News from the IES

On 6 September 2018, Serena D’Agostino defended her PhD thesis entitled “Romani Women in European Politics. Exploring Multi-Layered Political Spaces for Intersectional Policies and Mobilizations”. Her promoters were Prof. Dr. Ilke Adam and Prof. Dr. Karen Celis. The Institute for European Studies would like to congratulate Dr Serena D’Agostino for successfully defending her PhD thesis.

From 27 – 31 August the Institute for European Studies was represented by doctoral researcher Maaike Verbruggen at the Second Session of the Group of Governmental Experts of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons on Lethal Autonomous Weapons System at the United Nations in Geneva.Maaike Verbruggen attended the meeting in the context of her doctoral research on Military Innovation in Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence.

On 27 June 2018, we published our latest report on the role of international institutions and organisations on the decarbonization of key emission sectors produced for the Horizon 2020 project “COP21: Results and Implications for Pathways and Policies for Low Emissions European Societies (COP21 RIPPLES)”. The report, authored by IES experts Prof. Sebastian Oberthür, Tomas Wyns and Gauri Khandekar, provides a basis for identifying the challenges, barriers and opportunities that international climate governance faces from a sectoral system perspective, and thereby enables a more targeted approach to addressing the international decarbonisation challenge.

The public defence of the PhD in Political Science by Serena D’Agostino will take place on Thursday 6 September 2018 at 16:00 on the Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, U-residence, Groene Zaal.

A course organised by the Research School on Peace and Conflict, SOURCE Societal Security Network, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Institute for European Studies, Free University Brussels (VUB). The Research School on Peace and Conflict invites applications for the course Societal security: critical perspectives, to take place at VUB in Brussels on 17-19 October 2018. The deadline for applications is 10 September 2018. This course invites a reassessment of security politics in Europe through a critical engagement with notions and policies of societal security. Sessions investigate key aspects, including security actors, institutional dynamics, threat perceptions, relations between finance and security, new security technologies and the ethics of security.

IES PhD Researcher Klaudia Majcher gave a presentation at 13th Annual Conference of the Academic Society for Competition Law (ASCOLA) on “The Effects of Digitalization, Globalization, and Nationalism on Competition Law”, which took place at NYU School of Law on 21-23 June. Klaudia’s presentation focused on the legal theory of coherence as a framework for analysing intersections between EU competition and data protection law in the digital marketplace.

On 21 and 22 June, Irina van der Vet and Florian Lang organized and moderated the Kick-Off Workshop for the Belgian Living Lab on Countering Radicalisation Leading to Violent Extremism as part of the H2020 Mindb4Act project. Developed in collaboration with the European Foundation for Democracy, the closed-door event took place in Brussels and launched the collaborative ecosystem – Living Lab – aimed at creating innovative solutions for tackling radicalization and violent extremism in Europe. The team successfully brought together multispectral Belgian stakeholders from LEAs and grass-root organizations, as well as researchers and educators dealing with various aspects of radicalization.

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).