Recent Publications

Karen Donders


The European Commission’s interference through state aid rules with the Member States’ support for public service broadcasting is not undisputed. Member States, public broadcasters and numerous academics fear that State aid control might limit the public service remit and, hence, the multi-platform and holistic role of public broadcasters in the converging media industries. This paper assesses to what extent the fear for Commission intervention is, indeed, justified. It starts with the assumption that the transformation from public service broadcasting to public service media is vital for the European democratic society. The paper leads to the observation that, in fact, European State aid policy might contribute to such a necessary and urgent transformation, instead of threatening it. The paper consists of three main parts. Firstly, the legal constraints and margins of the Community’s State aid framework are discussed. Secondly, the application of the rules to a selection of public broadcasting cases is analyzed. Finally, some conclusions are drawn from the analysis.

About the author

Karen Donders holds a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences. In 2006 she became a PhD researcher at the Institute for European Studies. Karen is also affiliated with the Center for Studies on Media Information and Telecommunications (SMIT), which is a partner in the IBBT research consortium. Karen’s research concerns the impacts of European State aid policy on the remit, control and financial support of public broadcasting organizations in the EU, in particular whether or not European State aid control can assist the transformation from public service broadcasting to public service media.

Agata Brzezińska


The principle of gender equality forms a part of the EU’s social policy and serves equally men and women. So far, fourteen directives concerning gender equality have been adopted in the EU, with the New Equal Treatment Directive as the latest one. The EU has developed different models to promote gender equality: equal treatment, positive action and most recently gender mainstreaming. The equal treatment model is primarily concerned with formal equality and it unfortunately prevails in the ECJ’s rulings. Indeed, this paper argues that so far, the ECJ has not managed to develop a firm and consistent case law on gender equality, nor to stretch it coherently to positive action and gender mainstreaming. It seems that in spite of some progress in promoting the position of women, the ECJ’s case law has recently taken a step backwards with its conservative judgments in e.g. the Cadman case.

Overall, this paper aims at summing up and evaluating the most important cases of the ECJ on gender equality.

About the author

Agata Brzezińska has graduated from the Law and Administration Faculty of Warsaw University and holds an LL.M degree in International and European Law from the Institute for European Studies (IES) at Vrije Unversiteit Brussel. Brzezińska has worked on EU legal matters in the European Parliament and in an international law firm in Warsaw. As of September 2009, she has been working in the European Commission. The viewpoints presented here are her personal opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions she is or has been working for.

Armelle Gouritin


Questions regarding oil spills remain high on the political agenda. Legal scholars, legislators as well as the international, European and national Courts struggle to determine key issues, such as who is to be held liable for oil spills, under which conditions and for which damage.

The international regime on oil spills was meant to establish an “equilibrium” between the needs of the victims (being compensated for their harm) and the needs of the economic actors (being able to continue their activities). There is, however, a constantly increasing array of legal scholars’ work that criticizes the regime. Indeed, the victims of a recent oil spill, the Erika, have tried to escape the international regime on oil spills and to rely instead on the provisions of national criminal law or EC waste legislation. In parallel, the EC legislator has questioned the sufficiency of the international regime, as it has started preparing legislative acts of its own. One can in fact wonder whether challenging the international liability regime with the European Convention on Human Rights could prove to be a way forward, both for the EC regulators as well as the victims of oil spills. This paper claims that the right to property, as enshrined in Article P1-1 of the Human Rights Convention, could be used to challenge the limited environmental liability provisions of the international frameworks.

About the author

Armelle Gouritin is a Ph.D. researcher at the Institute for European Studies. In her Ph.D., she focuses on the substantive interplay between EC environmental responsibility directives on the one hand, and international environmental law and the European Court on Human Rights’ case law on the other. The author warmly thanks Lawrence Steenstra and Claire Roche Kelly from the IES for all the time and work they kindly devoted for this paper to be published.

May 2011
working paper
Nikki Slocum-Bradley
Andrew Bradley


This paper examines both the processes and outcomes of governance in the context of the EU’s relationship with ACP States within the period of the Cotonou Agreement (CA). It discusses and assesses a variety of governance mechanisms, including the European Commission’s use of the governance concept, EPAs, manifestations of partner preferences, the EDF, the revision of the CA, and Fisheries Partnership Agreements. Specific examples of the wielding of each mechanism are assessed based upon two criteria: a) the extent to which the wielding of the mechanism by the EU is a manifestation of “good governance”, and b) the extent to which the EU’s wielding of the mechanism has resulted, or is likely to result, in the sustainable development of and reduction of poverty in ACP countries. The examples are chosen to illustrate contradictions between rhetoric and practice and the consequential negative (actual and potential) impact upon development in ACP States. The final section offers suggestions for improving the EU’s governance processes and their outcomes for development.

About the authors

Nikki Slocum-Bradley is a Research fellow of the Institute for European Studies and an Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Belgium. Her research encompasses a broad range of issues at the nexus between psychology, sociology, politics and international relations. She has published in a variety of journals and books across disciplines, and edited Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity (Ashgate, 2008). She has also authored a variety of background papers for policy forums.

Andrew Bradley is Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Human Development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. His current responsibilities include, for example, the maintenance of ACP–EU relations, migration, human and social development, conflict prevention and resolution, and the promotion of democracy and human rights. Previously he was a career diplomat serving in South African embassies and missions in Canada, Switzerland and Belgium. In this capacity, he was involved in the discussions/negotiations that brought about democratic change in South Africa.

Nikki Slocum-Bradley


Proposing a discursive approach to studying identity, this paper presents Positioning Theory as a theoretical framework for conceptualizing the construction of identity in discourse. The Positioning Diamond is employed to analyse the discourse surrounding the Danish Euro referendum. The analysis reveals how identities are constructed in discourse that promotes a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote in the referendum, highlighting the generally implicit allocation of rights and duties to actors within a specific narrative context. The penultimate section discusses appropriate criteria for evaluating discursive accounts, distinguishing between cases in which truth, normative and ethical criteria are applicable. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of policy considerations and recommendations.

About the Author

Nikki Slocum-Bradley is a Research fellow of the Institute for European Studies and an Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Belgium. Her research encompasses a broad range of issues at the nexus between psychology, sociology, politics and international relations. She has published in a variety of journals and books across disciplines, and edited Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity (Ashgate, 2008). She has also authored a variety of background papers for policy forums.

Alexia Herwig


Many service transactions are highly complex, and their quality is difficult to ascertain for consumers. In order to have properly functioning service markets, the services thus often require regulation. However, with the advent of the WTO, international trade in services has become increasingly rule-bound. GATS has considerable, intricate effects on social regulation due to the characteristics of services. The allocation of regulatory jurisdiction between home and host country, for example, is rendered difficult by the process-based nature of a lot of services. The WTO US – Gambling dispute settlement report is the first to address GATS disciplines on social regulation in a detailed manner. This working paper submits that the US - Gambling report has increased interference with domestic social regulation and created regulatory uncertainty for WTO members. However, it is also argued that the real impact of the GATS on social regulation can only be understood by looking beyond the text of the GATS. GATS disciplines may become amplified through their interaction with domestic and other international law. The GATS also contains some “political” counterbalancing mechanisms that allow members to renegotiate their commitments. It is argued that these political mechanisms strengthen subsidiarity in the GATS, and make WTO dispute settlement bodies accountable to WTO members.

About the author

Alexia Herwig is an FWO post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Law and Cosmopolitan Values in the area of international economic law. Alexia has JSD and LL.M degrees from New York University School of Law. Her current research focuses on the constitutionalisation of the WTO, global distributive justice and labour law aspects raised by the liberalisation of trade in services. Alexia has previously been a post-doctoral research associate at the Special Research Centre on Transformations of the State at the University of Bremen, Germany and at the Institute for European Studies (IES). This paper is based on work conducted during her visiting fellowship at the IES.

EUnity of Command - The Planning and Conduct of CSDP Operations

Simon Navarro, L. & Mattelaer, A. 2011 Brussels: Egmont Institute (Egmont Paper 41).

Research output: ResearchBook

Original languageEnglish
PublisherBrussels: Egmont Institute (Egmont Paper 41)
ISBN (Print)978-90-382-1713-0
StatePublished - 2011

Comparing Organisational Models for Planning Crisis Response

Mattelaer, A. 2011 Unknown.

Research output: ResearchConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown
StatePublished - 2011


Period1/01/11 → …

Joseph Luns, diplomaat in hart en nieren

Mattelaer, A. 2011 In : Ons Erfdeel. 54, p. 186-187 2 p.

Research output: ResearchEditorial

Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)186-187
Number of pages2
JournalOns Erfdeel
StatePublished - 2011

How Afghanistan has Strengthened NATO

Mattelaer, A. 2011 In : Survival. 53, p. 127-140 14 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2011