The EU's Global Social Role


The Centre for EU Studies (CEUS) at Ghent University has built up extensive experience on the social dimension of EU external policies. It has expertise both in terms of research and publications as well as in terms of policy relevant events.

First of all a variety of research projects have been and are currently being carried out on the external social dimension of EU policies. The first project in 2007 concerned the social dimension of globalization. In addition to that, recently a number of PhD projects are being conducted on the social dimension of EU trade policy, social policy diffusion towards China and the role of the EU in the International Labour Organization (ILO). This academic and policy-oriented research has been partly funded by the European Commission’s Jean Monnet Programme, the Erasmus Mundus mobility scheme, the National Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Ghent University’s Special Research Fund (BOF), and the ILO.
These projects have resulted in a several academic publications in among others European Foreign Affairs Review, the Journal of European Social Policy, Global Labour Journal and a background paper for the ILO.

Secondly, the CEUS has organized high level events with policy makers in Brussels and third countries on these issues. An event with Pascal Lamy on 'What social face of the new EU trade agreements?' was held in Brussels on 23 June 2015. On the basis of this debate a policy brief has been published as part of the policy papers of the European Trade Union Institute. on 3 June 2015, CEUS researchers also gathered civil society in Costa Rica to discuss the first findings of a field research on the impact of GSP+ and the Association Agreement on the Costa Rican banana and pineapple sector.

Research projects