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Differentiation in the European Integration Process - The path to harmonisation is flexible and open-ended

Keil, Kathrin LU (2009) STVM17 20091
Department of Political Science
Abstract
This paper establishes the difference between process and outcome differentiation, claiming that the former seems to have become reality in the European integration process. Concerning the outcome, the author claims that thus far the Union is legally defined by its actors to be a harmonisation project, serving the interests of EU citizens by means of an economic and increasingly political Union of European countries. With that conceptual background, different embodiments of differentiation as flexibility instruments with their respective strengths, weaknesses, risks and possibilities are analysed, emphasising the distinction between differentiation within and outside the Union framework and the respective policy areas in which... (More)
This paper establishes the difference between process and outcome differentiation, claiming that the former seems to have become reality in the European integration process. Concerning the outcome, the author claims that thus far the Union is legally defined by its actors to be a harmonisation project, serving the interests of EU citizens by means of an economic and increasingly political Union of European countries. With that conceptual background, different embodiments of differentiation as flexibility instruments with their respective strengths, weaknesses, risks and possibilities are analysed, emphasising the distinction between differentiation within and outside the Union framework and the respective policy areas in which differentiation is applied as the decisive analytical factors. The author comes to the conclusion that differentiation on a temporary basis within the Union framework is the most integration-friendly way of differentiation. However, permanent closer cooperations inside as well as outside the Union framework will not entirely vanish from the cooperation habits of the member states. A crucial feature in this connection is the perception of the European integration process as being open-ended.
A crucial task will be to communicate process differentiation to the citizens of the EU as well as to external actors interacting with the Union. The aim has to be that differentiation is perceived as a normal and natural feature of the European integration project and not as a weakness or shortcoming. To achieve this, the member states and the European Commission have to take steps to allow enhanced cooperation to become a practiced and effective integration tool of the same value as traditional integration means. Additionally, the notion of an “EU of Projects in a multi-way integration process” could contribute to solving the dilemma between increased complexity and the difficult relationship between the EU and its citizens. (Less)
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author
Keil, Kathrin LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVM17 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
internal vs. external policies, open-endedness, differentiation, European integration process, European Affairs, EU of Projects
language
English
id
1397164
date added to LUP
2009-06-18 11:30:19
date last changed
2009-06-18 11:30:19
@misc{1397164,
  abstract     = {This paper establishes the difference between process and outcome differentiation, claiming that the former seems to have become reality in the European integration process. Concerning the outcome, the author claims that thus far the Union is legally defined by its actors to be a harmonisation project, serving the interests of EU citizens by means of an economic and increasingly political Union of European countries. With that conceptual background, different embodiments of differentiation as flexibility instruments with their respective strengths, weaknesses, risks and possibilities are analysed, emphasising the distinction between differentiation within and outside the Union framework and the respective policy areas in which differentiation is applied as the decisive analytical factors. The author comes to the conclusion that differentiation on a temporary basis within the Union framework is the most integration-friendly way of differentiation. However, permanent closer cooperations inside as well as outside the Union framework will not entirely vanish from the cooperation habits of the member states. A crucial feature in this connection is the perception of the European integration process as being open-ended.
A crucial task will be to communicate process differentiation to the citizens of the EU as well as to external actors interacting with the Union. The aim has to be that differentiation is perceived as a normal and natural feature of the European integration project and not as a weakness or shortcoming. To achieve this, the member states and the European Commission have to take steps to allow enhanced cooperation to become a practiced and effective integration tool of the same value as traditional integration means. Additionally, the notion of an “EU of Projects in a multi-way integration process” could contribute to solving the dilemma between increased complexity and the difficult relationship between the EU and its citizens.},
  author       = {Keil, Kathrin},
  keyword      = {internal vs. external policies,open-endedness,differentiation,European integration process,European Affairs,EU of Projects},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Differentiation in the European Integration Process - The path to harmonisation is flexible and open-ended},
  year         = {2009},
}