Flemish Peace Institute

The Flemish Peace Institute is an independent research institute hosted by the Flemish Parliament. It was established in 2004 to conduct scientific research on peace issues and offer its findings to support the activities of the Flemish Parliament. The Institute provides information and documentation and makes recommendations to the Parliament. Its documents address issues that are relevant for policymakers but also for civil society organisations and the public at large. Some of the key publications are translated into English for a wider audience throughout the world.
The Peace Institute examines legislation and policy concerning the international arms trade and monitors events and data on Flemish arms trade and the use of firearms. In an annual report the Institute publishes analyses of data on the import, export, and transit through the region of military materials during the preceding year, with special emphasis on their end-use. The Institute also devotes special attention to the policy of the European Union: the unified defence market, European agreements on export control, and illegal firearms markets in the EU.

Contact information

Flemish Peace Institute

Leuvenseweg 86
1000 Brussels

Tel: +32 2 552 45 91
Fax: + 32 2 552 44 08
Website: http://www.flemishpeaceinstitute.eu
Mail: vredesinstituut@vlaamsparlement.be

The team

Contacts Resume Speciality

Nils Duquet


Tel: +32 2 552 4599


Nils Duquet is director of the Flemish Peace Institute. He started working at the Flemish Peace Institute since 2006 and has authored more than 40 policy-oriented and academic publications on illicit firearms trafficking and gun violence in Europe, domestic gun policies and European arms export controls. He was the coordinator of several EU-funded research projects such as SAFTE (terrorist access to illicit gun markets in Europe, 2017-2018), DIVERT (firearms diversion in Europe 2019-2021),  TARGET (gun violence and firearms trafficking in Europe, 2020-2021) and INSIGHT (development of European gun violence monitor).
  • Proliferation of SALW
  • Firearms trafficking
  • Gun violence
  • Domestic gun control
  • Arms export control

Diederik Cops

Senior researcher

Tel: +32 2 552 4596


Diederik Cops studied Criminology and International Politics at the University of Leuven. He received his PhD in criminology in 2011. He joined the Flemish Peace Institute in January 2016. His research activities mainly deal with the international trade in conventional arms and the organisation and policy regarding the controls on the export of conventional weapons and dual-use goods.
  • Arms export controls
  • Dual-use export controls
  • Conventional arms trade

John Pearson



John Pearson is a researcher in the ‘weapons’ thematic cluster at the Flemish Peace Institute. His research focuses on dual-use technologies, and their ethical, legal, policy and economic impacts.

Astrid De Schutter




Astrid De Schutter studied Criminology at Ghent University. She has gained experience in drug and penological research throughout several (academic and practice-oriented) research projects. She joined the Flemish Peace Institute in April 2022, specifically working on the European project INSIGHT (development European Gun Violence Monitor) and by extension on gun violence and firearms trafficking.