EU3D launched in Rome

The European Union is engaged in a large-scale debate on its future nature and direction. The role and importanec of theoretically informed and empirically grounded research in that process is essential, as was made very clear at EU3D's opening conference in Rome. 

EU3D project participants at the opening conference at Luiss University. Photo: Luiss University

About EU3D

  • EU Differentiation Dominance and Demicracy - EU3D is a Horizon 2020-funded project coordinated by John Erik Fossum at ARENA Centre for European Studies.
  • The project has 10 partner institutions in 10 European countries
  • EU3D’s main objective is to develop a theory of differentiation that specifies when differentiation is politically acceptable, institutionally sustainable and democratically legitimate, and when it is not.

Read the full article: Mobilising ideas for the EU's future (

The EU3D opening conference gathered over 50 participants in Rome to mark the start of a four-year quest to find out how much and what type of differentiation is sustainable and legitimate in Europe.

Scientific coordinator John Erik Fossum from ARENA was particularly pleased with the many fruitful discussions and the contributions of all participants, not least from the project’s high-level Advisory Board.

'The active participation of the conference participants in the discussions testifies to the relevance and importance of the project. EU3D deals with one of the EU’s most fundamental challenges, namely the role and risks of political differentiation for ensuring political stability and legitimacy in an increasingly contested EU', Fossum said when looking back at the conference. 

At the conference, the different aspects of differentiation that will be studied by EU3D over the next four years were discussed. This included internal and external differentiation, as well as an assessment of reform proposals to deal with the EU's current challenges.

The conference culiminated with a public panel debate with former Italian Prime Minister and Vice-President of the European Convention Giuliano Amato, Member of the European Parliament Marian Harkin, former Director General of the EU Council’s Legal Service Jean-Claude Piris as well as Associate Professor at Columbia University Turkuler Isiksel and former president of the European University Institute (EUI) Yves Mény.

Tags: European integration, Democracy, European Union
Published May 13, 2019 3:45 PM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2022 2:42 PM