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. The Institute advances academic education and research in various disciplines, and provides services to policy-makers, scholars, stakeholders and the general public.

Top reasons to study here

  • The IES constitutes the focal point for teaching European Studies at the VUB.
  • The IES also provides a number of academic services to disseminate its research and promote its education and to stimulate academic and public discussion.
  • The Institute utilises its central location in Brussels for regularly organising events.



Academic work at the IES is organised in clusters, but is also pursued through horizontal activities cutting across them. Currently, there are the following five clusters:

  • International Security
  • Environment and sustainable development
  • Migration, diversity and justice
  • European economic governance
  • Educational Development


IES research 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 institutions and organisations.