First Memorandum of Understanding between UGent, VUB, UNU and the Flemish Government celebrated in the Bruges City Hall

On 9 February 2017, UNU-CRIS organised an academic session to announce the first Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations University, Ghent University, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Flemish Government. The academic session took place in the Gothic Hall of the City Hall of Bruges. The Under-Secretary-General of the UN and UNU Rector David Malone came to Bruges to celebrate this special event and to present his vision on the changing role for UNU and UNU-CRIS.

The debate between the governor of the province of West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé, and the mayor of Bruges, Renaat Landuyt, on the importance of the UN’s and UNU’s presence to the city and the province, was introduced by a video in which UNU-CRIS interviewed some famous and less famous people of Bruges. The video is available here.


The respective Rectors of the United Nations University, Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel discussed the value of this new partnership for the research on regional integration. Both the rector of UGent, Anne De Paepe, and the rector of VUB, Caroline Pauwels, expressed their commitment to the United Nations University for the future and underlined the importance of collaborations like this one as the way forward. Both debates were moderated by journalist Lieven Verstraete.

Minister Muyters was unable to make it to the academic session, but took the time to express his thoughts in a video message. He highlighted the importance of UNU-CRIS for Flanders and emphasised the support of the Flemish Government for this collaboration between UNU and the Flemish universities. The video is available here.

Finally, the Director a.i. of UNU-CRIS, Anthony Antoine, elaborated on his vision of the renewed UNU-CRIS 2.0. He also thanked founding director Luk Van Langenhove and Rector of the College of Europe Jörg Monar for a long and successful partnership.