Institute for European Studies
The key elements for the focus of our research are the following: * Role of the EU as a global actor * Interaction between the internal and external dimensions of EU policies This focus can be described in the following terms: Since the early 1970s, in parallel with the ongoing processes of deepening European integration and enlargement, the EU has increasingly asserted its role as a global actor in the broader international arena. Conversely, the internal development of the Union and its policies is to an ever more significant extent being influenced by global events and processes, such as economic globalisation and the changing environment of international security. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe aims, inter alia, to consolidate and further expand the EU's global role by providing a stronger institutional foundation for the Union's external action in such areas as common foreign and security, common commercial policy, development cooperation policy, economic, financial and technical cooperation with third countries other than developing countries and humanitarian aid. The Constitution establishes ambitious objectives for the EU "in its relations with the wider world", namely to "uphold and promote its values and interests", to "contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights", and "to the strict observance and the development of international law". It sees the EU as an actor with a global mission, with "responsibilities towards future generations and the Earth", as "a special area of human hope" with a dedication "to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world". Against this background, the study of EU institutions, policies and legal framework can no longer adequately be undertaken in isolation from the broader international context. The major focus of IES research therefore is on the study of EU institutions, policies and law within the context of globalisation and international and comparative law and politics. Research projects share a common focus on the role of the EU as a global actor and on the interaction between the internal and external dimensions of EU policies and between EU policies and the policies of other international organisations. To this end, the Institute aims to develop an interdisciplinary approach, involving not only legal and institutional expertise but also economic, social and political analysis. It focuses on forward-looking research and aims to produce policy-relevant results of interest to national and European decision-makers and the international academic community."