News from the IES

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).

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.