Institute for European Studies (IES), Vrije Universiteit Brussel


As a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Institute for European Studies (IES) provides research, education and academic services to scholars, policymakers and the general public, focused on the EU in an international setting. The disciplines applied include law, social/political sciences, economics and communication sciences. Established in 2001, the IES has a strong research focus and has built up a long-standing PhD track record. It also organises several postgraduate programmes. In the area of education, the IES has built up a solid reputation in teaching and learning innovation, supported by a dedicated team focusing on the use of technology to enhance (distance / blended) learning.

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:

  1. Providing advanced education: through its LL.M in International and European Law, Advanced MA in European Integration ("Euromaster"), its annual Winter & Summer Schoolson European Policy-Making, and its blended postgraduate certificate in EU Policy Making.
  2. Carrying out scientific research: research is coordinated by the IES’Vice Dean for Researchand conducted by PhD researchers as well as post-doctoral Senior Research Fellows that lead research centres.
  3. Providing scientific services in the field of European Studies:by organizing annual conferences, regular workshops, policy foraand 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.



Institute for European Studies

Pleinlaan 5, 1st floor

B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 614 80 01

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