News from the IES

IES Academic Director Luk Van Langenhove will attend on 25 and 26 January the launch in Paris of a new Horizon 2020 project on science diplomacy “InsSciDe” and deliver a keynote speech on “European Science Diplomacy in search of a purpose”. Dr Luk Van Langenhove is the lead scientist of the Horizon 2020 project EL-SCID on science and cultural diplomacy, that is coordinated by the IES.

On 16 January, IES Postdoctoral Researcher Ferran Davesa delivered a keynote speech entitled "Structuring Youth Participation in Europe. Towards a New Engagement?" at the Opening seminar of the ALL-YOUTH research project in Tampere. The session was live streamed and can be accessed here (Davesa’s speech starts at min 45).

The Opening seminar of the ALL-YOUTH research project was a two-day intensive interactive session that involved researchers, politicians, civil society leaders, students and youth representatives from all around Finland. The aim was to introduce the ALL-YOUTH project to the community and to set the main priorities and research goals for the next three years.

The surprising readiness of Kim Jong-un to re-open lines of communications and to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics could strengthen President Moon who needs to change course from announcement of policies to their implementation to live up to his promise to provide jobs through income and innovation-led growth with the aim of establishing a just and fair society for all Koreans. Enhanced EU-Korean cooperation could contribute to economic and political stability and security providing substance to the 55 years’ jubilee.

… or should it have been 23 years of service? Anthony indeed started his career at the VUB in 1995 when he was working at the Centre for Peace and Security Studies of VUB’s POLI department. As a researcher, he was responsible for a feasibility study to find out whether the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could use the Internet as a means of communication … It sounds very silly when asked now in our hyper-connected 21st century, but back then the World Wide Web was barely invented and students – let alone the wider public – did not have an email address yet. Researching how NATO should then change its communication strategy (at a time when it was also heavily involved in the Yugoslav conflict) was therefore a serious matter. It truly was a different century … 

After a break to implement the study at NATO, Anthony combined his NATO responsibilities with research at the POLI department in a project with SIPRI and ETHZurich on the development of e-learning modules. As research assistant to Prof. Gustaaf Geeraerts, he also taught European Security. Only six years later, in 2002, he returned full-time to university to become the what then was called ‘CEO’ of the IES – a position later renamed to Executive Director.

On Thursday 11 January 2018, Ferran Davesa defended his PhD thesis entitled “The EU’s Youth Policy Field. A New Participatory Governance?”. His promotor was Prof. Dr. Jamal Shahin (IES).

Dr. Davesa is part of the research programme “Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe” (EDGE), under which he conducted his PhD research (2013-17). Davesa holds an MA in International Relations from Institute Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), and a BA in Political Science from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). The IES would like to congratulate Dr. Ferran Davesa for this great accomplishment!


Between 4 and 7 January the IES hosted the 31st edition of EuroSim, an annual international, intercollegiate simulation of the European Union, bringing together 200 students and staff from more than 20 colleges and universities from the US and the EU. This year’s participants were tasked with negotiating on a Commission proposal for a regulation on implementing an Entry-Exit System (EES) as part of its wider policy of border management in the EU. The parallel negotiation sessions were complemented by line-up of distinguished guest speakers.

On December 14, the LL.M. Programme in international and European law of the IES (PILC) – made its annual visit to the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg. The very early wake-up was quickly washed away, as the students and the Programme Director Prof. Harri Kalimo and Student and Secretariat Officer Fanny Baudoin were vividly introduced to the case to be assisted (C-2/17 Crespo Rey) by VUB alumnus Stefaan van der Jeught, Press officer at the CJEU. 

A group of scholars from the “Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities” (AGYA) had a five-days meeting in Brussels in early December 2017 for discussions and meetings at the various EU institutions about current challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean relations. The workshop was organised by IES Project Researcher Dr Jan Claudius Völkel, who is an AGYA member since 2015 himself. 

The special issue is compiled by three guest-editors: Simon Schunz (College of Europe and UNU-CRIS), Sieglinde Gstöhl (College of Europe) and Luk Van Langenhove (IES) and deals with interactions between major powers in a regional context, that is when they share a neigbourhood which they perceive as a sphere of interest. Four significant cases of major powers’ interactions in shared neighbourhoods from different continents are analysed: (1) the interactions between the EU and Russia in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus; (2) the relations between the EU and the Middle Eastern powers in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, (3) China– India relations in South Asia, and (4) Brazil-US relations in Latin America.

On January 12, IES Academic Director prof. Luk Van Langenhove will give a guest lecture at Maastricht University on “Theory and Practice of Comparative Regionalism” for the students of the MA European Studies, specialization ‘Europe in a globalizing world’.