Institute for European Studies (IES), Vrije Universiteit Brussel


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, policy makers 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and diversity
  • European foreign and security policy
  • Information society

These clusters are nurtured by means of launching own research projects (principally at PhD level) as well as raising funds from external sponsors.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
  • French

View MScs »


This school also offers:


MSc in European Integration

Campus Full time Part time 1 - 2 years September 2017 Belgium Brussels + 1 more

A programme, organised by the Institute for European Studies (IES) in collaboration with the faculty of economic, social and political sciences , Vrije Universiteit and the Solvay Business School. The programme is particularly oriented towards providing an academic, theory-based understanding of the policies, the institutions and the socio-economic processes in the European Union. [+]

The EuroMaster is an interdisciplinary programme taught in English geared towards an international range of young and mid-level professionals as well as advanced students from across the political sciences. It provides students with advanced academic training across a wide range of EU policies and concepts in order to gain a thorough understanding of the process of European integration in both its economic and political dimensions. The Programme operates as a “Master after Master”, required students to have strong and consistent marks across a minimum of 4 years of study. What can I study? The EuroMaster offers a common core of courses on the essential features of European Integration. Students can choose between two specialisation streams: • Political and Social Integration (EPSI) • Economic Integration (EEI) Each stream shares 5 compulsory courses: • The Political Aspects of European Integration (first semester, 6 ECTS) • The Economics of European Integration (first semester, 6 ECTS)
 • The History and Law of European Integration (first semester, 6 ECTS)
 • Research Methods (first and second semester, 3 ECTS) • The EU and the Stakeholders of the Economy (second semester, 6 ECTS) Specific courses for each stream: European Politics and Social Integration (EPSI) • EU Foreign Policy (second semester, 6 ECTS)
 • Cultures in Europe (first semester, 6 ECTS) 
• Civil Society Representation and Diversity in the EU (second semester, 6 ECTS) Economic Integration • European Cohesion Policy (first semester, 6 ECTS) 
• Competition Policy and State Aids (second semester, 6 ECTS) • European Monetary Policy (first semester, 6 ECTS) Master Thesis Students also have to complete a Master Thesis (15 ECTS) on a topic of relevance within the EPSI or EEI framework (first and second semester). Total: 60 ECTS It offers students an education of the highest academic standards on the European unification process. The Master is designed to provide graduate students of different backgrounds with an expert knowledge on European legislation, European institutions and the economic integration process. For whom? The EuroMaster is oriented towards both full-time students as well as professionals, who seek to deepen their understanding of the EU. For this purpose the Euromaster classes are organised after working hours to enable both full-time students and professionals to attend the lectures. To qualify for admission you should have: •a university degree equivalent to Master’s degree in Social, Economic or Political Sciences, Business, Law and/or Contemporary History consisting of a programme of at least 240 ECTS. •excellent academic results for both prior degrees of 70% (2nd class honours upper division, Belgian equivalent; upper 2:1 UK equivalent, 2.8/4 GPA). •proven proficiency in English: -TOEFL-test (min. score 233 computer based, min.score 90 internet based, min.score 577 paper based) -IELTS (7); -Cambridge Certficate of Proficiency in English-CPE ; -Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English-CAE (grade B); -ITACE (at the VUB)-C1 For more information visit the IES website Teaching staff The teaching staff in the IES’Euromaster programme is a unique mixture of renowned EU scholars and top-level EU practitioners who combine academic rigour with the latest practical insights and cultural diversity. Applications and scholarships Visit our website for details on how to apply. For the academic year 2016-2017 all students pay an annual Registration Fee of €750 plus €55 per Study Point/ECTS. Full-time students therefore pay €4.050 for an academic year (60 Study Points/ ECTS). Foreign students must make their own arrangements to be covered by health insurance, valid during their stay in Belgium. The programme offers a limited number of scholarships that take the form of a reduced tuition fee. These are awarded on the basis of academic merit and demonstrable need. Students should apply for the tuition waiver when submitting their application for the programme. Career and alumni All IES students can benefit from career advice, including interview preparation and CV review at the VUB Career Centre. The unique service offered by the VUB in cooperation with Randstad was launched in 2011. Clients of the Career Centre include major law firms and the European Commission. To find out more about this excellent service, please go to [-]


The EU's role in International Climate Politics


Institute for European Studies

Address Boulevard de la Plaine 5
Brussels 1050, BE
Phone +32 2 614 80 01