News from the IES

On 10 November the results of the study “How can we transform the Flemish industry, to ensure it can thrive in a climate-neutral Europe by 2050?” were presented to over 200 stakeholders in the presence of the Flemish minister of innovation Hilde Crevits. This study was performed by Climact, Deloitte, the Antwerp Management School and the Institute for European Studies (VUB). The study presents options to achieve deep emission reductions towards climate neutrality by 2050 by Flemish industry, a roadmap towards this goal, and the enabling policy framework.

The public defence of Malasree Neepa Acharya will take place on Monday, 23 November 2020 at 7PM CET in an online format, followed by a digital reception.

Please click this link to register for the online defence on 23/11.

Upon registration you will receive an automated link from Zoom to attend the defense and in the invitation is a separate link included to the digital reception as well.

This event is organized by the KF-VUB Korea Chair and Wilson Center’s Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy as part of the 2020 Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity: Reinventing Multilateral Security.  

Joining us for this discussion are Joseph YUN of the U.S. Institute of Peace who is  a former U.S. special representative for North Korea policy and deputy assistant secretary for Korea and Japan and has worked in both the Obama and Trump administrations; Jean H. LEE, a former AP journalist who opened the news agency’s Pyongyang bureau; KIM Joonhyung, chancellor of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy; KIM Jiyoon, political analyst and talk show host; and Ramon PACHECO PARDO, Korea Chair at the Institute for European Studies, VUB. 

Governments around the world are responding with extensive economic stimulus packages to the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The design of these economic stimulus packages will also determine central framework conditions for future climate policy: The stimulus packages can either provide a strong impetus for a climate-friendly economy or cement unsustainable economic practices. In their new article "Harnessing international climate governance to drive a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," Sebastian Oberthür (IES), Wolfgang Obergassel and Lukas Hermwille (both Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy) discuss how international climate policy can contribute to a green recovery.

The article was published in the journal Climate Policy and is a further developed version of a July 2020 Policy Brief published in the framework of the Jean Monnet Network GOVTRAN, in which the IES teams up with Ghent University, the University of East Anglia, and the University of Eastern Finland.

The European Commission has selected the RePAST project as one out of six success stories of EU social sciences and humanities funded projects. The selection of RePAST reflects the high quality of research work done at Vesalius College and the Institute for European Studies (IES). Prof. George Terzis conducts research for the project on the role of art and cultural diplomacy in conflict resolution and writes policy recommendations for an EU strategy on the above with the engagement of a large number of stakeholders. The project has already received coverage in quality European press and it was the only one awarded funding in one of the most competitive EU H2020 calls in 2017 (CULT-COOP-02) where 63 consortia competed. 

From 1 to 12 February 2021, the IES will organise the very first edition of its online Jean Monnet Winter School on EU Policy-Making, in collaboration with its partners the University of Vienna and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. This Winter School will build on the long-standing expertise of the similar (offline) Summer School that the IES and its partners have organised for almost 20 years.

On 1 October 2020, the newly established Japan Program officially started its activities at the VUB’s Institute for European Studies (IES). Set up with the support of the Japan Foundation, the Program aims to enhance awareness of Japan’s foreign and security policy, steer the European debate on current security issues in East Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region, as well as to promote Japan’s cooperation with the EU and NATO.

The European legislation establishing the climate and energy policy framework for 2030 introduces 'energy communities' as a major innovation in order to advance renewable energy and the energy transition. Under the relevant EU Directives, the applicable provisions have to be transposed into national law this year. To support this process in Flanders and Belgium, part of the Flemish funded Flux 50 project called ‚ROLECS‘, or, Roll Out of Local Energy Communities, explores the existing legal frameworks for energy communities at national level and how these could be adapted to comply with European requirements and to facilitate the creation and development of energy communities.

On 9 October 2020 Laura Westerveen successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "Ethno-racial (In)equality in Belgium and Germany: Understanding Policy Frames”. Laura’s dissertation explores the framing of inequalities along ethno-racial lines in policy discourses. In particular, it identifies different types of ‘policy frames’ surrounding these inequalities in Belgian and German education and employment policies. 

On Tuesday 29 September, the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development launched their global report, “Balancing Act: Countering digital disinformation while respecting freedom of expression.” This research was led by Prof. Kalina Bontcheva (University of Sheffield)  and Dr. Julie Posetti (International Center for Journalists) along with international researchers and contributing authors, including Prof. Trisha Meyer (VECO-IES). The work charts the wide range of responses to disinformation across the world, focusing on the effects of these measures on freedom of opinion and expression.