News from the IES

The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (IES-VUB), the Institut d’Études Européennes at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (IEE-ULB),
the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), and Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations
invite paper abstracts and panel proposals for the fifth European Union in International Affairs (EUIA) conference.

Given Russia's resurgence and the burning crises in the South there has never been a more opportune time to discuss European defence. Yet in the face of such challenges, how do we assess the June European Council summit on defence? Does the Council meeting represent another milestone on the path to closer defence cooperation between EU member states, or did the meeting reflect the extant difficulties involved in forging a truly common defence policy?

The 2015-2016 academic year at IES will start with special flair. We have the great pleasure of hosting the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Jyrki Katainen, to deliver the inaugural lecture for the Institute’s two post-graduate programmes, the M.Sc in European Integration (“EuroMaster”) and the LL.M. in International and European Law (“PILC”).

Marie Lamensch (EEG cluster) was invited to attend the annual Congress of the International Fiscal Association in Basel which attracted more than 2000 leading experts in the fiscal field. During the opening ceremony she was awarded the prestigious 2015 Maurice Lauré Prize for her doctoral dissertation entitled "“European Value-Added Tax in the Digital Era: a Critical Analysis and Proposals for Reform".

IES PhD researchers Irene Wieczorek and Klaudia Majcher participated in the advanced-level law course organised by the Academy of European Law of the European University Institute, which was held in Florence from 29 June to 10 July.

The European International Studies Association (EISA) offered financial support for two Young Researchers’ Workshops (YRWs) to be held in September 2015. Two workshops were selected, of which one is co-organised by IES PhD researcher Lisanne Groen and former IES visiting researcher Iulian Romanyshyn (IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca) on The European Union in Multilateral Negotiations’.

The Paris climate conference is expected to adopt a new global agreement on fighting climate change. IES Professor Sebastian Oberthür has been taking an active role on the way towards the Paris conference. On 7 July, he participated in a webinar on “Paris 2015: Lessons from the Copenhagen Experience”.

The European Union has increasingly become an international and global actor in many if not most policy areas (including agriculture, communication, fisheries, health, human rights, environment, trade, etc.) – through transferral of related competence to the EU represented by the European Commission and/or through coordination of the foreign policies of EU member states. International institutions constitute particularly prominent fora for the EU’s pursuit of its international role. Treaty-based international regimes and formal international organizations have proliferated in recent decades, making them probably the most important fora for global governance. Based either on formal EC/EU membership or on coordination of the positions of individual EU member states, the EU has been one of the major players in multilateral institutions, thereby supporting multilateralism and international cooperation in general. This lecture series sets out to explore the notion of performance in international institutions, and then examines the performance of the EU in a range of international institutions.

In the third lecture of the series dedicated to EU/China cooperation in competition law and policy, Mrs. Angela Huyue Zhang, Mr. Chris Bryant, Mr. Torben Toft  and Mr. Dave Anderson discussed the structures of the competition enforcement agencies in China and the EU and the approaches followed during the decision making process.

The third lecture from the IES policy forum dedicated to National Competition Authorities saw the participation of Mr. António Ferreira Gomes, current President of the Portuguese Competition Authority, of Dr. Komninos and of Marta Ottanelli.

Mr. Gomes, after having delineated the main features of the new Portuguese competition law, concluded by sharing his experience with regard to the cooperation of national competition authorities in the framework of the European Competition Network.