Research project

EU Integration and Differentiation for Effectiveness and Accountability (EUIDEA)

2019 - 2021 (Ongoing)

EUIDEA is a H2020 project, which aims to break new ground on differentiated integration in terms of conceptual approach, policies and networks.

The project departs from the observation that the evolution of the EU’s politics and policies has demonstrated that differentiation should not be treated as an anomaly in the integration process.

The basic claim underpinning EUIDEA is that differentiation is not only necessary to address current challenges more effectively by making the Union more resilient and responsive to citizens but also desirable: It introduces a degree of flexibility in the complex EU machinery, which is compatible with the core principles of the EU’s constitutionalism and identity, sustainable in terms of governance, and acceptable to EU citizens, Member States and affected third partners.

The project poses a key set of overall questions to academic and policy-makers alike: Whether, how much and what form of differentiation is not only compatible with but also conducive to a more effective, cohesive and democratic EU.

EUIDEA aims to break new ground on differentiated integration in terms of i) conceptual approach, ii) policies and iii) networks. For more details on the project, see below.

EUIDEA team and work packages

The project consists of partners from 15 different research institutions across Europe and lead institution is the Italian Institute of International Affairs (IAI) in Rome.

  • Visit the project's main web page here.

EUIDEA has nine work packages. The NUPI team participates in Work Packages 3, 8 and 9.

WP3 analyses constitutionalisation and European identity issues; WP8 investigates the different national visions as regards differentiation, both at the level of political elites and citizens; and WP9 analyses future scenarios of differentiated integration (or disintegration) with a view to drawing up recommendations to European and national institutions based on EUIDEA research results.

NUPI’s research contribution so far has been within Work Package 3 ‘Narratives on European constitutionalism and identity’ (WP-leader is Institut für Europäische Politik), and has largely focused on the legal aspects of differentiated integration. Christophe Hillion has co-authored an article with Ivan Damjanovski and Denis Presova on "Legal Uniformity and Differentiation in the EU Enlargement Context – The Rule of Law as a Case Study".

Outreach and media appearances

NUPI participation in events other than conferences or workshops includes a series of Norwegian media appearances on the EU and Brexit.

More on EUIDEA research concepts, policy design and outreach

In terms of concepts (i), EUIDEA proposes an approach to differentiation in the EU that goes beyond the current state-of-the-art, for instance by addressing differentiation at the level of both legal commitments and organisational involvement in EU governance; bridging the divide between the conceptual debate and the reality of differentiation as a policy practice and choice through an inter-disciplinary and policy-oriented analytical framework; and finally, by mitigating the State-centric logic of differentiation in scholarship and political debate.
Regarding policy design (ii), EUIDEA proposes an approach that takes into greater consideration the different dimensions involved.
Finally (iii), EUIDEA will foster a community of practice involving experts, policy-makers, citizens (youth specifically) and the media. In so doing, it will break the silo mentality connected with the debate on the future of the EU, reaching out to people and integrating different views in the elaboration of new narratives on constitutionalism, integration and differentiation.

EUIDEA events

  • Christophe Hillion participated in a workshop in Berlin in 2020.
  • The EUIDEA public event on ‘Legal uniformity and differentiation in the internal and external aspects of EU's rule of law promotion and protection’, the workshop and Executive Board meeting scheduled to take place in Skopje, Macedonia, 19-20 March 2020 were postponed, due to the corona virus.
  • NUPI will participate in an EUIDEA panel on "Governing EU differentiated integration: accountability, legal uniformity and identity" at the SISP conference to be held in LUISS University in Rome on 10-12 September 2020.

EUIDEA outreach

  • EUIDEA Paper series, see here 
  • EUIDEA Newsletter, see here 
  • Follow EUIDEA on Facebook
  • Twitter: @IdeaEu
  • EUIDEA will publish a number of podcast episodes during the project period. Subscribe to the podcast, and the first episode here:
Listen to "EuIdea #1 - Brexit, where are we?" on Spreaker.

Funding program

The project is funded by EU's H2020-SC6-GOVERNANCE-2018-2019