News from the IES

Education Crisis Hungary"Leave us the hell alone". With these strong and straightforward words, Rector and President of the Central European University Michael Ignatieff sent a strong message to the Hungarian government that recently deprived the renowned university of its right to deliver Hungarian diplomas. According to the Rector, Victor Orban's government envisages the Soros-sponsored CEU, which it now considers as a "foreign university", even though it has been operating on Hungarian soil delivering both American as well as Hungarian degrees for nearly a quarter of a century.

On Monday 24 April at 6:30PM, VUB’s and ULB’s respective institutes for European Studies (IES and IEE) are co-organising a highly topical debate: in the context of recent political pressure by the government of Hungary against the Central European University (CEU) located in that country, we hold a panel discussion with CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff on the topic of Academic Freedom & Democracy. Join us for this essential debate about the alarming signals threatening civil and intellectual freedoms at the heart of the EU!

The IES is proud and happy to announce the addition of a new Doctor of Law to its family: on Wednesday 19 April 2017, Auke Willems successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Mutual trust as a core principle of EU criminal law. Conceptualising the principle with a view to facilitate mutual recognition in criminal justice matters”.

Auke’s PhD promotors were Prof. Dr. P. De Hert and Prof. Dr. A. Weyembergh, while members of his exam commission were Prof. Dr. F. Trauner (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Prof. Dr. M. Dony (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Prof. Dr. E. Herlin-Karnell (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and Prof. Dr. C. Gómez-Jara Diez (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid).

The Institute for European Studies would like to congratulate Auke on this important step in his career and wishes him the best of luck for the future!

IES joins EuroSimBetween 29 March – 2 April IES EDU Researcher Silviu Piros travelled to the United States to attend the 30th EuroSim Model European Union (MEU) held at the SUNY College at Brockport New York, and organised by the Trans-Atlantic Consortium for European Union Studies and Simulations (TACEUSS). EuroSim is an annual international, intercollegiate simulation of the European Union (EU). This conference brings together over 200 students and faculty from more than 20 colleges and universities in the United States and Europe, offering participants a unique opportunity to work and learn in an exciting multicultural environment and a first-hand experience in transatlantic relations.

Dr. Marie Lamensch and a team of computer engineers from Massey University have been working on a new model to capture GST/VAT from cross-border transactions and we are proud to announce that she will be presenting it on April 13th at OECD HQ in Paris at the Global VAT Forum. Collaborators involved in this project include tax policy researchers, data scientists, and creative designers.  Projects like this, which solve 21st-century challenges, demonstrate the power of co-creation in innovation. For more information on Global Forum on VAT, please click here.

EL-CSID-Working_PaperDrawing upon the analytical tools defined in the inception paper for Work package 5 of the EL-CSID project, this paper assesses the willingness, capacity and acceptance sustaining EU broadly-defined Cultural Diplomacy (CD) in the MENA region.


As a part of his Jean Monnet Chair rECOncile, IES professor Harri Kalimo has launched a novel type of academic activity at the IES: the virtual reading circle “Virtuosi”. The circle hosts a group of pre- and post-doctoral scholars from universities in different countries –so far Ghent and Antwerp have joined the IES in Belgium, while Turku and Tampere universities participate from Finland, and Fordham from the United States. In addition, IES associates that work in the EU institutions, law firms and national representations take part in the discussions.

Our partner institute UNU-CRIS has launched a Call for Participants regarding its Sixth Doctoral School on Latin, American, European and Comparative Regionalism. The aim of the bilingual (English-Spanish) Doctoral School is to bring together a group of Ph.D. and other young researchers for a series of lectures by leading senior academics and to discuss their research projects in tutorial sessions. The Doctoral School will take place in Quito and will last for one week. Candidates should submit before 30 June 2017.

Click here for more information.

A new project, EU-DRONES, has been accepted in H2020 under the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions. The IES welcomes postdoc Chantal Lavallée, who obtained an Individual Fellowship for 2 years to join the group of Prof. Christian Kaunert from IES. The objective of this research is to examine how the European Commission is shaping regulatory framework development, production and use of drones considering the diverging interests among actors concerned in Europe (and beyond) where multiple authorities overlap.

IES Senior Researcher Prof. Luk Van Langenhove organises a series of six guest lectures on ‘New Approaches to Diplomacy’ in the context of his VUB course ‘Current Case Studies: Global and Regional Governance’. The guest lecturers will be practitioners and academics who will discuss non-traditional forms of diplomacy such as economic and cultural diplomacy. Lectures take place on Wednesdays from 16:00 – 18:00 and are open to the public. The first lecture is scheduled for 19 April.