News from the IES

Conference Report commissioned by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – EU Office Brussels

Co-authored by Petra Ahrens, Serena D’Agostino & Alison Woodward

This policy report explores the future agenda for European equality policy as linked to the EU2020 aims  for sustainability in the EU and the world. The term ‘gender justice’ underlines the idea of gender equality as a fundamental pillar for a fair society that is based on human rights and the elimination of inequality. The European Union (EU), with its treaty obligation to proactively promote equality between women and men, is a uniquely placed actor to move the global agenda forward, while linking it to aims for sustainable development. Many EU Member States have promoted policies that have significantly improved gender relations.

The International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in New Orleans, U.S.A., took place from 18 to 21 February 2015. IES was represented by researchers Lisanne Groen and Dr. Katja Biedenkopf from the Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) cluster, and Stephan Klose from the European Foreign Security Policy (EFSP) cluster.

Sebastian Oberthür and Lisanne Groen attended the international climate change negotiations in Geneva in February 2015. The Geneva negotiations were the first of a series of negotiation sessions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in 2015 in order to prepare for the crucial climate summit in Paris in December where a new international climate agreement is to be adopted.

In follow up to the GIPO (global internet policy observatory) feasibility study, the IES is now involved in the implementation of the GIPO tool. This project, financed by the European Commission, sets out to develop a tool for collecting and displaying information concerning issues of global internet governance. The IES' role is to create and coordinate the tool’s Advisory Board. Jamal Shahin and Trisha Meyer will continue their work on developing a governance framework for the Advisory Board, and coordinate the Board’s secretariat for a limited period.

Jamal Shahin was invited to participate in a workshop at the European Commission on the role of Social Sciences and Humanities in ICT-related research projects in Horizon 2020. As a result of his work with Trisha Meyer et al on the multidisc project, he was invited to comment on a draft proposal from the Commission, on how to engage in Responsible Research and Innovation in the Horizon 2020 ICT workprogramme for 2016–2017. The programme and notes from the event are available on the Commission's website.

Melissa Guinan began her residency at the IES with a research colloquium, “The Implementation of Gender and Security Policies”. In her presentation, Melissa gave an overview of the origins of international action on women, peace, and security issues, including the legal basis in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and its succeeding resolutions. She then detailed the current efforts at implementation in the EU, NATO, and the OSCE, and how European regional organisations present a unique lens on global efforts on this issue. Melissa connected the work on gender and security with broader themes in international affairs, including multilateralism, norm creation, and diplomacy. A discussion concluded the colloquium, in which research colleagues offered suggestions on how best to structure her research while at the IES.

Earlier this year, Belgian Minister of Defence Steven Vandeput invited fourteen experts including IES Assistant Director Alexander Mattelaer to reflect on the future of the Belgian armed forces. Each member of this ‘wise pen’ team authored a paper addressing questions on whether Belgium would need an armed force in 2030, what its core tasks would be and into which direction the department should evolve from today’s reality.

Tampere University has granted IES Senior Fellow Harri Kalimo the title of Adjunct Professor ("docent") in EU law. Harri has been a Guest lecturer at the university over the past 6 years, in charge of a course on EU law. "You can really feel the impact of ERASMUS", Prof. Kalimo claims. "There is always a lively and varied group of students from all over Europe. It is a pleasure to be able  to share with them the hands on experiences from Brussels."

Senior researcher Dr Claire Dupont worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Turku, Finland on January and February 2015. Claire was involved in variouty of activities: she discussed her research with a group of environmental lawyers, provided feedback on on-going research projects in Turku, collaborated with lawyers focused on intellectual property rights on various methods for the research project and helped advance the planning of the overall Ecoherence project for 2015-2016.

On 23-24 January an IES delegation including Alexandra Mihai, Silviu Piros and Anthony Antoine travelled to Tbilisi, Georgia to attend an INOTLES project meeting. This was the final part of Work Package 3 (“Training the Trainers”) and offered a good opportunity to wrap up the training activities by discussing and presenting the conclusions reached in each of the pedagogical training groups (simulations, Problem-based learning and e-learning/ blended learning). Moreover, the meeting also included a kick-off activity for Work Package 4 (course design), whereby participants worked in groups and started developing curricula for courses on EU institutions, decision-making, EU law, EU foreign policy and research methods.