Egmont – The Royal Institute for International Relations

EGMONT – The Royal Institute for International Relations is an independent think-tank based in Brussels. Its interdisciplinary research is conducted in a spirit of total academic freedom.

Drawing on the expertise of its own research fellows, as well as that of external specialists, both Belgian and foreign, it provides analysis and suggests international policy options that are meant to be as operational as possible.

Benefiting from the role acquired by Brussels in the global arena and from the prestigious setting of the Egmont Palace, the Institute offers an ideal forum to visiting Heads of State, Heads of government, representatives of international organisations, foreign ministers and other political figures.

Conferences, colloquia and seminars nurture the work of the research fellows. They also give participants the opportunity to exchange views with other specialists and with a well-informed public made up of representatives of the political, economic and academic spheres, the media and civil society.

Along with research and meetings, the Institute has also developed specialised training activities, both in Brussels and abroad. It can, on request, offer specific programmes for visiting and resident diplomats and foreign professionals.

Closer collaboration with other research centres, both in Belgium and in the rest of Europe and beyond, has resulted in a growing number of joint conferences and in more structured cooperation on research and publications. It has proved to be mutually beneficial and enriching.

EGMONT (in former days IRRI-KIIB), alternatively referred to as the Egmont Institute, was founded as the “Institut des relations internationales” in 1947 by eminent Belgian personalities, such as: Paul van Zeeland, former Prime Minister; Prof. Charles de Visscher, member of the International Court of Justice; Prof. Fernand Dehousse, member of the Belgian delegation to the Conference of San Francisco; or Prof. Henri Rolin, Senator and Barrister-at-law.

Contact information

Egmont – The Royal Institute for International Relations

Rue des Petits Carmes 24a
1000 Brussels

Tel: +32 (0) 2 223 41 14

Points of contact

The team

Contacts Resume Speciality
Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop
Director of Programme
Tel: +32 2 213 40 23
Fax: +32 2 223 41 16
Director of the Programme Europe in the World at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations.
Visiting Professor, College of Europe (Bruges) & Ghent University
  • European Security Strategy
  • European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
  • U-NATO and EU-US relations
Bruno Hellendorff
Joint Research Fellow
Tel: +32 (0)474 90 86 17
Bruno Hellendorff joined Egmont and EPC in 2018 where he focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. As a security scholar, he has contributed to various research projects on WMD-related issues, especially with regards to the DPRK crisis and nuclear governance in EU-Asian relations. He is Research Associate at the Université Catholique de Louvain (CECRI), Université Libre de Bruxelles (EASt), and Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP).
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative EU-Asia relations
  • Southeast Asia (Indonesia)
  • Non-proliferation
  • DPRK
  • Maritime security
Alexander Mattelaer
Director of the European Affairs Programme
Prof Dr Alexander Mattelaer is the director of the European Affairs programme at Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations – and an assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research interests include the politics of European integration, the Brexit negotiation process, defence policy and NATO, and the ongoing redefinition of state sovereignty. He is also a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges and a senior editor of the online magazine European Geostrategy.
  • European Union
  • International security
  • Defence policy-making
Thomas Renard
Senior Research Fellow
Tel: +32 (0)471 325285
Thomas Renard joined the Egmont Institute in 2009. His research focuses on (counter-)terrorism and (counter-)radicalization in Belgium and in Europe. Other topics of research are the multipolarisation of international affairs (in all dimensions, from economy to military), EU strategic partnershipsand cyber-security. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Vesalius College, a PhD student at Ghent University, and a member of the Reseau Multidisciplinaire d’Etudes Stratégiques (RMES)
  • EU strategic partnerships
  • Emerging powers
  • Global security
  • Terrorism
  • Cyber