The Institute for European Studies (IES)

The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is an academic Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and a policy think tank that focuses on the European Union in an international setting. While promoting European Studies in general, the IES specifically explores EU institutions, policies and law within the context of globalisation and global governance, including a focus on the EU in international affairs and institutions. 

Academic work at the IES is organised into five clusters: International security; Environment and sustainable development; Migration, diversity and justice; European economic governance; and Educational development. The cluster on Environment and sustainable development is specifically renowned for its internationally leading work on the international and European governance of the climate and energy transition. 

The IES constitutes the focal point for teaching European Studies at the VUB. It coordinates the renowned Master in International and European Law (LLM) and the Master in European Integration. The IES also co-organises an annual Summer School on European Policy-Making.

The IES also provides many academic services. It regularly organises events such as the IES Lecture Series, the IES Policy Forum and other conferences and workshops for academia and the wider interested public. Furthermore, the IES publishes a book series and policy briefs.

The Institute fosters academic cooperation with a broad range of academic institutions throughout Europe and the wider world. Privileged partners include the University of Southern California, Sogang and Hankuk University in Korea, and Tongji University in Shanghai. 

It pursues its mission both on its own initiative and through opportunities offered by funding from third parties. It has executed research projects and organised academic events for, among others, the European Institutions, governments, science foundations and various governmental and non-governmental, national and international organisations as well as companies.

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür

Sebastian Oberthür is Research Professor for Environment and Sustainable Development at the IES. Trained as a political scientist with a strong background in international law, he focuses on issues of international and European environmental governance, with an emphasis on institutional issues and perspectives.

His current research interest extends in particular to the horizontal and vertical integration of international institutions and policies relevant to the environment, including the interplay between environmental agreements/institutions and other policies (e.g. trade, transport), as well as the role and performance of the EU in international (environmental) institutions. More.

Dr. Ingmar von Homeyer

Dr. Ingmar von Homeyer is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the IES. His main areas of expertise are European Union (EU) environmental policy and governance, including issues related to regulatory reform and environmental policy instruments, the integration of environmental concerns into sectoral policies, decision-making procedures and public participation, policy coherence and EU enlargement.

He has published widely on these issues in academic and policy-oriented publications. He works in English and German and possesses good knowledge of Dutch, Italian, French, and Swedish. More.

Ólöf Söebech

Ólöf Söebech is a Project Researcher for Environment and Sustainable Development at the IES. She has coordinated and collaborated in several European and national funded projects in the field of environment and sustainability since she joined the Institute in 2007. More.