EuroTrans (completed)

The Transformation and Sustainability of the European Political Order

The European Union is with its multiple levels of governance a unique political system. In the EuroTrans project we ask: How are decisions made at the many levels of the EU? Is the union democratic? And how is the EU changing and what are the consequences for citizens and member states?


The traditional model of democratic rule is based on national control and the territorial delimitation of sovereignty. In Europe this has been supplemented with forms of supra-national governance, direct participation and representation.

The EU is an innovative order, providing answers to some of the challenges facing the nation-state, but at the same time raising questions about how this order ensures effective action and democratic self determination in a globalised world. The EU’s multi-level system of governance, with its local, national and supranational elements, represents an experimentarium for research on the conditions for democratic rule and change.

The research at ARENA covers the following dimensions of political order:


The project studies the direction, dynamics and sustainability of the evolving European political order.

  • What are the basic characteristics and the key components of the new emerging order?
  • What are the implications for member state governing arrangements and for the citizens of Europe?
  • How robust is this new system and what are the conditions for change?
  • How can the multi-level constellation that makes up the EU be assessed from the point of view of democracy and rule of law?


In 2007 ARENA was granted a large research project from the Norwegian Research Council: The Transformation and Sustainability of European Political Order - EuroTrans. This project is a part of the 10 year EUROPA-programme at the Research Council.

At ARENA this project is organised so as to be able to serve as a focal point for present and future research activities at ARENA, organising the research into four thematical sub areas, under which most projects financed by other sources (e.g. the University, the EU, ministries or other parts of the Research Council) are linked.


Funded by the Norwegian Research Council from 2007 to 2012.



Published Oct. 1, 2010 3:01 PM - Last modified Aug. 13, 2019 9:41 PM


Research director
Erik Oddvar Eriksen

ARENA - Centre for European Studies
PO. Box 1143 Blindern
0318 Oslo