News from the IES

Tomas Wyns presented policy options for ‘a low-carbon transition for the EU cement industry’ at a Roundtable on Low Carbon Innovation in Cement and Concrete organised by Chatham House, 12 May London. His presentation can be accessed here.











Photo: Wikipedia

Tomas Wyns presented views on developing a industrial strategy for Europe at the year's European Business Summit in Brussels. Such industrial strategy will have to be mission oriented and therefore seek to address major societal challenges. Innovation will have to be at the core of such strategy and therefore further the intent and size of Horizon 2020 into the next EU multi-annual financial framework (MFF). 

After nine months of interim Directorship of UNU-CRIS, IES Executive Director Anthony Antoine passes on the baton to Professor Madeleine O. Hosli as Director of the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS). Anthony will stay on as part-time Deputy Director, at least until the new Director has settled, and possibly beyond. Prof. Hosli starts her activities at UNU-CRIS as of 1 June and will stay on for an initial period of 5 years. 

IES Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür is part of an award-winning team across several universities that have worked on the project "The EU Referendum and the UK Environment: An Expert Review". This project, that is now directly informing the choices around the delivery of Brexit, was given the 'Insight of the Year' award at the ENDS Environmental Impact Awards. Congratulations to all those involved!

Korea Studies PlatformThe Korea Foundation (KF) and the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) announce the launch of the KF-VUB Korea Chair. This Chair will kick off in the autumn of 2017 and will serve as an independent platform in Brussels to advance academically rigorous and informed discussions on policy questions that are of relevance to the Republic of Korea and Europe.

From April 7th-15th, the VUB and ULB conducted a joint mission to China. In the presence of both rectors, Caroline Pauwels from the VUB and Yvon Englert from the ULB, the mission embarked on a new form of partnership between the two universities. The objective has been to join forces and to jointly establish new or deepen the existing cooperation with selected Chinese universities. Professor Florian Trauner participated on behalf of the IES. His ULB counterpart was Anne Weyembergh, President of the ‘Institut d'études européennes’.

On Tuesday 2 May, the Institute for European Studies signed a cooperation agreement with the centre for European Studies of Renmin University, China. The agreement is the de facto continuation of the good relations between VUB and Renmin that started more than 20 years ago and already led to an MOU between the two universities. It allows for student and staff exchange (e.g. in the framework of the Renmin International Summer School).

On 26 April, the third meeting of the EL-CSID Steering Committee brought together the consortium members to discuss the EL-CSID research agenda, the progress achieved on the different work packages as well as the planning of the future research and dissemination activities.

On 27th of April, the IES hosted the meeting of the International Steering Committee of Metropolis International, a network of government officials, academics and ngo's working in the field of migration based in Ottawa. The Committee holds its meetings at six monthly intervals at locations around the world. The last time that it was held at IES Brussels was ten years ago. The main topic of discussion was the forthcoming international conference in the Hague from 18-20 September 2017 which amongst other things will feature  an appraisal of free movement of EU citizens in the light of the Brexit negotiations and the political climate in Europe. The conference is usually attended by between 500 and 1000 participants and is a major event on the migration policy calendar. Committee members also heard reports from around Europe and the world on how governments and the public view the migration situation in their respective countries.

Who's afraid of TrumpOn 24 April 2017, Dr. Robert Falkner, associate Professor at the London School of Economics, delivered a public lecture at the IES assessing climate policy under US President Donald Trump and implications for the global climate regime, in particular, the Paris Agreement. Dr. Falkner endeavored to decode the US President’s rhetoric on climate change, new actors of the Republican administration on climate policy, recent changes made to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under administrator Scott Pruit, and divergence at the state level with states like California strongly pursuing climate action.

On April 25th, Richard Lewis was asked to brief a delegation led by Ghenadie Cretu from the office of the International Organisation for Migration in Chisinau on the current migration situation in Europe and EU attitudes to it. The delegation consisted mainly of representatives from the universities in Moldova and Trans-Dnistria.