Research domains

The Centre’s research is focused on two dimensions.

European decision-making is the first dimension. Emphasis does not lie on the legal aspects of decision-making processes, but especially on decision-making from a political theoretical point of view: actors and their mutual relations, power resources, participation, legitimacy etc. The impact of Europe on national and regional entities and the way these participate in European decision-making is taken into consideration. The role of the Presidency and the European Council in EU decision-making, and the integration of an environmental dimension (EPI) in other EU policy domains are some of the research projects that relate to the first dimension.

The second research dimension underlines the external policies of the EU. Opposite to traditional foreign policy, research focuses on the ‘soft’ dimension of international policies. Attention goes to the Community dimension of EU external relations, rather than to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), or ‘hard’ politics. The EU is a world power in many aspects: in international environmental politics, in the world trade organisation (WTO), in the UN, in the development debate, through enlargement, through the neighbourhood policy etc. These processes are studied by the Centre of EU studies from a political science point of view.

Since 2008 six PhD dissertations have been successfully completed by the Centre. The Centre of EU Studies is currently engaged in twenty PhD research projects financed by the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders and the Special Fund for Research – Ghent University.