News from the IES

Every year, VUB awards the title of “VUB Fellow”, the highest grade of membership at the University, to a series of outstanding personalities. Throughout the year, VUB Fellows meet to discuss challenges facing Europe and education, share business tactics, and exchange ideas in order to improve society. On 21 June, several new Fellows will be inaugurated and welcomed in the VUB community at a VUB Fellowship ceremony in the Concert Noble. IES Academic Director Luk Van Langenhove, who acts as Faculty Fellowship Coordinator for the Faculty of Social Sciences, will present five new fellows. Amongst them is Ms. Shada Islam who receives the title of “VUB Solvay Fellow” on the proposal of the IES. 

On Thursday 14 June, the KF-VUB Korea Chair and the CSIS Korea Chair jointly organized a high-level panel entitled “Towards Peace in the Korean Peninsula? Assessing a Spring of Summits.” In the aftermath of the meeting that took place between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, HE Kim Hyoung-zhin (ROK Ambassador to Belgium and the EU), Dr. Ramon Pacheco Pardo (KF-VUB Korea Chair, Institute for European Studies, VUB) and Dr. Victor Cha (CSIS Korea Chair) discussed the recent and upcoming development on the Korean Peninsula

A few years after the so called ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, labour market integration of refugees becomes a pressing policy issue. In search for data-driven policy-making, research on this topic can deliver relevant input. Similarly so for the problem of ethnic inequalities on the labour market, beyond the group of refugees. Research in Belgium and beyond demonstrates that the offspring of immigrants, the so-called ‘second generation’, still does not participate equally to the labour market.  Ilke Adam was invited in two separate events to discuss recent research results on ethnic equality on the labour market. The first  event was organised by CEPS (MEDAM), on 19 April, and the second will take place on 18 June, at the Belgian Ministry for Employment (co-organised by Unia , the Belgian Equality Body).

On 12 June 2018, the KF-VUB Korea Chair, with the kind support of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to Belgium and the EU, organized a conference on “Korea-EU Relations at 55: Leveraging ASEM in Uncertain Times.” As 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the EU and Korea, the conference provided an excellent opportunity to assess the current state of the EU-ROK relationship and to explore opportunities for further cooperation in the future. 

On June 13, IES Academic Director Luk Van Langenhove presented a paper on “Multi-level Diplomacy in the Digital Century” at the Workshop “networks and the European Union: Threats and Opportunities if Complexity” organized by the European Joint Doctorate programme “GEM Stones” (Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism - Sophistication of the Transnational Order, Networks, and European Strategies) at the Warwick Brussels Office.

On 6 & 7 June, IES professor Harri Kalimo, assisted by IES researcher Lea Mateo and Chris Yon (UPitt), gave SOLVIT experts from the Member States two days of intensive training on EU free movement of goods law. The training covered a wide range of scenarios of obstacles that companies (in particular SMEs) encounter with public authorities in the Member States when attempting to operate across the borders and market their goods. The impacts of SOLVIT’s reinforced legal expertise should improve the help they provide to companies to make the best use of the opportunities the  internal market has to offer, and hence contribute directly into a more efficient European economy. 

Between 31 May and 1 June Silviu co-organised the 3rd European Conference on Teaching and Learning Politics, International Relations and European Studies – EuroTLC together with Dr. Heidi Maurer (London School of Economics and Political Science) and Dr. Tomas Weiss (Charles University Prague). After two successful editions in Maastricht (2014) and Brussels (2016), the conference endorsed by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the British International Studies Association (BISA) and the Political Science Association (PSA) was held at the Charles University in Prague where it welcomed scholars from across Europe, China and the US for one of the 20 workshop sessions or 15 paper panels.

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), with which the IES has a close collaboration, cordially welcomes applications from outstanding (post)doctoral researchers looking to enhance their career development and prospects by working abroad. Located in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, close to Brussels and many institutions of the European Union, candidates at UNU-CRIS will not only find themselves embedded within the global United Nations University research network, which directly supports the broader UN system, but will also be able to take advantage of a unique partnership that UNU-CRIS has with both Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Successful candidates will be supervised by the Director of the Institute, Professor Madeleine Hosli. They will furthermore be provided with an office, along with a computer and free access to both the UNU-CRIS library facilities and those of its partner universities.  

On Tuesday, 5 June, professor Caroline Pauwels, rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and professor François Germinet, rector of the French Université Paris Seine, signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The same day, a previously signed MoU with the University of Warwick was ratified into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). In these agreements, the European universities commit to collaborate more closely with regard to research and education in the future. For the Institute for European Studies, this opens up new opportunities for collaboration both in research and education. The commitment is to be seen in light of the call made by the European Council to create a network of European Universities by 2024.

Students of the University of Southern California, enrolled in the Brussels Programme on European Foreign Policy, were welcomed with a reception on Monday 28 May. They spent their first week getting to know their individual internship places at various institutions. The students will be staying in Brussels for five weeks while attending lectures on topics such as European integration and foreign policy, European security challenges, and European trade and environmental governance. The programme is organized every spring by IES. It is led by Dr. Daniel Fiott and Dr. Luis Simon.