News from the IES

In the framework of the Royal Visit to the Republic of South Korea, VUB’s Vice-Rector Romain Meeusen signed three MoUs with Korean universities – two of which were directly related to activities at the IES. General research and teaching cooperation agreements were signed between the VUB and Hankuk Universtity of Foreign Studies (HUFS) and between the VUB and Seoul National University (SNU). With HUFS, the IES has had a long standing relationship, starting with student exchange between 2009 and 2012 and with research cooperation ever since. With SNU, an additional MoU was signed to organize a summer training programme on EU Studies for their international relations students. Starting July 2019, between 20 and 30 Korean students will travel to Brussels for a two-week course programme at our Institute. 

After delivering the successful 2018 Masterclass on the Middle East: Geopolitics in Europe’s Neighbourhood, the Institute for European Studies and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy Europe teamed up once again, between February and May 2019, for another exceptional five-part Middle East Masterclass on the geopolitics of the region. The line-up included contentious topics such as Atheism and Freedom of Belief in the Middle East (Brian Whitaker), The Next War in the Middle East (Koert Debeuf), The Trifecta of Misogyny: State, Street, Home (Mona Eltahawy), The Israel-Palestine Peace Process (Lara Friedman), or Saudi Arabia’s Role in the Middle East (Oz Hassan). 

The VUB and the University of Warwick (UoW) have launched a joint PhD programme, in which 2 PhD fellowships are available to enable young and promising researchers to be jointly supervised by academics from both universities. The PhD candidate is expected to spend at least 12 months in each institution. The fellowships will start between October 2019 and January 2020.  

A new IES report to which our researchers Tomas Wyns, Gauri Khandekar and Matilda Axelson contributed, builds upon the growing momentum for an EU industrial transition to net-zero amongst policy makers and even industry, and sketches the blueprint of an industrial strategy towards climate neutrality. The report is unique in the sense that its industrial strategy proposal transcends the novelty of individual instruments towards a more integrated structure that scrutinizes a broad set of policy instruments and provides ideas for making the whole policy set as tangible as possible.

The ‘European Union in International Affairs’ (EUIA) conference provides a major forum for academics and policy-makers to debate the role of the EU in the turbulent realm of international affairs. The sixth edition of this event will take place from 27 to 29 May 2020 and focus on the theme ‘Assessing the EU’s Capacity to Act’.

Keep an eye on for further updates. The Call for Papers and Panels will be launched next September.

On Friday 26 April, the Brussels Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Migration and Minorities (BIRMM) organized its first full research day. BIRMM is a VUB platform for migration and diversity researchers to meet, exchange and cooperate across disciplines.  It is coordinated by IES professors Ilke Adam and Florian Trauner. During the research day, organized by IES researcher Dr. Serena D’Agostino and Dr. Nick Schuermans (Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research), around 30 VUB researchers from many different disciplines presented and discussed their research. 

Korea-Foundation-VUB Korea Chair Dr. Ramon Pacheco Pardo has been invited to teach a course on 'EU and Asia' as part of Seoul National University's International Summer Institute. SNU is Korea's top university. As South Korea's first national university, Seoul National University has a tradition of standing up for democracy and peace on the Korean peninsula. Graduates have long served as public servants in key positions of the Korean government. In teaching, research, and public service, Seoul National University continues to set the standard of excellence. If you would like to find out more about the courses of the Seoul National University International Summer Institute, please visit this website.

Prof. Ilke Adam, supported by PhD researcher Laura Westerveen, contributed to a new EU Commission report entitled 'The Future of Migration in the European Union: Future scenarios and tools to stimulate forward-looking discussions'. This report presents trends that are likely to impact the future of migration in the EU and delineates four possible future scenarios towards 2030. These narrative scenarios are then applied into a set of interactive tools that stimulate forward-looking and strategic discussions about migration and integration.

After successfully hosting the 31st edition of EuroSim – a Model European Union that brings together around 200 students from the US and the EU to simulate the legislative process of the European Union – the IES participated with its own delegation of students in the US edition that was hosted at the St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York between 28 – 31 March. Selected across its LLM, EuroMaster, and Postgraduate Certificate programmes, the Institute’s delegation negotiated together with peers from 20 different universities and colleges the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). 

In 2018, the Institute for European Studies was honoured to bring four PhDs to fruition: Ferran Davesa (PhD Political Science), Mathias Holvoet (PhD in Law), Carlos Soria Rodrigues (PhD in Law) and Serena D’Agostino (PhD Political Science). The IES organised 57 events and produced 211 publications. Among  these events were the biannual EUIA conference, which was a record-breaking edition, and the large-scale Transatlantic EuroSim (EU simulation) conference hosted by the IES.
The Institute continued to expand and now counts 104 people or 55.4 full-time equivalents. In 2018, IES scholars took part in a total of 131 media appearances. Moreover, the Institute was particularly successful in obtaining externally funded projects. At the end of the year, no less than 38 external projects were conducted by IES scholars, whereas an additional 15 projects were funded through our own budget.