Institute for European Studies

ies (Belgium)

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.

The International Security cluster at the Institute for European Studies operates at the crossroads of geopolitical analysis, strategic studies and European studies. In keeping with an increasingly turbulent international landscape, cluster researchers analyse the on-going re-ordering of the European political architecture and how it relates to the wider world. In doing so, they pay particular attention to geopolitical competition between Russia and the West, instability in the broader Middle East, the rise of Asia and its implications for Europe and the transatlantic relationship, the changing face of international diplomacy and the exigencies of modern warfare.

Contact information

Institute for European Studies - ies

International Security Cluster
Institute for European Studies (IES)
Vrije Universiteit Brussels

Pleinlaan 5
BE - 1050 Elsene


Tel: +32 2 614 80 01

The team

Antonio Calcara - PhD Researcher


Antonio Calcara is a Guest Researcher at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He is a Ph.D. Candidate at the at the LUISS “Guido Carli”- Department of Political Science. He is currently working on his dissertation on armaments cooperation programmes at the European level, with a specific focus on how different configurations of state– defence industry relations in France, Germany, Italy and the UK impact on the choice to cooperate or not cooperate in multinational defence procurement projects.

In 2013 Antonio received a M.A. In International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Bologna (Forli Campus). In 2014 he was an intern at the Swedish National Defence College in Stockholm.


  • International Relations
  • Armaments Cooperation
  • Defence Industries
  • European Defence

Chantal Lavallée - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
Tel: +32 2 614 80 12


Chantal Lavallée (Canada) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow (2017-2019) at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research project “The European Commission in the Drone Community: a New Cooperation Area in the Making” evaluates to what extent the Commission’s involvement in the civil drone sector helps to strengthen its position in the field of security. Her research and publications focus on the contribution of the European Commission to the security and defence sector.


  • European security and defence
  • European Commission in the security and defence sector
  • Drone sector

Elie Perot - PhD Researcher
Tel: +32 485559222


Elie Perot has been a PhD Researcher at the Institute for European Studies (IES) from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) since October 2016. Previously, Elie has carried research work for the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS) on nuclear deterrence and missile defence systems. As an intern, he has also worked for the Director of the National Police (DGPN) in the French Ministry of Interior as a speechwriter, as well as for the Defence Office of the French Embassy in Italy (Rome) and for the Conseil d'Etat, France's supreme court for public law.

He holds a Master in Public Affairs from Sciences Po Paris, (Summa cum laude) (2014) and a M.A. in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe, Bruges (Chopin Promotion 2015-2016). His current research focuses mainly on the responses of the EU and of NATO to the Ukraine crisis.


  • EU – CSDP
  • NATO
  • Deterrence policy
  • Alliance politics

Maaike Verbruggen - PhD Researcher


Maaike Verbruggen is a PhD researcher at the International Security Cluster of the Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. She conducts research on the development of autonomous weapon systems in Europe. Her research interests lie with the development of emerging military technologies, their military and societal impact, and the implications for arms control. Previously she worked at SIPRI, and interned at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNODA.


  • Emerging military technologies
  • Autonomous weapon systems
  • Drones
  • Military human enhancement
  • Arms control
  • Export controls