About the IES

The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is an academic Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and a policy think tank that focuses on the European Union in an international setting. The Institute advances academic education and research in various disciplines, and provides services to policy-makers, scholars, stakeholders and the general public.

The IES specifically explores EU institutions, policies and law within the context of globalization and global governance, including a focus on the EU in international affairs and institutions. The disciplines applied at the IES include law, social/political sciences, economics and communication sciences, and the Institute’s activities focus on the various ways in which institutions, law and politics intersect with each other in the EU, its member states and at the international level.

Academic work at the IES is organised in clusters, but is also pursued through horizontal activities cutting across them. Currently, there are the following five clusters:



Based on its research, the IES constitutes the focal point for teaching European Studies at the VUB. It coordinates relevant study programmes, including the renowned Master in International and European Law (LLM) and the Master in European Integration and Development. The IES also co-organises an annual Summer School on European Policy-Making. A training programme including a diverse portfolio of general and focused training sessions as well as e-learning modules (www.emodules.be) and a postgraduate programme on European Policy-Making completes the educational portfolio of the IES.

The IES also provides a number of academic services to disseminate its research and promote its education and to stimulate academic and public discussion on topical European issues. The Institute utilises its central location in Brussels for regularly organising events such as the IES Lecture Series, the IES Policy Forum, the biennial EU in International Affairs conference and other conferences and workshops for academia and the interested public. Furthermore, the IES publishes a book series, the IES Working Papers and the quarterly IES Newsletter.

The Institute fosters academic cooperation with a wide range of Universities and other public as well as private institutions in Belgium and abroad. It pursues its mission both on its own initiative (drawing on its core funding from the Flemish government) and through opportunities offered by funding from third parties. It has executed research projects and organised academic events for, among others, the European Institutions, governments, science foundations and various governmental and non-governmental, national and international organisations as well as companies.