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Integration and division: Towards a segmented Europe? (EuroDiv)

What are the implications of the current European crisis for democracy and integration in a long-term perspective? What does it mean that countries both within and without the EU are integrated to different degrees? The aim of EuroDiv is to provide more knowledge on the implications of the current crisis and on possible ways out of the crisis.

The EU financial crisis contributes to a more segmented Europe (Photo: Colourbox)

About the project

The implicit assumption in mainstream EU research is that integration is, if not quite uniform, then at least quite unidirectional. However, European integration has to a certain degree departed from the initial assumption that it should aim at a uniform acquis communautaire in which the same policies apply in the same way at the same time in all participating countries. The idea of asymmetric, differential, or flexible integration pre-dates the crisis.

EuroDiv’s assumption is that Europe is moving towards a permanent situation characterised by a more diversified EU. The European crisis seems to be accelerating a process in which the member states end up with different statuses. From this perspective, Norway’s relations with the EU is no exception, but one of several variations in the diversity of integration in Europe.

EuroDiv will study the crisis and analyse the sustainability and democratic legitimacy of ongoing transformations in Europe. By distinguishing segmentation from the more widely used conception of differentiated integration, integration and disintegration will be analysed simultaneously in order to better understand the present crisis developments.

Objectives

The primary objective of EuroDiv is to establish how the crisis is transforming Europe and the implications this has for Norway as a closely associated non-member of the EU.

Greater differentiation may give rise to particular patterns of segmentation, with profound democratic and constitutional implications. EuroDiv seeks to establish how prevalent such segmentation trends are, and whether there are important – democratic – countervailing forces.

A major objective of EuroDiv is therefore to identify what the democratic and constitutional implications are of current patters of transformation, what they entail for the sustainability of the European political order, and Norway’s role in relation to it.

The secondary objective is to develop new analytical tools and reconfigure existing ones so as to improve the manner in which we combine the study of European transformations (including Norway) and their democratic and normative implications.

Sub-projects

Financing

EuroDiv is financed by the Research Council of Norway’s research initiative ‘Europe in Transition’ (EUROPA).

Project period: 1 December 2013 – 1 December 2018

Cooperation

EuroDiv involves a cross-disciplinary group of researchers: political scientists, economists, sociologists, media researchers, lawyers, and historians.

Published Dec. 11, 2013 4:06 PM - Last modified Mar. 30, 2017 9:21 AM