News from the IES

Korea Studies PlatformThe Korea Foundation (KF) and the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) announce the launch of the KF-VUB Korea Chair. This Chair will kick off in the autumn of 2017 and will serve as an independent platform in Brussels to advance academically rigorous and informed discussions on policy questions that are of relevance to the Republic of Korea and Europe.

From April 7th-15th, the VUB and ULB conducted a joint mission to China. In the presence of both rectors, Caroline Pauwels from the VUB and Yvon Englert from the ULB, the mission embarked on a new form of partnership between the two universities. The objective has been to join forces and to jointly establish new or deepen the existing cooperation with selected Chinese universities. Professor Florian Trauner participated on behalf of the IES. His ULB counterpart was Anne Weyembergh, President of the ‘Institut d'études européennes’.

On Tuesday 2 May, the Institute for European Studies signed a cooperation agreement with the centre for European Studies of Renmin University, China. The agreement is the de facto continuation of the good relations between VUB and Renmin that started more than 20 years ago and already led to an MOU between the two universities. It allows for student and staff exchange (e.g. in the framework of the Renmin International Summer School).

On 26 April, the third meeting of the EL-CSID Steering Committee brought together the consortium members to discuss the EL-CSID research agenda, the progress achieved on the different work packages as well as the planning of the future research and dissemination activities.

On 27th of April, the IES hosted the meeting of the International Steering Committee of Metropolis International, a network of government officials, academics and ngo's working in the field of migration based in Ottawa. The Committee holds its meetings at six monthly intervals at locations around the world. The last time that it was held at IES Brussels was ten years ago. The main topic of discussion was the forthcoming international conference in the Hague from 18-20 September 2017 which amongst other things will feature  an appraisal of free movement of EU citizens in the light of the Brexit negotiations and the political climate in Europe. The conference is usually attended by between 500 and 1000 participants and is a major event on the migration policy calendar. Committee members also heard reports from around Europe and the world on how governments and the public view the migration situation in their respective countries.

Who's afraid of TrumpOn 24 April 2017, Dr. Robert Falkner, associate Professor at the London School of Economics, delivered a public lecture at the IES assessing climate policy under US President Donald Trump and implications for the global climate regime, in particular, the Paris Agreement. Dr. Falkner endeavored to decode the US President’s rhetoric on climate change, new actors of the Republican administration on climate policy, recent changes made to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under administrator Scott Pruit, and divergence at the state level with states like California strongly pursuing climate action.

On April 25th, Richard Lewis was asked to brief a delegation led by Ghenadie Cretu from the office of the International Organisation for Migration in Chisinau on the current migration situation in Europe and EU attitudes to it. The delegation consisted mainly of representatives from the universities in Moldova and Trans-Dnistria.

Education Crisis Hungary"Leave us the hell alone". With these strong and straightforward words, Rector and President of the Central European University Michael Ignatieff sent a strong message to the Hungarian government that recently deprived the renowned university of its right to deliver Hungarian diplomas. According to the Rector, Victor Orban's government envisages the Soros-sponsored CEU, which it now considers as a "foreign university", even though it has been operating on Hungarian soil delivering both American as well as Hungarian degrees for nearly a quarter of a century.

Korea FlagThe Institute for European Studies (IES) is calling for a full time Korea Chair Holder (academic and policy research, outreach). The Institute for European Studies (IES) is calling for a full time Korea Chair Holder (academic and policy research, outreach). The Korea Chair is being established by the Korea Foundation and the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). It will be the first independent Korean studies platform in Europe that will enable the parties to discuss major issues confronting the ROK-Europe partnership, conduct relevant research in a timely manner, and communicate noteworthy issues related to Korea and East Asia to policymakers and the general European public, through the operation of relevant programs.

On Monday 24 April at 6:30PM, VUB’s and ULB’s respective institutes for European Studies (IES and IEE) are co-organising a highly topical debate: in the context of recent political pressure by the government of Hungary against the Central European University (CEU) located in that country, we hold a panel discussion with CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff on the topic of Academic Freedom & Democracy. Join us for this essential debate about the alarming signals threatening civil and intellectual freedoms at the heart of the EU!

The IES is proud and happy to announce the addition of a new Doctor of Law to its family: on Wednesday 19 April 2017, Auke Willems successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Mutual trust as a core principle of EU criminal law. Conceptualising the principle with a view to facilitate mutual recognition in criminal justice matters”.

Auke’s PhD promotors were Prof. Dr. P. De Hert and Prof. Dr. A. Weyembergh, while members of his exam commission were Prof. Dr. F. Trauner (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Prof. Dr. M. Dony (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Prof. Dr. E. Herlin-Karnell (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and Prof. Dr. C. Gómez-Jara Diez (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid).

The Institute for European Studies would like to congratulate Auke on this important step in his career and wishes him the best of luck for the future!