GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate

Institutionalised Programme > Partner Institutions > Universtité Libre de Bruxelles

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Brussels, Belgium

The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and in particular its Institut d'Etudes Européennes (IEE), are pleased to take on the role of the GEM PhD School's central coordinator.

Founded upon free-thinking principles, the ULB has sought to: foster critical thought, advocate independent enquiry, and favour the rejection of dogma in all its forms. Over its 175 years of existence, the ULB has remained true to these original ideals and has consistently committed itself to the defence of democratic and humanist values. 

ULB.jpgThe ULB has developed into a leading European research and teaching university of global prominence. With its 21,000 students - 27% of whom come from abroad; and it's exceptionally cosmopolitan staff, it is an intrinsically international institution, open to both Europe and the wider world. Furthermore, located at the cross-roads of the Latin and Germanic traditions, the ULB has emerged as a privileged venue for dialogue and interaction on a truly European scale. The ULB has become a bridge between different existing academic traditions, and actively seeks to overcome disciplinary and customary boundaries, thus fostering  innovation and mutual understanding.

The ULB is a multifaceted institution, including 11 traditional faculties and 2 autonomous institutes. The ULB offers a comprehensive set of academic programmes encompassing all disciplines and study cycles. With its three Nobel Prize winners, a Fields medal, three Wolf Prizes for physics, two Marie Curie Prizes and 29% of the awarded national Belgian Francqui prizes; the ULB is a major centre of excellence in a wide range of scientific fields. The quality of the ULB's research is recognised by the academic community the world over. Nor does the ULB shirk its social, societal and broader ethical commitments which it meets by combining broad access to higher education, with excellent quality research, and an active role in furthering economic development in the regions where it is located (Brussels & Wallonia).

Located in Brussels - the bilingual capital of a federal state and the de facto administrative and political capital of the European Union (EU), as well as the seat of several multinational organizations and companies, the ULB has been at the forefront of the European political adventure since inception in 1957. The University's pioneering European engagement was amongst other crystallized by the foundation of one the continent's oldest interdisciplinary and autonomous research and teaching institutes wholly dedicated to EU studies: the Institut d'Etudes Européennes (IEE).


The IEE: A Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence


images.jpgThe ULB's secular traditions of free enquiry and academic excellence are reflected in its Institut d'Etudes Européennes (IEE), one of the oldest "Jean Monnet Centre of excellence". With its highly selective international recruiting process, and its numerous multidisciplinary research networks, the IEE occupies a unique and central position within the international EU studies community. Since its founding in 1963, the IEE has stood out as one of the leading institutes focusing on European and international issues. To sustain and develop its enviable reputation, the IEE has continued to invested considerable efforts in research and innovation, notably by successively creating and nursing its 5 constituent research units: "European Law"; "European Politics"; "European History & Culture"; "European Politics" and "the EU in the World".

The cosmopolitan composition of the IEE's research-, academic-, and student-bodies illustrate its' remarkable openness, its' continued dynamism, and its' international attractiveness. Its 100-head strong international Faculty includes nationals from 15 countries; many of whom are leading members of trans-national research networks. If a primarily Belgian institute at its beginnings, the institute has since become a truly European one.

The IEE offers seven MA programmes in either English or French. The academic quality and variety of its graduate and postgraduate European Studies Programmes is well established. At present, there are over 300 enrolled MA students from more than 50 countries; and since its beginnings the IEE has promoted over 4000 graduates.

Furthermore, over the past 11 years the IEE has developed an interdisciplinary PhD School in EU studies. It is formally accredited by the French-speaking Belgian authorities. As with the IEE's other activities, its doctoral teaching is embedded in a series of international networks of excellence, ranging from the Jean Monnet Programmes of Excellence to an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate programme. Since 2004 it has lead the GARNET international PhD School (set up within the EU's 6th FP); and since 2009, it coordinates the Erasmus Mundus GEM PhD School on "Globalisation, the EU, and Multilateralism". All these doctoral initiatives have further rooted its international cooperation with Boston University, Fudan University - Shanghai, Waseda University - Tokyo, the United Nation's University - Center for Regional integration Studies, ITAM-Mexico, Université de Genève, University of Warwick, and LUISS Guido Carli - Rome. All affiliated PhD students are included in its various standing research groups.

As a result, the Institut d'Etudes Européennes (IEE) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has come to be widely recognized as an international centre of excellence in higher education and research in EU studies. The IEE is also in constant dialogue with the Brussels-based communities of policy-makers. As a successful platform for pluralistic and critical debates on Europe, the institute has established itself as a prominent arena, and a respected voice, in the ongoing discussions on the state and future of European integration.

Its well warranted reputation of distinction, alongside the heightened attraction and role of Brussels have both solidified the IEE-ULB's position at the centre of the international EU studies community. History, experience, geography and excellence have thus conspired to make the IEE one of the prominent rallying points – both physically; as well as, in terms of referencing within the international scholarly debate on the EU.


The Research Unit on "The EU, New Regionalism and Global Governance"


Led by Prof. Mario Teló the unit was originally founded in 1997 at the Institut de Sociologie. Subsequently, the unit was relocated to the Institut d'Etudes Européennes (IEE). This interdisciplinary unit's primary design is to produce fundamental research on issues related to "Globalisation, the EU, and Multilateralism". Starting from its initial focus on "th European Union, Neo-Regionalism, and Global Governance" (EUNRAGG), the unit has created a series of platforms and initiatives aimed at meeting and developing its scientific goals. Amongst its many achievements one should highlight the establishment of an international PhD School, the development of a concerted scientific publication strategy, setting up and shepherding a series of international research projects, hosting regular topical conferences and seminars, and a very proactive internationalization aimed at establishing institutionalized and substantial networks across the globe.