News from the IES

Implementation of EU Action Plan on IntegrationNearly ten months after the publication of the "Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals" by the European Commission, the IES organised a Policy Forum on "The implementation of the EU Action Plan on Integration: Feedback from the Member States, Regional and Local Authorities" which provided a first glance at the activities completed, the focus points and the plans for the future of migrant integration in the EU.

The Institute for European Studies (IES), a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), is calling for two full-time doctoral researchers in Environment and Sustainable Development (one – 4 years) and Migration and Diversity (one – 4 years) and a pre-Doc researcher (one – 1 year). Prospective PhD candidates are hereby invited to submit project proposals by 30 April 2017.

For more information on the vacancies and related requirements, please click here.

International Women’s Day is the perfect time to zoom in on the IES’ many gender balance & diversity initiatives, as equal opportunities and respect are in the DNA of both the IES and the VUB! Female researchers at the IES have formed a Women’s Writing Group, an informal initiative aimed at bridging the gender gap in academic publications. Serena D’Agostino, a researcher in our Migration, Diversity and Justice cluster, has published today a blog story on the European Roma Information Office (ERIO)’s website about Romani women activism (click here for English and French versions).

9 February 2017 marked the official launch of the ‘new’ UNU-CRIS, the Belgian campus of the United Nations University that is now formally embedded into a VUB-UGent consortium. It is set to become a new VUB global research spearhead, with the Institute for European Studies at its vanguard.

From its Bruges base, UNU-CRIS researches regional integration matters worldwide. Its future work will focus on security, trade and welfare, rule of law, environment, democratic legitimacy, and migration. UNU-CRIS will perform preparatory research for international conferences and will hence be researching some of the most topical subjects around, like providing guidance on the future of the EU in the post-Brexit era.

Alexander MattelaerOn 31 January assistant professor Alexander Mattelaer presented his views on Brexit to the Foreign Relations Committee of the Belgian Federal Parliament. Speaking after former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, Alexander argued that Brexit presented a major foreign policy challenge to Belgium and its constitutive regions.

The Trump election and BREXIT were the hot topics that got a group of sixty international students quickly warmed up in the middle of a snowy Tampere in February. The occasion was the EU law course of IES Jean Monnet Chair Harri Kalimo, for whoom this was the 10th anniversary of the course at the University of Tampere, where he is also an adjunct professor (docent).

At the 2017 ISA Convention in Baltimore (23-24 February), IES researchers Sebastian Oberthür, Luis Simon, Joachim Koops, Stephan Klose and associates Katja Biedenkopf, Caterina Carta and Esther Marijnen presented their research on a variety of subjects, ranging from the EU’s climate and environmental policy to European foreign and security affairs. While presenting a total of eleven research papers, they further contributed to a successful conference as chair or discussant in several conference panels and roundtable debates.

On 2 February IES Research professor Ilke Adam gave a presentation in the informal hearing on homosexuality and religion in the Flemish Parliament. She presented her insights, mainly based on the research she conducted with ULB Colleague Corinne Torrekens on Belgian Turcs and Belgian Maroccans, and the ongoing research on African Belgians, both funded by the King Boudewijn Foundation. She demonstrated that, indeed, homonegativity is still strong in Belgian communities of migrant origin but that assimilation is happening, since negativity is lower than in the countries of origin. With the help of numbers she also showed that the central focus on Muslims in debates on homonegativity is not only incorrect but also counter-productive.

In December 2016, the seminar on “A Science Diplomacy approach for Belgium?!” brought together experts and practitioners with an interest in science, innovation, international cooperation and diplomacy with a view to discussing existing science diplomacy practices and approaches around the world, and to reflecting on a science diplomacy strategy for Belgium.