News from the IES

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.

During the FIDE XXVIII Congress in Estoril, Portugal, IES Doctoral Researcher Fausta Todhe received the "Best Paper Award". She presented this paper, titled "Fiscal State aid: How far can it stretch" on 23 May, 2018 in front of a jury of three people as part of a PhD seminar on "Taxation, State aid, and Distortions of Competition". Congratulations, Fausta!

From 28 May until 1 June 2018, KF-VUB Korea Chair holder Dr. Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Dr. Tongfi Kim and Ms. Linde Desmaele participated in a series of events in Seoul (Republic of Korea) to launch the KF-VUB Korea Chair. On top of a high-level panel hosted by the EU Delegation to the Republic of Korea (ROK), they took part in several roundtable discussions with think tanks, including the Korea National Diplomatic Academy and Asan Institute, and ROK officials in which they exchanged views on achieving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. 

On April 24-25, 2018, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies hosted the Asan Plenum 2018 in Seoul. The theme of this year’s Asan Plenum was “Illiberal International Order.” As in previous years, the Asan Plenum 2018 gathered leading experts from around the world, including the President of the Institute for European Studies Karel De Gucht, to engage in intensive discussions pertaining to this year’s theme. 

On 30 May 2018, Carlos Soria Rodríguez defended his PhD thesis entitled “The international and European environmental regulation of marine renewable energies in the EU”. His promoters were Prof. Dr. Harri Kalimo and Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür. As a PhD researcher at the IES, Carlos was a member of IES’ Environment and Sustainable Development Cluster. His research interests include public international law and EU law, with special focus on marine environmental law, law of the sea, marine renewable energies, biodiversity conservation and oceans governance. The Institute for European Studies would like to congratulate Dr Soria Rodríguez for successfully defending his PhD thesis.

Another #EUIA18 conference has come to an end. From 16 to 18 May, the 6th European Union in International Affairs conference (#EUIA18) took place in the Palace des Académies in Brussels. With 392 participants, #EUIA18 broke all previous attendance records. It has been wonderful to witness once again so many stimulating debates on the EU in International Affairs. Speaking for all organisers, we hope it has been a fruitful, value-adding and pleasant experience! We would like to thank our sponsors Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO), Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), and Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Kingdom of Belgium. Special thanks to the Brussels Parliament for hosting an amazing EUIA dinner in an exquisite setting – and to the Korean Mission to the EU that provided the dinner. We hope to see you all at the next EUIA conference in 2020! #EUIA20

On 15 June 2018, Luk Van Langenhove and Alexander Mattelaer will be debating the position of the Benelux Union as a part of the EU, at a panel debate in Antwerp organised by Forum Benelux. Before a diverse audience of businesspeople, cultural, social and scientific organisations, politicians and journalists they will discuss a range of topics including the role of the Benelux in the EU’s quest for stability and progress, Benelux dependence on EU, consequences of Brexit, etc.

Senior researcher Richard Higgott is the author of the EL-CSID report titled “Towards the Private Provision of a Public Good: Exploring the Role of Higher Education as an Instrument of European Cultural and Science Diplomacy with reference to Africa”. The European Union’s (EU) universities and their provision of higher education (HE) to international students remains one of its most powerful global development and cultural assets. The EU operates a wide-ranging set of strategies to assist Africa in enhancing the quality and quantity of its HE. Yet EU’s strategy towards HE in Africa fails to understand or to engage the private sector to help grow the number of Africans undertaking tertiary study. This study identifies the benefits and opportunities of international private provision and proposes a set of next steps as part of a targeted ‘strategy of engagement’ for greater international private involvement in higher education in Africa. The EU needs to play a role in these next steps. 

On 25 and 26 April, Irina van der Vet and Florian Lang represented the IES-VUB in the second consortium meeting of the H2020 Mindb4act project. The meeting took place in Vienna. The Mindb4Act project aims at developing novel initiatives, trainings and policies in the field counter-radicalization and countering violent extremism. The IES is leading several tasks and one work package as well as coordinates several key activities throughout the project, like, for instance, establishing a Belgian Living Lab on Schools and Media to design innovative solutions to deradicalization.

IES Executive Director Anthony Antoine gave a keynote opening speech at the fifth series of workshops of the EU-LEAD project in Ankara, held on 1-5 May at the Middle-East Technical University (METU). The sessions hosted over 60 European and Chinese university leaders and key staff members to discuss university governance structures and university leadership. LEAD, or in full ‘Governance and Academic Leadership of Chinese and European Universities in the context of Innovation and Internationalization’ is an Erasmus+ Capacity Building Project sponsored by the European Commission.