On the 16th of October, ACIM organized a lunch seminar ‘The Future of the WTO – Connecting Scholars and Practitioners’. The aim of this event was to bridge the gap between scientific research and practice. After a lunch and an introduction by Dr. Marcel Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam), the seminar started with presentations by three PhD-researchers. Niels Gheyle (University of Ghent) presented his work on transparency and the TTIP negotiations, Kirsten Lucas (University of Antwerp, ACIM) talked about policy success of non-state actors at the UNFCCC and the WTO and Irem Kirac (University of Antwerp) presented her work on legitimacy at international organizations.
Special guest speaker was Bernard Kuiten, Head of External Relations at the WTO and responsible for stakeholder relations. Bernard Kuiten joined the WTO in 1999 and oversees the WTO’s dealings with the private sector, civil society, parliamentarians and intergovernmental organizations since 2009. During the seminar, he shared his experiences about working with stakeholders at the WTO and talked about the future of international trade policy and the role of the WTO in this respect.