News from the IES

Prof. Dr. Christian Kaunert, assisted by Mr Silviu Piros, leading a team of researchers from the Institute for European Studies (IES), has been awarded a Jean Monnet Chair in EU Counter-Terrorism (EXACT) for three years, starting from September 2017. Jean Monnet Chairs, as part of the prestigious Life Long Learning programme of the European Union, are very competitive, highly prestigious awards designed to undertake advanced research and teaching activities at a leading research organisation in Europe.

1 September 2017 marked the official launch of a new 3-year project that the IES is involved in as a beneficiary and Workpackage Leader: “MINDb4ACT - Mapping, IdentifyiNg and Developing skills and opportunities in operating environments to co-create innovative, ethical and effective ACTions to tackle radicalization leading to violent extremism”.

From Monday 3 July to Friday 14 July, the Institute for European Studies joined forces with the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and the University of Vienna to organise the Inter-University Summer School on EU Policy Making. This intensive two-week programme packed with interactive seminars and study visits focusses on the functioning of the EU institutions and decision-making procedures as well as on EU foreign relations. This year, Brexit was in the spotlight, and the summer school participants gained insights into the consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU. 

On 4 July, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)​ and the Centre for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) are organising an evening debate "The institutional framework for EU migration and asylum policies: supranational or intergovernmental?".

On 13 July, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) with the support of the Centre for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Belgian Contact Point of the European Migration Network (EMN) is organising an evening debate «Immigrant Integration Policies of Belgian Regions: A mirror of the diversity in the EU?». This event is exceptionally open to persons not registered to the Odysseus Network Summer School.


Jan Claudius Völkel has successfully finished first research stays connected to his Marie Skłodowska-Curie project on “The role of national parliaments in the Arab transformation processes”. From 23 April to 10 May, he conducted interviews with local and international stakeholders in Tunisia, among them the Head of the EU Delegation in Tunis, Patrice Bergamini, and member of parliament Wafa Makhlouf. Besides, Jan gave topic-related lectures at the Université de Carthage, Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Politiques et Sociales de Tunis.

On Tuesday 13 June 2017, Daniel Opoku Acquah defended his PhD thesis entitled ‘Intellectual Property, Developing Countries and the Law and Policy of the European Union: Towards Postcolonial Control of Development’. His promoters were Prof. Dr. Harri Kalimo (IES) and Prof. Dr. Tuomas Mylly (UTU). The doctoral committee comprised of Prof. Karel De Gucht (IES), Prof. Stefaan Smis (VUB), Prof. Aurora Plomer (University of Bristol), Prof. Jonathan Griffiths (Queen Mary University of London), and Assist. Prof. Trisha Meyer (Vesalius College, VUB). 

Prof. Florian Trauner was invited to speak on the security challenges in the Western Balkans for the European Security and Defence College, a  high level course on the future of Common Security and Defence Policy, Austrian National Defence Academy, Vienna (May 29th, 2017).

Klaudia Majcher, PhD researched in the Economic Governance Cluster, participated in the 15th Jean Monnet Seminar on Advanced Issues of European Law organised by the Law Faculty of the University of Zagreb. The topic of this year’s conference, which took place on 23-29 April 2017 in Dubrovnik, was “The EU and Trust in the Online Environment”.

The Institute for European Studies (IES) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel is seeking to host researchers under the premise of the EU's Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships cohort. The fellowship allows for individuals to spend between one and two years at the IES with the purpose of supporting career development, training, and enhancement of creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers through international, intersectoral mobility.

New candidates would join Chantal Lavallée and Jan Claudius Völkel, who started their Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships at the IES in the Spring of 2017.

In this Policy Brief, IES Research Professor Luis Simón zooms in on the election of Moon Jae-in as 12th President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), in particular with respect to the future of South Korea’s foreign and defense policies. He argues that Moon’s willingness to reach out to North Korea and China means engagement is likely to become a distinguished feature of his foreign policy inventory. However, the reality of North Korea’s nuclear and missile program sets clear limits to a possible policy of engagement and underscores the increasing importance of both Washington and Tokyo to South Korean security.