ARENA Tuesday Seminar: Sandra Lavenex

Professor Sandra Lavenex from the University of Lucerne presented her paper 'The External Institutional Dimension of Differentiated Integration: Third Country Participation in EU Sectoral Bodies' at the ARENA Tuesday Seminar on 25 February 2014.

Photo: University of Lucerne


Lavenex’s paper aims to contribute to the literature on external dimensions of differentiated integration by means of an institutional mapping of third country participation in European Union agencies. The first part of the paper presents an overview of the level of inclusion enjoyed by a third country made distinguishable by formulating an approach drawn from functional considerations on the one hand and geopolitical concerns on the other. Following this, the second part of the paper seeks to apply this approach to third country participation in the context of the EU’s trans-governmental structure, which corresponds to an evaluation of EU regulatory agencies, through the lens of the contrasting hypotheses derived from the functionalist and geopolitical approach.

Lavenex argued that the level of organizational inclusion enjoyed by a third county in EU agencies is connected to both political and functionalist incentives. However, functionalist tendencies are identified as stronger. Thus, she concluded that the most inclusive agencies are the ones that have strong structures of independence, possess authority (in terms of decision-making power that also affects third countries) and a high degree of autonomy.

The discussion that followed the presentation was focused on questions of clarification concerning the papers’ main hypotheses, data and the overarching ambition of the study.

By Tine E. J. Brøgger

Download the paper (restricted access)

Please note that this paper is work in progress and thus has limited distribution, please contact us if you would like access. Do not cite without permission from the author.


Sandra Lavenex is Professor of International Politics and Global Governance at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. She earned her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence in 1999 for her thesis on the Europeanisation of Refugee Policies. She is founding member of the political science department in Lucerne and coordinator of the interdiciplinary Master in World Society and Global Governance at the same university. Lavenex has been a regular visiting professor at the College of Europe since 2007.


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Published Jan. 10, 2014 9:29 AM - Last modified Feb. 23, 2015 10:12 AM