News from the IES

On 27 September, the new Academic Year at the IES was formally inaugurated with a lecture by Mr Martti Koskenniemi, Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. A room packed with students from our two Advanced Master programmes (LLM in International and European Law and Advanced Master in European Integration) benefited from the insights offered by one of the most prominent international law scholars of our time. This academic year 2018-19, our two Advanced Master programmes have started off with a total of 83 students (part of the group is on the picture).

Are you interested in Korean Peninsula security affairs? Do you want to share your views with an audience including policy-makers, researchers, journalists and other experts on Asian affairs? Do you want to win €500 and the possibility of spending a two-month paid internship in Brussels? Are you an Undergraduate student based at a European university? Then do join the KF-VUB Korea Chair Pan-European Korean Peninsula Security Writing Contest!

Immigrant integration policy-making has long been considered a prerogative of the nation state. Yet, in recent years, elements of these policy areas have been shifted upwards, to the international level (EU and international organizations), downwards, to the sub-state level (regional and local authorities) and outwards (to countries of origin, transit and private actors). This dispersal of policy-making power increases the need for coordination. 

Ilke Adam and Eve Hepburn (Edinburgh University & Policy Scribe,) edited a special issue of Regional and Federal Studies inquiring into how and why governments in multi-level states coordinate on immigrant integration. Through a comparison of four case studies (Belgium, Canada, Italy and Spain) – which includes within-case comparisons over time, across regions and across sub-policy areas –  the authors aimed to identify the features of intergovernmental relations and the nature and dynamics that shape these. 

On 12 September 2018, the IES hosted an international workshop for the Horizon 2020 project “COP21: Results and Implications for Pathways and Policies for Low Emissions European Societies (COP21 RIPPLES)”. The workshop was dedicated to the nextsteps of the project work on international climate governance of which the IES is co-coordinator. IES participants included Sebastian Oberthür, Tomas Wyns and Gauri Khandekar.  The workshop gathered consortium colleagues from University College London, the Paris-based Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Climate Analytics, and Wuppertal Institutefor Climate, Environment, and Energy to discuss future work that will analyse international  decarbonization clubs and zoom in on international cooperation on low-carbon technologies and innovation, and on transformative climate finance.

From October 2018 through May 2019 UPV organises a series of lectures on various aspects of the EU’s past, present and future. Four lectures will be delivered by speakers from the Institute for European Studies: Ilke Adam will discuss the EU’s migration policy (24 October), Tomas Wyns will take a look at the EU’s climate policy in the context of climate change (28 November), Alexander Mattelaer will tackle the topic of Brexit and its implications on daily life of EU citizens (20 March), and IES Academic Director Luk Van Langenhove will provide an overview of possible scenarios for the future of Europe (3 April).

The “Industrial Value Chain: A Bridge towards a Carbon Neutral Europe” report was conducted by the Institute for European Studies (IES-VUB) on the behalf of the EU’s Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) to the EU Commission’s Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The report identifies common opportunities and challenges faced by European EIIs in meeting ambitious climate targets, highlights the constructive and solutions-oriented role that the EIIs have been playing, determines a combination of key solutions that will help EIIs to significantly reduce their emissions, as well as addresses the necessary conditions for ensuring that Europe is at the forefront of the energy and industrial transformation. 

Authors: Tomas Wyns, Gauri Khandekar, Isobel Robson

A 46th generation of our LLM and 16th generation of our EuroMaster students have successfully finished their studies at the Institute for European Studies. They celebrated this milestone in their lives during two 2017-18 graduation ceremonies, which were elevated by particularly inspiring speeches from two IES alumni who shared their views on ‘life after the programme’ and emphasized the importance of the IES alumni network.

IES Academic Director Luk Van Langenhove has been appointed by the Board of Directors of the VUB as Academic Commissioner for International Institutes and Networking. In this new role, he will be responsible for the coordination of the already existing international institutes of the VUB and the VUB participation in international networks.

The IES is proud to announce the launch of a new report by researchers Matilda Axelson (lead author), Isobel Robson, Gauri Khandekar and Tomas Wyns (Project coordinator): 'Breaking Through – Industrial Low-CO2 Technologies on the Horizon’. This report assesses the latest state of play of 70 low-CO2 process technologies currently under development in Europe for the Iron and Steel, Chemicals, Cement and Concrete, Pulp and Paper, and Ceramics industries. It provides a snapshot of the current situation by assessing current industrial process innovations based on their CO2-emission reduction potential, energy demand, costs and technological readiness. 

On 5 September 2018, KF-VUB Korea Chair Senior Researcher Tongfi Kim presented "Fundamental strategic problems in nuclear disarmament of North Korea: How Europe can help ameliorate them" at the Seventh Consultative Meeting of the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium. Dr. Kim discussed strategic problems of North Korea’s nuclear disarmament and why we have not seen much progress after the US-DPRK summit in June this year.