The Institute for European Studies is an autonomous department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It was created in 2001 through an initiative taken by the Flemish Government. As a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, the IES teaches advanced Master programmes, and focuses on interdisciplinary research in European Studies, more specifically on the role of the EU in an international setting. Within this scope, the IES provides academic services to scholars, policymakers and the general public.
The Institute’s central location in Brussels, the capital of Europe, makes it an ideal workplace for both students and established scholars wishing to conduct research in an international and interdisciplinary setting. The IES provides also an ideal forum for conferences and workshops on European issues.
The mission of the IES is threefold:
- Providing advanced education: through its LL.M in International and European Law, MA in European Integration and Development ("Euromaster"), its annual Summer School on the European Decision-Making Process and its 3 E-Learning modules on European Law, Institutions and Information Sources.
- Carrying out scientific research: research is coordinated by the IES Academic Director and conducted by PhD researchers as well as post-doctoral Senior Research Fellows that lead research clusters.
- Providing scientific services in the field of European Studies: organizing annual conferences, regular workshops and repeated lecture series, and by conducting commissioned research.
The Institute collaborates closely with numerous universities and research institutions in Belgium, Europe and internationally. These partnerships and the continuous exchange of new ideas with practitioners and scholars allows the IES to strengthen its research goals and produce a high-level blend of conceptual and practical expertise con all major EU policies.
Research at the IES focuses on the EU in an international context. It explores EU institutions, policies and law within the context of globalisation and international law and politics. Research projects analyse the role of the EU as a global actor and the interaction between the internal and external dimensions of EU policies. They also address the inter-relationship between the EU and international organisations. To this end, the Institute fosters an interdisciplinary approach that combines legal, economic, social and political expertise. It focuses on forward-looking research that produces policy-relevant results of interest to political decision-makers and the academic community.
Major Research Themes
While IES research principally embraces a wide range of European studies, the Institute focuses its resources on an evolving set of research cluster:
- Environment and sustainable development
- Migration, diversity and justice
- International security
- European Economic Governance
These clusters are nurtured by means of launching own research projects (principally at PhD level) as well as raising funds from external sponsors.