute for European Studies welcomed on Monday, 9 October 2017, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at the University of Copenhagen, for a public lecture on “The Satellite Mosque in Europe: Arab Preachers on TV and Internet”. After giving an overview of modern media’s development within the Arab world, Prof. Skovgaard-Petersen illustrated the importance of religious contents on TV through the examples of various “Ramadan Musalsal”, popular TV series that are specifically produced for and consumed during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Within the framework of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project COP21 RIPPLES “COP21: Results and Implications for Pathways and Policies for Low Emissions European Societies”, the IES (Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür and Gauri Khandekar), along with project partners – Wuppertal Institute, University of East Anglia, and Climate Analytics – produced a report on “The Core Challenges and Governance Functions of International Climate Governance”. The COP21 RIPPLES project aims to analyse the transformations in the energy systems, and in the wider economy, that are required in order to implement the Paris Agreement, investigate what steps are needed to attain deeper, more ambitious decarbonisation targets, and explore the socio-economic consequences that this transition will trigger.

On 26 September, IES Executive Director Anthony Antoine delivered a keynote speech on "the salient role of the universities in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda and the particular importance of societal impact of multidisciplinary research in developing sustainable and global solutions" at the Helsinki Challenge Global Impact Camp in Brussels. The Global Impact Camp in Brussels was a two-day intensive co-creation session focusing on societal impact of research, funding and collaboration with international experts and EU decision-makers. 

On Friday 29 September the IES celebrated its 15th anniversary. Our institute started off as an initiative by our former President Prof. Dr. Em. Bart De Schutter with a handful of people involved. Today, we are an established player in the area of European studies, involved in dozens of prestigious research projects and with 121 people directly associated. 

As a part of a Tampere University led consortium, the IES team of Prof. Dr. Harri Kalimo, Prof. Dr. Jamal Shahin and Ferran Davesa has been successful in a bid within the Sustainable Growth programme of the Academy of Finland. In the All youth want to rule their world (ALL-YOUTH) project, the IES will explore in an inter-disciplinary way the ability, as well as the barriers, of the youth to participate in societal decision-making in a sustainable digital economy.

On September 27, the EEG cluster, in the context of research carried out for EU FP7 project BFSJ, organised its third policy forum in the series on sustainable aviation fuels. The focus this time on policy environment, innovative initiatives and future trends outside of the EU. We had speakers from Brazil (Ministry and airline representatives), Indonesia (ministry and ICAO experts) and the USA (policy agency) presenting perspectives from their countries.

The IES, together with the VUB political science department and RHEA, the VUB’s interdisciplinary research centre on gender, diversity and intersectionality, received very good news. The Strategic Research Programme EDGE was evaluated positively and will be able to continue its activities for a new 5-year period. The Strategic Research Programmes are financed by the Research Council of VUB and are meant to stimulate the work of a limited number of strong research groups.

Klaudia Majcher spoke about algorithmic decision-making and discrimination at the Legal Research Conference organised on 21-22 September by the Research Centre for the Future of Law at Católica Law School in Lisbon. The aim of this year’s conference on “Law in the Era of Technological Change” was to discuss the impacts of emerging technologies on the areas such as intellectual property, data protection, privacy rights, electronic commerce, free speech, and cybercrime.