News from the IES

On 15 October, IES researchers Medlir Mema and Mathias Holvoet organized a policy forum addressing the potential implications of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, KSC, in Kosovo. The event was held at the University of Business and Technology, UBT, in Prishtina. Participants of the policy forum echoed a general sentiment that the political nature of the court has hurt its legitimacy before indictments have even begun.  


The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is partnering with 9 European institutions in the framework of a new project JP-COOPS funded by the European Commission DG JUST (Justice Action Grant). The main coordinator of the project is the University of Malta. In the next 2.5 years, JP-COOPS aims to reinforce judicial and police cooperation in 26 EU Member States through expanding and strengthening existing training networks. 




On 10 October, IES Prof. Dr. Marie Lamensch presented her study on VAT fraud written at the request of the European Parliament’s TAX3 Committee, a special committeeon financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidancethat was set up in March 2018 after Luxleaks, the Panama papers, and other tax related scandals. TAX3 aims to build on the work of its predecessors and investigate new issues, such as digital taxation, national citizenship programmes and VAT fraud.



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).

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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.